The company Hissia is active in designing and selling jewellery. The products we offer combine design, handicraft and sustainability. The name comes from the word hisia, which means “emotion, feeling and passion” in the Swahili language. The jewels are made in silver or gold plates, combining trends and materials from different places. Our jewels are characterized by their simple, feminine and timeless lines, which makes them perfect for the daily life. Our target public are people with medium and medium-high purchase power from both national and international market.
The brand is defined by its moral conscience, because it only uses natural material and its production is located in Spain.
"We were born with an international vocation, we created an online store and we targeted foreingn companies, as it was a way to take advantage of new technologies and overcome the physical limitations of being in such a small territory."
What is the main activity of the company nowadays?
The main activity of the company is the design, production and commercialization of jewellery.
Why is it interesting for business development to look at foreign markets?
Because foreign markets contributes to the company competitiveness and it emerges strengthened. Generally, if a product is competitive in the local market and the company has solid foundations, it will also be competitive in foreign markets.
What projects are you currently carrying out abroad? In what countries and why?
Nowadays, we are selling on online platforms in the USA and Australia, and also on physical stores in Switzerland and Belgium.
They are countries with high purchasing power and, in any case, the public is familiar with technologies and with the habit of buying online.
Moreover, this customers prize the products that have an especial design. In this sense, when developing the market research before launching our brand, we realize that there is a recent trend that values the high quality of the handcrafted products as an answer to mass production and globalization. We decided to take advantage of that trend and targeted to this public. It is worth saying that the European product and the Spanish handicraft are highly appreciated in foreign markets.
What services or products are interesting for their internationalization?
Due to our limitations on living in the Canary Islands, I believe that the services are very interesting, as well as those light products that do not imply limitations or high cost at a logistic levels. This is our case, since our jewellery do nor weight much and they do not imply high shipping cost.
What problems have you faced when going abroad? How have you solved them? Have you received any support?
We face the same problems as other companies with the same characteristic as us, which is the high competition, given that it is a very competitive and saturated sector. That is why it is important to offer a different product, with a good price-quality ratio and a good communication with the costumers.
From the beginning, we have financed ourselves with our own resources and we have based our strategy on growing little by little. We strengthened ourselves in the local market, firstly in Tenerife and later on in Gran Canaria and some areas in the Iberian Peninsula, such as Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia.
We were born with an international vocation, we created an online shop and we targeted foreign companies, as it was a way to take advantage of new technologies and overcome the physical limitations of being in such a small territory. This implies a new way to test our products and to find out if they are prized in foreign markets. We rapidly determined that this was the case, and this gave us the security and it also increase our customers.
In our case, we have always aimed to address the local public which live in the Canary Islands as well as the foreign customers, so that we can take advantage of the millions of tourist that visit the Islands every year, which also implies a way of export. In this sense, we want to highlight our work in the TEA store (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), which performs an excellent job of advertising the local products and it is visited by both local and tourist customers.
Have you achieved any achievement abroad?
I have achieved to sell in countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, Australia or the United States, both in physical and online stores. We have also appeared in international publications specialized in fashion and jewellery.
Has it been easy to internationalize? How did your experience begin?
My experience started with a research on the stores where I wanted to sell. Firstly, I searched online stores. Since they do not usually buy products, it is not a risk for them to not invest in stock. Generally, they are also more receptive to find products of emerging brands and different markets, because their public is more receptive to this type of product.
Once we contacted some stores, we received some proposals from other stores which had known us due to our presence in other stores and in social networks, which are very important to us.
Why would you recommend internationalization?
Firstly, I would recommend to go abroad in order to diversify customers and markets. This can be very useful at a strategical level in order to avoid the vulnerability of depending on only one market which may have seasonality, cycles because of the macroeconomic situation of different markets, etc. It is also relevant for achieving prestige and status. Finally, I think that it is also useful because by this way the company grows and becomes more competitive. It is also a way to have access to customers with a higher purchase power and who prize products that cannot be bought in their locals markets.
Fonder and Designer of Diseñadora de Hissia
Source: Hissia / PROEXCA 16/07/2018
Translated by: Haridian Suárez González, January 18th 2019