Transparency allows ceramics companies to define authenticity as their ultimate goal

“Transparency is a marker of authenticity.
You can sit back and rest assured that only those who have invested enough time and energy in the brand will benefit from it.”
David Richards
Windhorse

Supporting local communities and starting a successful e-commerce company

David Richards had previously only dealt with retail in a superficial way.

And, although he described his experience as “very pleasant”, he would never have dreamed that he would found a successful company in this area.

But that was exactly what happened on a trip to Thailand during a break from his television career.

Thailand exceeded expectations in every way — it was colourful, exciting, and, above all, inspiring. “I met some incredibly talented people”, David recalls, “who made truly unique and impressive things.”

These artists made such an impression on him that he decided to bring back a small selection of these products and sell them in the UK.

Establishing an artist network

As you might expect, the products David brought back from Thailand were extremely popular. The artist network grew steadily, and within a very short period of time more and more artists from Thailand were trying to sell their products at craft markets all over the UK.

“At first, it was more of a hobby. High sales figures and big profits weren’t particularly important to me. All I cared about was that my artists were paid and my costs were covered.”

For a few years, he allowed his company to grow organically.

Then, in 2015, his contacts in Thailand introduced him to a family that ran a local factory and produced hand-painted pottery with eye-catching rainbow designs.

This presented him with a unique opportunity — he was able to support the factory while also producing a high-quality range of ceramics; and that was how the Windhorse brand was developed and later registered.

Right from day one, David’s goal for Windhorse Ceramics was to support the incredibly talented craftspeople and artists from this faraway, exotic land that held such fascination for him.
I really enjoy making it possible for these incredibly talented people to live a good life while doing something they love. I personally believe that this is the best reason to start a business.
David RichardsWindhorse

Protecting artists

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Windhorse’s growing success attracted the attention of not-so-reputable contemporaries. “People took Windhorse products, copied them and sold them as originals.”

Something had to be done about it. And it had to happen quickly.

For brands like Windhorse, counterfeits are not only problematic in terms of customer satisfaction and for the company itself,

the products are made by disadvantaged communities, and opportunities for economic success are particularly rare here. Making and selling counterfeits deprives these communities of the opportunity to earn a living.

David knew that time was short and there was only one option.

He had to register a trademark and sign up to Transparency.

“We decided to register a trademark. This was the only way we could protect our products from counterfeiting.”

David had just registered Windhorse as a brand with Amazon when he came across Transparency.

“I noticed that many products had a Transparency logo and I immediately thought it was a good idea. Each item is assigned a unique code, which makes it impossible for other sellers to sell similar items or substandard goods ... because that is what you need to prevent.”

The decision to sell our products on Amazon and join Transparency was a boon for Windhorse.
Transparency has transformed our entire system”, says David.
“It sets a standard and protects our brand from being adopted by others.”
Between September and October 2020, we sold goods worth over half a million pounds. And between October and December 2020, our sales figures doubled.
Transparency is definitely one reason for this.”

But increasing sales figures aren’t the only advantage for Windhorse.

David notes that Transparency has also helped to establish stronger business relationships with new producers. “Being part of Transparency shows that you want to do something good and not just copy products from other brands.

This good reputation has enabled us to open up new opportunities for Windhorse — not just for ourselves but above all for the artists and artisans whose livelihoods depend on it.

Good prospects for the future

Expansion is an important topic for the further development of Windhorse.

Having established Windhorse as a brand in the UK, the next aim is to expand into Europe, Singapore, Australia, and the USA.

Exciting times! And David makes no secret of the fact that his decision to sell on Amazon and join Transparency played a large part in that.

“Amazon is a great platform for building a company”, he concludes, “because it’s the only place where you can get so much support and so many programmes.

The advantage of Transparency is that you can only sell a product if you have the right code for it. And you only get the code if the products are authentic.

It really is that easy.”
LOCATION
United Kingdom, Thailand
BRANCH
Home, Ceramics
AMAZON LAUNCH
2015

Get in touch with the Transparency team to find out more.

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