Meet the speakers - Chupi Sweetman from Chupi

To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

When we were little my mum had a huge old fashioned cupboard called the play cupboard which was filled with every kind of paint, pen, paper and fabric from which I would make giant paintings, dresses for my Barbie and all kinds of crazy things. I have always made anything I could, but my lovely husband has to take the credit for my becoming a designer! I ran a womenswear label for high street giant Topshop, I was scouted aged 21 from first year in University. My husband suggested I needed a hobby; I couldn't help but start making the jewellery I wanted to wear but couldn't find. Suddenly I was making pieces to order after I was stopped in a bar and a girl asked to buy the necklace I was wearing, then I was designing a collection and suddenly I was a designer.

How did you get into your career?

When my grandmother died, she left me a beautiful necklace and I asked myself the question, what would I leave? I’ve always been fascinated by jewellery, good jewellery, serious jewellery marks a moment, an event, a time in your life. Today so much of what we buy is disposable, want a new dress? Grab it, wear it, bin it. I was 27 designing for Topshop when I discovered I wanted to create heritage. My pieces are all inspired by the imperfect beauty of natural and wild things.

What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?

Definitely the highlight of 2016 was getting to bring Chupi around the world, in three whirlwind months we travelled to London, Paris and New York. It makes me so happy that people around the world are loving my pieces!

How does Social Media support your work?

Social Media is vital to any growing business.  By having a presence on social media you make it easier for customers to find you and connect. It’s vital for building brand awareness and loyalty. Saying this, social media isn’t about blasting your company’s sales pitch on social, it should be treated as a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers.  

What is the one app you can’t live without? Personally and for your business!

That would have to be Whatsapp, I couldn’t even tell you how many groups I’m in! It’s my favourite communication tool and makes it so easy to stay in touch with people all over the world. It’s also amazing for keeping in touch with my team when I’m travelling.

What is the one piece of Social Media advice you would give to businesses?

The advice I’d give to businesses would be to snap up your username on each channel as soon as you decide what your Brand is going to be called. Although it may appear to be simple, social media requires a lot of effort so I would advise allocating sufficient time to it and a dedicated member of staff or team - when you can afford it.

What do you think is the next big thing in Social Media?

I feel live streaming has had a couple of bad starts but with the introduction of the new Instagram Live feature I feel it’s about to take off properly this time.

What will your business be focusing on in the Social Media landscape this year?

We’re putting a massive push on video this year. Social videos have much more engagement than any other content format. The world of media is changing thanks to live video and we want to be at the forefront.

What can the attendees of this year’s Social Media Summit look forward to hearing from you?

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey and how the use of social media has supported the growth of our company. Fashion and Social media go hand in hand so it’s vital we keep up to date.

What are you most looking forward to at the Social Media Summit this year?

Hearing all the other wonderful speakers! There’s nothing more inspirational than being surrounded by people at the top of their game and learning tips and tricks.

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