Meet the speakers - Nicki Hoyne from My Shining Armour
To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Kilkenny and studied Entrepreneurship at IADT in Dun Laoghaire. I moved to London where I went on to work in premium fragrance sales management. I returned to Kilkenny in 2013 to start my business. In 2014 I combined my love of tech, business and fashion to launch My Shining Armour. My Shining Armour is an online accessories store. We stock everything from jewellery to stationery and cool homewares. We have our own branded lines as well as stocking Kate Spade, ban.do, Bombay Duck London, Helen Moore Faux Fur and Rachel George. We have shipped to 33 countries on 5 continents and appeared in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Grazia. The customer is at the centre of everything we do. We deliver the best quality products with excellent customer service to give our customers butterflies when they open their package.
How did you get into your career?
I started my career in events and sales management in Dublin before moving to London. I have worked with Nintendo, Diageo, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Chloé, Elizabeth Arden and lots more amazing brands. I am a big online shopper, obsessed with accessories, always wanting something different than everyone else. As technology and the Internet advanced I saw little American online stores open and I thought "I can do that, and I can do it even better!”. In London I spent my time sticking my nose in all the other departments to see what they were doing. I love change, a varied day and being creative so being my own boss is definitely for me. Aliza Licht said it best; “I came to the point where the job I wanted didn’t exist so I had to create it for myself”.
What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
There have been some amazing moments so far but getting a really encouraging email from the Jewellery Editor of British Vogue tops them all. I sent her a package in the hope of appearing in the magazine and my jewellery was sent out for a shoot that turned out to be styled by Kate Moss. To think I impressed a Vogue editor (who receives hundreds of packages) enough, to take the time to write me a personal email just blows my mind. It’s framed on the wall in my office and makes me smile every time I look at it.
How does Social Media support your work?
As an online business, Social Media is a massive part of our marketing strategy. It allows us to target people in the right way, in the right place and at the right time. As small business budgets are tight, we use Social Media to engage with our My Shining Armour “tribe” and to find new customers. We can show them our products in real time in a fun and engaging way. Social Media means you can compete on an even playing field with massive international brands. With good content and the right strategy you could even win.
What is the one app you can’t live without? Personally and for your business!
I love Instagram. I’m really visual; I love to browse Instagram for inspiration, to see pretty places and spaces. I love art, fashion and travel so seeing daily pictures of my favourite things puts a pep in my step. I’ve booked holidays, cooked meals and read books all based on recommendations from Instagram. My Shining Armour is such a visual brand it allows us to build a story around our pieces and show them in a real life setting. Whether that’s an outfit of the day (#OOTD) with our jewellery, a desk scene with our stationery or our must have mugs. I was converting to Snapchat, but now with Instastories, Instagram has upped its game so much! I’m really looking forward to what they’ll do next. 2016 was Snapchats year. 2017 is definitely Instagrams.
What is the one piece of Social Media advice you would give to businesses?
Be consistent, be authentic and be excellent. Don’t post anything that wouldn’t be good enough for the front of a newspaper. Once it’s out there it’s out there forever.
What do you think is the next big thing in Social Media?
I think Social Media will revert back to being real and telling a story. A lot of Social Media has become staged, strategised and uninteresting. Social Media was built on people sharing their lives in real time. People are naturally curious about how others live their lives. Content is now being pumped out as fast as it can be made. It’s lost its authenticity and is getting boring and contrived. It’s the people that are keeping it real that will win.
What will your brand/ business be focusing on in the Social Media landscape this year?
We will be working to tell our story and engaging with our My Shining Armour “tribe” in real time on Snapchat and Instastories. I’m excited for new platforms and new updates, it’s going to be fun!
What can the attendees of this year’s Social Media Summit look forward to hearing from you?
What has worked for me and what has not. How I think you can win at Social Media in 2017. I’m always thinking about what’s next and how trends are changing.
What are you most looking forward to at the Social Media Summit this year?
I’m excited to hear about new technology and insights, to mix with other Social Media addicts and get some great learnings. It’s pretty much my dream two days.