Pictured in one of their favourite eateries, the Hide & Seed restaurant at The Lodge Hotel in Putney, South West London, the Watches2U team take a very brief but well-earned break from business for their Hot 100 photoshoot.
It has been a year of excitement for Anna Lyly and Hina Rizvi, with the emergence of several new brands and partnerships and a record Christmas in a tough market. They also waved farewell to their friend and colleague Vanessa Groom, who headed off to pastures new.
As an online business, much of their focus over the past 12 months has been directed at system improvement. “You need to have the right brands and products, but customer experience is an increasingly important part of success online, and acknowledging that has shifted our focus on to improving content in a whole new way,” says Anna.
Hinha, who joined Watches2U as a buyer in the New Year following a career break from her work in the textiles sector, has also given the business a boost. “It’s a learning curve for me to work on the other side of the table, where we are actually buying rather than supplying products, but I love it. Buying is fast-paced and full of new challenges,” she enthuses.
Calm under pressure, Hinha is also a balancing force for Anna, who admits that her qualities of drive and determination are accompanied by a somewhat short fuse. But the duo are also firm in their belief in pursuing one’s dreams.
So, in view of this, what do the next few years have in store for Watches2U? “Our key goal is to take over the world!” states Anna, triumphantly. “We are working on stabilising the core business but at the same time diversifying our product and brand portfolio and negotiating better terms with our suppliers so that we can achieve this.”