Success Story: The Abingdon Co.
Have you been in a situation in which you have to break stereotypes on daily basis? Ms. Abingdon is in that situation and she breaks stereotypes every day.
Chelsea “Abingdon” Welch is the founder of The Abingdon Co. offering high quality, luxury watches for women who are adventurous and love to travel.
She is passionate about flying, and the age and size stereotype don’t stop her to fly an airplane… and start a business – The Abingdon Co. – at the age of 19.
How was The Abingdon Co. started?
Back in 2006, Ms. Abingdon, 19 years old at that time, take flight lessons and notice that her flight instructors – all men – have this great looking watches with many functionalities.
Ms. Abingdon wanted one, too. Unfortunately, there’s none available for women.
Several months later, when she had a meetup with her female pilot friends talking about Christmas presents, one of her friends said that she wanted a flight watch, but none available for women.
Then it hit her; she told her friends, “Why don’t we make our own watches?” The Abingdon Co. was established not long after the talks.
Some lessons learned from The Abingdon Co.’s success…
1. Quality products are born out of a long quality control process
Ms. Abingdon explained that the watches are crafted with precision. The looks, the functions… everything needs to be perfect.
If you want quality products, get ready to continuously develop them.
2. Partner with the right supplier/manufacturer
Ms. Abingdon use Alibaba to find suppliers/manufacturers and she found Spearmark Company, LTD. She has been partnering with the company for 7 years.
3. Customers are the best product designers – listen to them
The best source of feedback and design ideas is The Abingdon Co.’s customers. Mr. Abingdon listens well to her customers and tries to translate the ideas into a line of watches.
4. Passion rules
Ms. Abingdon lives and breathes The Abingdon Co. On daily basis, she is basically doing things related to The Abingdon Co. She makes calls, emailing, etc. – on the go without having an office.
5. Embrace failures
Ms. Abingdon says that failures are part of her daily life. In the video she mentioned that if The Abingdon Co. went bust this year or next year, she will always be ready; if she failed, she would learned from it, and take the lessons to establish the next business better.
Again, The Abingdon Co. is a classic example of how small business success is driven by the right mindset. When entrepreneurship has becoming your lifestyle; when you take feedback seriously; when you embrace failures well… you will eventually find success – no doubt.
One valuable piece of advice Ms. Abingdon offers in her video is this: If you have an idea, go for it – what’s stopping you?
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