The Transparency programme prioritises authenticity in the ethical ceramics business

"Transparency is synonymous with authenticity."

"It gives you peace of mind and ensures that only those who have invested time and effort in the growth of the brand will reap the rewards."
David Richards
Founder, Windhorse

Support local communities and launch a successful e-commerce company

David Richards' retail activity had only just begun.

Although he had thought it would be "quite nice", he never imagined that he would ever launch a successful company.

It happened when he travelled to Thailand while enjoying a sabbatical during his broadcasting career.
Thailand was everything David expected and much more: colourful, exciting and, above all, inspiring. "I met artists who were enormously talented", he recalls, "who made unique and stunning products."

After captivating him with their wares, these artisans didn't have to work too hard to convince him to take a small batch of products to try and sell them on his return to the UK.

Create a network of creators

The truth is that the products that David took home were very well received. In a short space of time, he had grown his network of Thai artists and artisans and was working to obtain more products to sell in artisan markets across the UK.

"At first, I considered it as a company that would fit with my day-to-day life. I wasn't looking for big sales or big profits. It was enough for me just to be able to cover expenses and support the artisans I worked with."

So, for a few years, he let the company grow organically.

In 2015, some contacts that he had made in Thailand directed him to a local factory run by a family that produced hand-painted ceramics featuring the distinctive rainbow designs.

It was an unmissable opportunity: to support the factory and distribute an assortment of grade-A ceramics. He then developed and registered the Windhorse brand.

From day one, David's goal for Windhorse ceramics was to support the incredibly talented artisans and artists from the beautiful and distant country that he’d fallen in love with.
I am very pleased to be able to allow some incredibly talented people to make a living doing what they enjoy. I think that's the best motivation to have a company.
Susan PetersenChairwomen & Chief Brand Officer, Freshly Picked

Protect talent

Unfortunately, Windhorse's growing success soon attracted the attention of infringers. "They took Windhorse products, copied them and sold them as originals."

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

For brands like Windhorse, the implications of counterfeiting go beyond the customer and the company.

For starters, their products are manufactured in disadvantaged communities, where economic opportunities are scarce. By producing and selling counterfeits, infringers deprive these communities of the opportunity to earn a sustainable living.

David felt that he should act immediately.

Registering a brand and enrolling with Transparency

"We decided that we should register the trademark to protect our products from those individuals trying to sell counterfeits."

Back then, David had just established Windhorse as a brand on Amazon, and that's when Transparency caught his eye.

"I had seen the Transparency label on some products and immediately thought it was a good system. Because each product has its own unique code, it immediately prevents anyone else from selling similar products, not even factory rejects... something you definitely don't want."

The decision to start selling on Amazon and enrolling with Transparency has been a huge help for Windhorse.

"Transparency has transformed our entire system," says David. "It sets a standard and prevents someone from trying to take over your brand."
Between September and October 2020, our turnover was half a million pounds. And between October and December 2020, our sales doubled. Without a doubt, Transparency is part of this success
But the increase in sales is not the only benefit that Windhorse has gained.

Transparency, David points out, has also helped to establish strong business relationships with new producers. "Being part of Transparency shows them that you’re trying to do something good instead of just copying other people's brands."

This positive situation has generated new opportunities for Windhorse and, more importantly, for local artists and artisans whose livelihoods depend on the brand.

New horizons

Expansion is very much present in the future of Windhorse.

Once the brand's reputation has been consolidated in the United Kingdom, David intends to expand Windhorse to the United States, Europe, Singapore and Australia.

It's an exciting time. David attributes having reached this point to being an Amazon seller and using Transparency.

"Amazon is an incredible platform for developing your company", he concludes, "because it offers you a lot of support and numerous programmes".

"The good thing about Transparency is that you can't sell the product if you don't have the right code. And you can only get that code if your products are authentic."

"It's that simple."
LOCATION
United Kingdom, Thailand
SECTOR
Home, Ceramics
LAUNCH ON AMAZON
2015

Contact the Transparency team for more information

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