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Firm goes global with body jewellery

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By Lisa Barbour
Annan and Eskdale
Firm goes global with body jewellery

BUSINESS is booming for a relatively unknown Annan business — only four months after it moved into new premises.

Body jewellery specialists Vault 101 Limited, whose distribution centre is in Bruce Street, currently receives around 400 orders a day, sells to 132 countries around the world and has recently dispatched their 100,000th item.
Managing director Chris Thomas first started the venture from his bedroom in May 2013 in a bid to make some extra money, and now employs two full-time members of staff and had a turnover of £360,000 last year.

The 25-year-old, who lives in Moat Road, said: “My friend used to come round to my house to help out but it got to the point that we needed somebody all the time so I gave up my job as a design engineer and he and my mum started working for me full time. It’s hard work having your own business but definitely more rewarding.
“I’ve had piercings for years and noticed you can buy them relatively cheaply in China so after a few e-mails I bought 100 lip studs for £10 and sold them for £150 and it’s just went from there.
“It is surprising considering we are not the first person or only person doing it and it’s not a new idea, but it’s how you do something better. I certainly didn’t expect to be doing this full time.”
Sales via online retailers eBay and Amazon account for the majority of Vault 101 Limited’s business, although they do supply a local piercing parlour as well.
And after scooping a Business Gateway award as runner-up for best online presence, Chris is hopeful the business will continue to expand with even more job creation.
Dismissing any ideas of a move into the retail sector, he said: “There’s no market in Annan for a shop as we’re too niche and we’re too close to Dumfries and Carlisle to have a piercing parlour.
“We do want to get into more piercing places and expand our ranges though. It’s hard when others have been doing it for years and we are late to the party as we need to get new trends ahead of the rest.”


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