The best business ideas tend to come about when you stumble across them after having your own negative experiences, it's like a lightbulb goes off and you realise that you can do things better.
That's exactly what happened with Jordan Cullen, the founder of Cullen Jewellery. Not only did he realise he could do things better, he has smashed it out of the park. His story is more than inspiring, it's iconic.
We spent some time with him to find out more...
Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand, Cullen Jewellery?
Cullen Jewellery was born out of my own search for an engagement ring that was beautiful, affordable, and ethically sourced. When I couldn't find what I was looking for in Melbourne's traditional jewellery stores, I discovered the world of lab-grown gemstones – moissanite and lab diamonds – and I was hooked.
I purchased my first moissanite gemstone from overseas and worked with a local jeweller to create a stunning custom setting for it. My now-wife loved it, and that experience inspired me to start Cullen Jewellery in 2018 and help other couples find their perfect lab-grown engagement rings without breaking the bank or compromising on their values. It's been an incredible journey, and we're just getting started!
You launched this business at the age of 23 and have gone on to make it wildly successful. What’s the secret to success?
Growing Cullen Jewellery into an 8-figure global brand wasn't easy, but it was worth it. For me, the key to success was staying true to our values and staying focused on our customers. From day one, we've been committed to offering high-quality lab-grown diamond and moissanite engagement rings, and we've always put our customers first, no matter what.
But success also requires patience and dedication. Building a business from the ground up and ensuring its long-term viability is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, hard work, and a great team to achieve your goals. But with perseverance and a commitment to excellence, you can eventually be rewarded with a thriving and successful business.
Of all the industries to go into, why jewellery?
I entered the world of fine jewellery with a mission: to promote the benefits of lab-grown gemstones and help consumers make more ethical and sustainable choices. I was shocked by the social and environmental devastation caused by mined diamonds, and I wanted to introduce people to the limitless possibilities of lab-grown diamonds and moissanite. These gemstones have a much lower environmental impact, and they're produced using ethical and humane methods that respect human rights.
The rise of conscious consumers has also been a game-changer for our business. More and more people are looking for ways to make a positive impact with their purchasing decisions, and that demand for lab-grown fine jewellery has helped us reach a wider audience. It's inspiring to see how even small changes can have a big impact, and we're proud to be a part of this movement towards a more sustainable future for the fine jewellery industry.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your jewellery?
At Cullen Jewellery, our goal is to make people feel beautiful, proud, and happy. Our carefully curated collections of handpicked materials, thoughtful designs, and attention to detail are designed to enhance any outfit and boost confidence. And when our customers choose Cullen Jewellery, they can feel proud of the positive impact their purchase has on the world around them. Every one of our lab-grown diamond and moissanite engagement rings is mining-free and supports various communities and the environment through our giving-back initiatives.
We also want our customers to feel happy about the responsible decisions they're making. Many appreciate the fact that they don't have to break the bank to get the perfect engagement ring – with Cullen Jewellery, they can save their money for other important things, like a house, a wedding, a honeymoon, or anything else they have in mind. And they can rest assured that lab-grown diamonds are optically and chemically identical to mined diamonds, so they're getting the best of both worlds – beauty, ethics, and affordability.
Who’s involved in the business, and what does an average day look like for you?
As the Director of Cullen Jewellery, I'm always looking for ways to push the boundaries and take our business to the next level. I lead our creative team through complex projects, ensuring that our products remain modern and cutting-edge. But my role goes beyond just managing the day-to-day. I'm also focused on promoting Cullen Jewellery's values of sustainability and accessibility, so that they remain an integral part of our brand.
To stay ahead of the game, I regularly review our strategies and keep up with industry trends. And to make sure I have the best team by my side, I surround myself with talented individuals who bring a diverse set of skills to the table. Trust is key in our line of work, so I'm always looking for ways to retain and develop my staff, building a positive and inclusive work environment where everyone can thrive.
What advice would you offer anyone who wants to start their own jewellery business?
If you want to succeed in the fast-paced world of fine jewellery, you have to find ways to stand out. At Cullen Jewellery, we do that by pushing the boundaries of innovation, staying ahead of customer preferences and industry trends, and never compromising on quality. We don’t settle for the status quo, and we're always looking for ways to evolve and improve.
But our success doesn't come at the expense of our team. We make sure to create a positive and supportive work environment, where everyone can thrive. We're proud of our values and the longevity they bring to our business, and our customers appreciate that commitment to excellence.
Looking back since you started, is there anything that you would do differently?
If I could go back in time, I would make a few changes to the way I ran Cullen Jewellery. One of the biggest would be to invest in a highly qualified team from the start. This would have allowed us to pursue more ambitious research and development projects, growing our business faster and delivering even better products to our customers.
Another change I would make is to be more selective about who I trust with important tasks and responsibilities. I'm committed to the long-term success of Cullen Jewellery and leaving a positive legacy, and that requires a team that is all pulling in the same direction. Some things are simply too important or sensitive to outsource, so I would make sure to keep them in-house and under my direct control. By making these changes, I believe we could have achieved even greater success.
Talk us through an average day in your life?
Every morning, I start my day with a refreshing walk to plan out my priorities for the day. Then it's off to work, where I spend my time running Cullen Jewellery, overseeing operations, and forming strategic partnerships. After a long day at the office, I love coming home to spend time with my lovely wife and enjoy a nice dinner together.
In the evenings, I like to stay active and engaged with my hobbies, such as attending church services, playing sports, and going on camping trips with my family and friends. Life is full of surprises, so no two days are ever the same. But that's what makes it so exciting and rewarding – there's always something new and interesting to experience!
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must-visit list?
Zurich. With its scenic lakes and postcard-perfect views, Zurich is one of the most iconic cities in Switzerland. On top of its incredible natural beauty, Zurich also boasts a world-class selection of museums, shops, restaurants, and more. Plus, I have family there, so I can't wait to finally visit.
What does self-care mean to you?
As a business owner, it's crucial to take care of yourself and maintain a healthy work-life balance. For me, that means setting boundaries and making sure to prioritize my well-being. Having a strong support network of family and friends is also a huge help – knowing that I have people around me who are there to lend a helping hand if I need it allows me to focus on what's important. It's all about finding the right balance and building a foundation of support that will help you thrive.
What’s your 5-year vision for the brand?
At Cullen Jewellery, our vision is to become a leading force in the world of fine jewellery, using our passion for sustainability and ethical practices to drive change and inspire others. We're committed to growing our business in a responsible manner, expanding globally and opening more showrooms along the way. And by offering unique, eco-friendly fine jewellery collections, we hope to inspire a shift towards sustainable production and pressure other fine jewellery brands to follow suit.
Now more than ever, consumers are looking for environmentally responsible and conscious choices, and we believe that lab-grown jewellery is the future. It's a perfect time for us to shine and make our mark on the industry.
Where can people find out more?
To learn more about Cullen Jewellery, visit https://cullenjewellery.com/ or explore our Instagram @cullenjewellery. To get in touch, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.