Narin and Sony Narula discovered a niche for jewellery boxes and saw their chance to shine.
By Christy Lau
You can’t underestimate the value of a precious family heirloom, and Narin Narula understands just that. The sole distributor of the luxury WOLF brand of jewellery boxes in Thailand, he is a strong believer that if you have something priceless, it is worth keeping safe forever.
The director of Daanvir Brothers Co. Ltd, Narin deals primarily in export goods, particularly food and commodities. However, when it comes to the internationally-renowned WOLF brand, both he and his wife, Sony, are very passionate about their products, certain that every woman is in need of them. Sony even carries one of the cases around with her.
How did you ﬁnd out about WOLF?
Narin: We saw the brand in both print and online publications, so we contacted them and asked whether they had a distributor here in Thailand. When we saw the ﬁ nish and material they use, we were impressed. Plus, it is backed by an international brand. So, we thought it would be a wonderful idea to introduce it to the Thai market, especially because the line caters to a variety of scenarios, from everyday travel-ready pouches, to more heavy duty deposit storage boxes for use at home.
What prompted you to decide to sell the products?
Narin: Intuitively, we knew it was the kind of thing most people don’t realise they need, but once they start using it, they wonder what they did without it. Also, there isn’t anything equivalent in this price range for this quality.
Do you offer the full WOLF collection?
Sony: We brought in only what we thought we could sell. We showed the catalogue to a few people. Then we brought over the samples, based on what peaked most people’s interest.
What are some of the different signature items you offer?
Sony: The Marrakesh Travel Jewelry Case is one of the more popular pouches we have, great for earrings and rings. It’s best for taking in your handbag, especially when you travel overseas.
“It’s not just an investment in fashion, it’s an investment in function,“ says Narin
Narin: Most professional women these days are always travelling on public transport to and from events, or from work to the gym. They don’t want to be displaying all these expensive trinkets. Rather than just dropping it into a plastic bag for safe storage, this is a better option — and it looks fashionable too!
What are some of the unique selling points of your products?
Narin: Although Thailand has a lot of jewellery boxes and cases, the quality that is being produced over here is far inferior to the WOLF brand. It’s one of those things where you buy once, and you won’t have to buy again.
Sony: The pouches also feature an anti-tarnish technology, special cloth which protects the shine of the jewellery, so it won’t turn black. It lasts for up to 35 years. You can store a week’s worth of jewellery in it. The designs also stand the test of time.
What are some of the challenges that come with selling the products?
Narin: It’s more to do with the price than anything else. Our products are made from real leather. In Thailand, most places use a combination of PVC and leather on the outside, and inside they use a normal cloth, which after a few months tends to peel off and gets stuck on the jewellery.
It’s the quality that matters most, and that is what we want to tell our customers. It all comes down to how much you value your jewellery. It is the opposite of buying a smartphone, where you have to invest in all the extra covers and glasses for protection. Here, you make a small investment on a better-quality item to protect your jewellery for life. It’s not just investment in fashion, it’s an investment in function.
Who is the main target audience?
Sony: Because of the variety of situations, the pouches and boxes work for both Indian and western buyers. Many people have bought our products as wedding gifts, because the goods are a little more prestigious. They are also great for any big occasion, such as anniversaries. They are also amazing for top management executives, who are constantly on the move.
What other products do you offer?
Narin: Accessories and other cases for watches. We also sell watch winders but there isn’t a big market for that here, so we are more interested in promoting the ladies market for now.
How do you split the work between you two?
Narin: I handle the logistics of getting the products here, and she takes care of all the marketing and sales.
Sony: Basically I go out and meet potential clients, and look for opportunities to showcase our products at fairs.
What do you think has been the secret to your success?
Sony: Our products are of high-quality and can last for many decades. We had one father who came to us for gifts for his daughter’s ﬁ rst wedding anniversary, because on his daughter’s wedding day, the jewellery box he bought broke during the ceremony. So, when we showed him our merchandise, he was very pleased. His daughter is still using it now after a few years.
What is your eventual goal?
Sony: We hope to create a proper lifestyle brand, selling other world-class women’s fashion accessories, like handbags. I strongly believe in the power of online shopping. As a woman, I am always spending time browsing shopping sites online. Starting with the WOLF line, we hope to further expand our comprehensive e-commerce in the next few years.
What are your passions outside of work?
Narin: (laughs) Raising three kids! Between work and home life, we are very busy.