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SW's JOURNAL

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THE BIGGEST DECISION I'VE EVER MADE

Samantha Wills

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It is with a heavy but knowing heart that I write this letter.  As you may have seen in the press this morning I have made the decision to end this chapter of the brand, and January 2019 will be the final month of trade for SAMANTHA WILLS Jewellery.

You most likely know this story but in 2004 as a then 22 year old, I started SAMANTHA WILLS Jewellery on my kitchen table by following my heart, showing equal parts courage and insanity.  It is this same heart that is now telling me that it’s time to let go and go discover the next chapter for the brand and the next chapter for me personally. I love my business, I love my team, I love where we stand today; but it’s time to find a new journey to commence   

We are doing this now because integrity has been one of our core values and I will always live up to this in all that I do. Yes we are profitable and yes we are considered successful, but walking away is what I need to do to be creative again with integrity, passion and energy.  It’s never been an option to me to sell out my brand to watch it slowly move away from all that I hold true, and I remain committed to the SAMANTHA WILLS Foundation and to an ethos of kindness, empathy and integrity. 

While this is the end of SAMANTHA WILLS jewellery, it is not the end of the SAMANTHA WILLS brand. What will it be in its next phase? I don’t know that yet, but I do know that the truest beginnings can only present themselves when you can be brave enough to close a door to move forward. As it turns out, it is a much more tormenting decision to close a multi-­‐million dollar company than to persist with a small in-­‐debt one, and the spectrum of emotions I have felt in the process of reaching this decision have conflicted me greatly.

I firmly believe that business is what we do, but brand is why we do it.  At 22 I knew the what, but now at 36 I understand the why.

The SAMANTHA WILLS brand has lived through our values, our commitment to speaking vulnerably and the authentic connection with our consumer.  This is the reason why we exist and I am incredibly proud of the relationships and conversation this brand has allowed and the voice it has given me - but the SAMANTHA WILLS brand is so much more than just myself.  Many hundreds of people have touched and contributed to the brand over the years, and for that I will be forever grateful and indebted to each person who I have been so fortunate enough to work alongside.  Our focus is to support the current SAMANTHA WILLS team during the next 6 months, assisting them into the next phase of their careers; If you like what we do, then please reach out and ask about our team, we are also working to introduce our suppliers and production houses to other jewellery brands in Australia. We are committed to remaining true to our values, and never more so than in this transition process – please reach out if we can help your business through the many contacts we have developed over many years. 

I am so proud of this brand, and as with anything it has celebrated successes, and also experienced failures. I believe sharing these vulnerabilities with transparency is a responsibility to pay forward what my time what this experience has taught me. I will continue to share this in my writing and public speaking as I remain committed to my work with the Samantha Wills Foundation in supporting young entrepreneurs, as much about the ins and outs of start­‐up business as well as being brave enough to make decisions with integrity, truth of heart, kindness and authenticity.

It is the incredible SAMANTHA WILLS community who have been the heart and soul of this journey, many of you have been with us since I had a little Bondi Market table with some hand made jewellery on it. I can never thank you enough for everything you have brought to the SW Team, myself and most beautifully; each other. We look forward to speaking with you over the coming months as we celebrate this final run together because as you would guess we are not going out quietly.

With the utmost gratitude,

Sincerely, 

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A note from Samantha to small business owners after her decision to close her SAMANTHA WILLS Jewellery brand.

IMAGE BY: Scott Ehler

You can read more about making crossroad decisions HERE