Cornerford: Behind the Scenes

4 Comments

Cornerford: Behind the Scenes

Ever wondered how the Cornerford brand operates?

We’re here to show you how.

cornerford group

And there’s the first façade. “We’re”.

… There is no “we”, just me. Dovy Cornerford.

I guess I can call myself the founder & CEO of Cornerford. But to be a CEO you need to have staff, right?

Everything, absolutely everything, from web design, photography, product design, shipping, marketing and social media is done by myself (with a little help from friends and family when they can!)

This isn’t a ‘come clean’. It’s a behind the scenes of the brand I’m trying to build and to show my customer the journey I go through in developing it. 

I see 100's of these new brands pop up every day on instagram, trying to reach out to 'influencers' who have had their 5 mins of fame on reality TV and to get more vanity followers for their 'brand'. There isn't a second thought to the actual customer base or the quality of the products. 

I look through every single product that I sell and if it's not good enough - doesn't go out to customers at all and I start again. Customer service makes my label what it is and without customer service, there's no point. I answer every email personally and try and give my customer the best service I can so that they have a product they can love.

Developing the Cornerford brand is a lot of staying up until 2am after a full day’s work – and not so much “fake it till you make it”, but more of front end development for the market. I believe there should be a balance between ‘retail ready’ and real-world experience. No one wants to see chiselled abs anymore, it’s been done and it’s boring, however presentation needs to still be at the forefront.

In a world that is absolutely saturated with Instagram models, show offs, wannabes and fakers, I want to show the realness of the brand for everyone to buy into.

Cornerford Meetings

My girlfriend came up with the idea at one of our meetings (a pen, paper, beer and popcorn) to actually show what happens behind the scenes. "Be genuine and show people you're real".

I constantly have people say that I’ve got the image of the brand just right. When emails are sent out, there’s an impression of a global team of 100 people, but it’s just me.

To start the brand took many months of planning. I got a very modest, but successful Kickstarter (take a look at how far the brand has come! - looking back it's very cringe to me) as well as my own savings and my very best friend Joe to help a little. I knew nothing about marketing, PR, branding or watches – but have spent countless hours learning about everything, mainly to save costs - nothing but my passion of watches driving me forward. I spend my free time reading books and listening to podcasts for inspiration. Those who follow me on instagram, will see that I always show my followers what I'm reading or listening to so that they can gather their own inspiration.

From then, little by little, I have grown slowly and keep putting countless hours into making it bigger and better. My ethos from the start has always been more about customer service and to perfect that. From learning photography, Photoshop and digital marketing to helping each customer, teaching myself new skills to save cash and talking to big name buyers who knock me back 100 times over. Each experience helps me and the brand grow into my own vision.

Join me on the journey and see how it develops – coming to think of it, it’s not just me, it’s every single customer and every single fan that helps it grow!

4 Comments

Anyone for a Gin?

Comment

Anyone for a Gin?

Here at Cornerford we’re not all about products, it’s how you integrate them into your lifestyle and show them off. We call it luxury living.

Whether you’re dawning your Classic Cornerford on a dinner date, a business meeting or a night on the town – we’ll have you covered across your whole journey – from threads to experiences.

Across the year, we’ll be bringing you places to see, go, eat, drink, relax and experience both all across the UK.

Where better to start than the birthplace of our founder – Dovy Cornerford – in a city extremely close to his heart; Swansea.

A city up-and-coming with new ideas for experiences, we’ve found a perfect place to start – Juniper Place. A new culinary establishment with its very own Gin distillery in the restaurant.

We caught up with the owners to tell us more…

First off, how would they describe their restaurant to those interested?

Restaurant Gin Bar.jpg

“Relaxed dining in the heart of Swansea City. Our Steak & lobster menu is a sight to behold.

We also have a Gin distillery attached to the restaurant - where Cygnet Gin is made, our very own Gin, made by Master Distiller Dai Wakely.

This allows for a bespoke and original in-house ‘Gin Perfect Serve’ menu, serving up Juniper Place’s own Gin made in the distillery on site.”

What makes you stand out from other culinary establishments?

“Our mix of incredible food and beautiful decor is what makes us so popular. The restaurant is truly exquisite, a mix of copper installations, beautiful hanging decorations and of course, the live micro Gin Distillery attached to the venue makes for a wonderful centre piece.

The staff, food and the atmosphere is why Juniper Place is a ‘must visit’ in South Wales."
 

Something for Everyone

Juniper Place attracts all types of customers; from retired couples enjoying a set lunch, to a group of girls on a hen do, offering something for everyone.

Offering a breakfast, lunch menu and dinner menu, you’ll have no excuse not to visit and of course, no restaurant is complete without a Sunday roast menu!
 

We met the owners who, like us here at Cornerford, seem extremely likeable, ambitions and hungry (sorry) for more. So where next?

“We also own three other venues in Swansea;

  • Old Havana - a Cuban Fusion restaurant and bar;
  • Li’l London - a Shoreditch theme cocktail ban, and;
  • The Meatery & Martini Co - a steak house and late night martini bar.

So we’ll be concentrating on those venues for a little while, but who knows… the Refining Dining Co brand is one that is always expanding and growing so we’re excited for the future.”

As a London brand, we went to check out Li’l London for ourselves, a cool bar crammed with all things London! From a double decker bus bar, to a replica underground station – we felt right at home!

Interestingly though, we also asked one final question, which incidentally, if we got asked the same thing for our fashion brand, the reply would be almost identical. What is the most difficult thing about running your restaurant?

“You need to stay current, stay ahead of the trends and REALLY know your customers - if you can do that, then you’ll always do well.”

unnamed.jpg

You see – there’s the secret to success. In a world that is changing quicker than anyone ever imagined, it is important to have fresh ideas and more importantly look after your clientele. You do that and you’re well on your way to victory. It’s the passion for bringing in new concepts that makes a business successful.

….anyone for a Gin?

Comment

Gentleman Bloggers: The Watch List

Comment

Gentleman Bloggers: The Watch List

Cornerford Picks Their Favourite Gentleman Bloggers of 2018

What Makes a Great Male Blogger?

A million followers don’t impress us these days. We don’t look at the numbers, instead delve deep into what each blogger brings to the table and sit down with them to offer our readers an insight into what they are really about. We ask what makes them tick, how they stay current in a very saturated industry and top tips for budding bloggers. These select few are our ones to watch for 2019.

We have picked our global best below so click ahead to discover the bright future of the blogging industry.

 

 

 

Carl Thompson / @HawkinsAndShepherd / United Kingdom 

Gentleman Tip: Never turn up to a party empty handed. Always wear a shirt on a date. Be a good listener. Subtract yourself from any given equation and think what is best for those around you

 

Carl is a UK gentleman blogger who consistently provides his followers with great images and gives us an insight into the best fashion, events and travel tips in London and across the globe.

Carl’s biggest inspiration is the wonderful City of London which has everything anyone could ever want in a city. Design and style that stands out with a community around it. London is the place to be for endless cuisine, theatre, fashion houses which can often be taken for granted by the locals. Carl reminds us how to make London our never ending playground.

CARL THOMPSON

With such a saturated field, we often wonder what the most difficult thing about being an influencer could be. Behind the elegant imagery and content that is being brought to his vast following, the work done behind the scenes is tough in this industry.

“Staying on top of emails has to be the hardest. Making sure I allot enough time to put everything into any given campaign. I never like to spread myself too thin, but at the same time I'm a one-man band. I do the editing, the writing, the social media etc. often having to make sure I have a healthy influx of work coming in, without getting too distracted on what I'm presently doing.”

Companies will be happy to hear this. Often inexperienced bloggers will take on any work they can and if it starts to snowball, the quality of the content can dip. Carl gives his all to each and every campaign.

The industry keeps getting tougher and tougher to crack with so many trying to push their way through to the top. Some good, some not so good who are looking for an easy pay day. Carl shared his insights about emerging new talent and if it’s already too late for them.

“I don't know if it's too late. Sure if you want to be a vlogger now it's harder to break through. The likes of Jim Chapman were there at the beginning, so sometimes it’s all about good timing. A lot of people will tell you not to copy and be yourself etc. I'd say copy the ones that are doing it well, and do it better. What are they not doing? Where do you fit in?

Also you need to find your village. If you ever watch people who have their cats on Instagram, it’s a huge place to leverage engagement. You have people leaving comments as cats on other cat’s pages, then other cats chime in. It’s bananas.

My point is you need to find your village, and be a part of that community by regularly engaging. And I don’t just mean posting comments like ‘on point bro’.”

Engagement is everything these days with Instagram trying to only show you relevant content. Some say it’s a bad thing with the new algorithm losing you impressions, but the point here being is to regularly engage with meaningful content.

At the end, we talked a little about Carl’s other ventures – running his very own e-commerce store, the Hawkins & Shepherd brand for a city guy with a love of shirts. He brings the London style to his shirt subscription service.

 

 

Brian Morr / @sinkthesun / United States

Gentleman Tip: A gentleman is aware of who he is as a person. You need to know who you are and be comfortable in your own skin in order to give advice or guidance to someone else

 
Capture3.JPG

Brian blogs about men’s fashion from the States. Personal style is his most interesting subject. How people consciously make decisions about what to wear and how to wear it. It’s a continued expression of their personality. Loving the fact that fashion is objective, refreshingly, his mantra is “If a look works, it works!”

Trying to add character to a feed is sometimes difficult, we asked Brian how he tries to become more personable with his followers.

“My Instagram account screams fashion and lifestyle but if you look a little deeper you’ll find lots of humour in my Instagram stories. Unlike some bloggers and influencers I don’t display my whole life for the world to see. I like to keep some things private and only share the hilarious parts and many mishaps in my life which people seem to enjoy. At the end of the day if you’re laughing at my stories then I’ve done my job!”

The demand can get a bit much sometimes;

“I would have to say the most difficult about being an influencer is not having enough time. Time to be creative.  Time to get the shot we want. Time to create something unique and special for the brands we work with. Some brands rush you to create content in a few days and they need to know that it takes more than a few shots with a camera to get something great.”

One of the ways that Brian manages his time is with his favourite Cornerford item, the Classic Collection mostly, telling us that he’s a real sucker for a nice watch (well thank you Brian).

“Watches compliment an outfit so well and it serves a purpose! A simple timepiece like the Classic Bianco in brown ties so well into an outfit!”

With such a busy and hectic schedule, we asked Brian if he has any tips for anyone who is looking to start out as a blogger. His tips resonate with us and the advice is solid;

“Please stay true to who you are as a person. Embrace your uniqueness and be creative with your looks! Create your own style and never let anyone tell you not to wear something you feel strongly about. It’s time to be your own walking and talking style guide!

It is never too late to start doing what you love! But make sure YOU stay YOU.”

 

 

Rowan Row / @rowanrow / United Kingdom 

Gentleman Tip: Be you, return the favour, define your personal style, hold the door open, keep your promises and find your purpose

 

“I believe that if you come with sometime that you inspire the world with and you also do it with so much passion without thinking of money or gifting, then you will succeed in no time. Think on a long term and have the right mindset with lots of patience. Be consistent and have the drive for it.”

Rowan Row

The advice of Rowan Row, a fitness and lifestyle blogger residing in the UK. His photography is reposted often and his accolades keep growing. A true influencer.

“I don’t really like to compare myself with others because everyone is amazing in their own way. I believe in my style, personality and the drive I have for this industry.”

He’s one who has gone into the industry purely from a passion perspective hence why he’s grown so quickly and organically.

“The reason why is that because I love to inspire the world with my lifestyle and sense of dressing.”

We asked him what the most difficult thing was about being an influencer;

“Weather forecast! When it comes to outdoor photography I believe that that’s one of the most common and difficult thing that us the influencers we are fighting with. It’s all about the lighting for the perfect shot!”

 

 

Elio Ministeri / @elioministeri / Italy

Gentleman Tip: A gentleman must be a determined person, fearless and self-confident

 

Mostly talking about fashion, Elio styles through his travels and lifestyle around the city of Venice, Italy.

“I always try to get high quality photos, I think it's a detail that can make the difference. I like to stand out for myself in different ways. I try to be complete, I like to post pictures of my travels, always taking different perspective and I like to post latest trend outfits with my taste. I love to post black and white photos of myself as it has a vintage twist from the past.”

Elio’s favourite Cornerford product at the moment is the Nero Black Classic Timepiece which he owns, calling it a must-have for every gentleman.

elio ministeri

His biggest motivation is the desire to improve day after day in everything he sets his mind to.

We also asked him what the most difficult thing is about blogging;

“The most difficult thing about being an influencer is consistency. Always stay active and upload original and quality content. It’s not easy to stay relevant and a lot of influencers are trying to do the same.”

“The advice I can give to those who start this path is to focus mainly on one or two favourite topics, not to copy other profiles and to be very detailed in what you do. I think it's not too late yet to start out. Those who have the skills and the will to do beautiful things will always be on time!”

Anything else you want the world to know about you, Elio?

“Often in my pictures I never smile, but in real life I'm pretty happy and I like to always joke with everyone! I really like nature, I love wine and I have a degree in Oeology! I also like beer and I make it in small quantities at home.”

Cheers to that!

 

 

Matt Hales / @mattthales / United Kingdom 

Gentleman Tip: Kindness goes a long way. Being supportive and motivating, great style and of course, happiness

 

A male model and part time blogger living in London, Matt’s Instagram consists of portfolio images, behind the scenes and nutritious food.

 “My images usually have a quote in the caption, I’m all about the insta inspo! If it can make someone look at something in a different light, or make them feel more content/better about their progress in life. A bit of motivation is always worth the caption.”

Matt always likes to post these type of themes as it’s positive and if it can help people feel better by eating foods to further their nutritional intake then that’s music to his ears. A true believer that eating the right foods (natural) can impact anyone’s day; from mood to energy, skin and sleep.

“Before becoming a model my nutrition was awful (lots of sugar) and would just feel rubbish about myself. I would get so many energy slumps throughout the day which would lead to eating more unhealthy food. Since changing my diet I feel much better with a lot more energy spurred me to share this with others.”

Capture3.JPG

“I’m down to Earth, happy go lucky, just trying to succeed in this difficult industry and try motivate people to be the best they can. Life is too short to be average and unhappy.”

Matt doesn’t think it’s too late to get into blogging especially if you’re passionate about a certain subject and want to share experiences with others. His best tip is to plan posts in advance as life can sometimes get overwhelmingly busy. This helps your followers to stay engaged and seeing your content.

He continues; “Be you, be great, feel good. A great motivation tool I use to make life decisions is ‘imagine you are 90 years old in a care home reminiscing about your life, and ask yourself the question whether you would regret not trying a certain thing. If it’s a yes, then go for it. If you’re nervous, fake being confident... No one can tell the difference, put your confidence mask on and soon enough you will merge into that person.”

We love Matt’s positivity!

 

 

 

Danny Gibbons / @dannygibbons90 / United Kingdom 

Gentleman Tip: Treat everybody equally and without judgement knowing everybody has their own story. You can learn something new from everybody you meet

 

In the world of blogging, Danny takes his inspiration from fellow blogger @magic_fox. However this is an inspiration, to stand out he never follows the crowd.

“I'm always only going to do me, the way I like. This way, you stay true to who you are and also get that authenticity feel from your followers too. I don't feel like I could do it any other way, I try to document my story and progress rather than create a perfect image. We're all human and everybody encounters struggles along the way.”

Danny blogs about his favourite topics;

DANNY GIBBONS

Fashion - Well who doesn't want to look good? You can't beat walking out with a fresh outfit. At the end of the day, it's the front cover to who you are. My favourite Cornerford item is the watch without a doubt. Its aesthetic look just completes an outfit, especially when making that extra effort.

Travelling - I'm always on the lookout for cool places to go and things to do. Sometimes these don't even have to be abroad like people think. So if I find a hidden gem, I'll share it.

Music - I couldn’t live without my music, those who know me know I've got music playing 24/7. It keeps those good vibes flowing!

Fitness - You only get one engine so looking after it is important. I try to show that you can have a very balanced lifestyle and enjoy what you want within reason whilst maintaining the desired physique you crave.

With all of these ideas under his belt, behind the scenes there must be some difficult shortcomings?

“It would probably would have to be people who don't understand the influencer world and what it's about, therefore question your reasoning behind every post etc. Just staying focussed, staying in your own lane is what you need to do and keep doing you.”

 

 

 

Jace Brown / @jacebrown_ / Australia

Gentleman Tip: Remain true to yourself and true to your voice. Be genuine, act with sincerity and match your deeds to your words

 

Jace posts about whatever is relevant to life at the time, mainly lifestyle, travel and fashion. We loved talking to Jace as he had some great insights and how to conduct himself. Taking a lot of his inspiration from his friends and family we could have talked to Jace and listened to his ideas all day!

“What’s important to me is educating and empowering others. I feel we each have the ability to lead, we each have the capacity to influence others and inspire change. If I can have a positive impact on someone else’s day, that’s a really great thing.”

“What you see is a reflection in real time. It’s kinda like, ‘this is where I am, and this is what I’m doing’. I think people can relate to the authenticity of that.

JACE BROWN

The people I work with, the brands I represent, these are things I’m into and believe in. It’s about maintaining integrity. “

“Whenever you put yourself out there, you’re exposing yourself to vulnerability, you’re open to rejection and criticism which is okay but it’s not always easy to take. It’s important to maintain a good understanding of yourself; know your worth, know who you are and know what you stand for.”

Taking all of that into account, we asked whether in a world of superficial goings on there is still room for genuine bloggers who just want to tell their story to the world.

“It’s definitely not too late. Find meaning in what you are doing, focus on your thoughts, your ideas and act for yourself. This will allow things to happen organically.

Be real. Create from a place of authenticity and make genuine connections.

Remember, it takes time, so be patient and show yourself grace - trust the process and maintain clarity of the bigger picture.”

Very profound Mr Brown, we loved your insights! One more question though, which Cornerford product are you most in love with?

“The Classic Nero (black gentleman) timepiece. I’m a sucker for a nice watch and black on black, come on? Elegant, sophisticated. It’s hard to look past that.”

We agree, Sir.

 

 

Harry Sheppard / @hshep10 / United Kingdom 

Gentleman Tip: Mind your manners. They cost nothing and they go an incredibly long way when it comes to making first impressions

 

Harry juggles his blogging with his sport as a professional rugby player. Mainly a lover of fashion, he combines this with travel and training.

HARRY SHEPPARD

“I stand out from other bloggers on Instagram purely because of my variety when I post. A lot of fashion focused bloggers tend to keep to the same styles, whereas I like to switch it up and dress for different occasions whilst sticking within my theme.”

“My favourite Cornerford product is the Black Premium crew sweatshirt as it can be worn in a variety of styles. Accompanied with dark jeans and a Chelsea boot, it gives off a great look for a first date. Not too smart and neither too casual. However, accompanied with a pair of joggers, it’s easy to give off a chilled look on a rainy day.”

Capture3.JPG

 

We ask him what his tips are for new bloggers and what he finds most difficult especially managing two demanding activities;

“The most difficult thing about being an influencer would be the constant demand for new content that resonates with your audience. The demand is high, so it is by no means easy.

Top tips for getting started is to establish your niché in what is a very saturated industry and then apply yourself fully.

My blog is run purely for fun about something I find enjoyable. You can’t ever take yourself too seriously in real life, so social media shouldn’t be any different.”

Comment

Comment

Fitness Meets Fashion

 

 

@bfit.sc and @cornerford are collaborating to give you 25% off timepieces and a month of B-fit PT sessions to get you looking and feeling great this summer.

To get your B-fit discount DM the B-fit Instagram and mention June25

Deal Runs out end of June

Hurry...times ticking

 

Comment

Comment

Jet Away With Cornerford

travelskin.JPG

We’re fully in the swing of travel season jetting away for some much needed summer sun!

Cornerford is here to help with our new travel sized skincare – so you can now bring your favourite moisturiser and face scrub along with you on your travels.

Apply twice a day especially after your day in the sun to keep your skin feeling fresh, helping you to stay peel free when you overdo it on the loungers.

 

Shop the range HERE

Comment