J. L. Lawson & Co, More than Accessories

Not only materials and machines make a handmade product a quality one, but rather passion and love

This is the story of J. L. Lawson & Co., a family-owned business run up by Antony Allen Lawson and his father Floyd.

For 8 years Anthony tried different ways: going to school of photography, being a graphic design, working in the leather goods market, creating jewellery and running a web business. Finally, in June 2012 Anthony realized that going back to his roots is what he really wants to do: “I loved the idea of creating products and selling online but the key was finding a product that I believed in. I realized that the reason my jewellery line was not taking off was because I did not really care about jewellery”.

“The one thing that I did wear was a stainless steel ring that my dad had machined for me a few years before. So I drove out to my dad’s in Joshua Tree and asked if he could make a variety of rings for me. J. L. Lawson & Co. was born”, Antony Lawson recalls.

"I spend a ton of time on every aspect of the business and it has worth every second. My advice to any entrepreneurs is to create a product or service that you absolutely love and would tell a stranger about it".The company produces collections of elegant metal accessories like rings, cufflinks, key shackles, paperweights and bottle openers, using manual machines and high quality bass, steel and wood. The products are suitable for everyone in the world who is interesting in something unique and fashionable.

Everything is handmade and created with patience and care and they only sell what they really like: “There isn’t really a process. Sometimes my dad will make something and I will say “that’s cool…let’s add it” and other times I will design something and ask pops to make it. If the labor involved does not price the item out of the market we will add it”, Antony says.

Production, passion and challenge

The company’s biggest difficulty and investment is the production process and manual machining: “The main change will be incorporating CNC machining into the mix. The manual machining is amazing and has a certain cool factor about it but truly limits what we can produce. I have a list of ideas that do not lend themselves to manually machining so we will be able to bring the price down on certain lower price point items while freeing up our time for higher end".

"When I design something I try to make sure that it is functional, appealing, can be made in a reasonable amount of time and is elegant”

“But, other than that, the biggest investment is time. I spend a ton of time on every aspect of the business and it has worth every second. My advice to any entrepreneurs is to create a product or service that you absolutely love and would tell a stranger about on the street and back it up with amazing customer service. You can’t just have a great customer service policy, you have to really care about your customers”, he adds.

Customer service is very important to the company because if customers are not 100% satisfied with the product they purchase, they can still be 100% satisfied with the customer service provided, and that is a real marketing strategy.

“If you create a great product or service and back it up with outstanding and personal customer service, your business can thrive”, Antony suggests.

When design comes naturally

“I never really considered myself a designer, I do not have any formal education in it. The only thing is that when I design something I try to make sure that it is functional, appealing, can be made in a reasonable amount of time and is elegant”.

“I almost never design something because there is a market for it. Sounds dumb but I kind of just follow my gut. I will usually do a quick search to make sure I’m not knocking off anyone inadvertently but that’s about it. If it does not feel right I just do not follow through with it. So I suppose my main fundamental question I ask is, does it feel right and organic?”, Antony says.

Love and passion are undoubtedly part of the entire business strategy and the reason comes from the relationship father and son: “Not to sound cheesy but probably what keeps me most interested is getting to work with my dad and, more importantly, learn from him. Part of my motivation for asking my dad to make goods and teach me was to build a relationship with him”.

The past and the future

“My parents split when I was young so I wasn’t raised by my dad. I stayed in touch with him and would drive out to see him a couple times a year but he had never taught me anything but when I was getting close to 40 I realised that deep down this actually did bother me. I wanted to have moments of my dad teaching me and guiding me no matter how late in life it was. I never expected that what we are doing would turn into a lucrative business that ships products around the world but I’m truly grateful”.

And now? “My next goals are to tighten up production and our product line, bring someone in to help with shipping and customer service and improve the layout of the site”.

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Online Cash Direct
16 Sep, 2015 Online Cash Direct
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19 Jul, 2015 battery type
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Barry Hall
07 Feb, 2014 Barry Hall
cool
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Lora
06 Feb, 2014 Lora
Love and passion drive business, family owned and not.
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glen
24 Oct, 2013 glen
like very much what you do, keep going
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