London, UK

London-based independent jewellery and accessories boutique. Established in 2013, Urbiana is your...

Tower Hamlets Pivot Project: Three successful applicants share their stories

Monday, 08 March 2021

March 2021


Urbiana : ‘It’s amazing to think that only a few months ago we were virtually invisible online’

Akriti Puri, the founder of Brick Lane-based jewellery company Urbiana , left her job in the City to pursue her entrepreneurial dream in 2014. And she hasn’t looked back, with Urbiana curating bespoke, handmade, fair-trade and ethically produced jewellery from local artisan designers.

“We take great pride in supporting the Tower Hamlets arts and crafts industry by providing a platform for designers and craftsmen to sell their jewellery and accessories”, Akriti said. “In 2020, though, COVID took its toll. Like many businesses around Brick Lane we rely heavily on footfall and tourism. For a few months there weren’t any sales at all.

“We had to change the way we worked; to find an alternative to the traditional display case. We focused all our energies into improving our online presence and rethinking our digital marketing strategy. We applied for a Tower Hamlets Pivot Project grant to help fund our vision. £1,000 may not seem like a huge amount of money, but it proved to be a real game changer for us.”

Since receiving the grant, Akriti has attended a number of Enterprise Nation webinars on digital marketing and social media, which allowed her to formulate an action plan. “With help from yourselves and Tower Hamlets, we created stores on both Amazon and Numonday,” she explained. “We also listed Urbiana on Google My Business, Yelp and TripAdvisor. And we discovered the power of social media – a market that we’d previously overlooked.

“We spent time and money on ads and content creation to strengthen our presence and build our brand on Facebook and Instagram . Reaching a wider audience through these new channels has helped ensure the survival, and shaped the future, of Urbiana . I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the entire Tower Hamlets and Enterprise Nation teams.”