As part of a new series of posts, we are trying to find out what it takes to build a business from the ground up in some of the most competitive industries in the world. We recently came across a brand in the diamond jewellery industry that fitted that brief perfectly, Vashi.com. With each diamond hand picked for their sparkle by its very own CEO and founder, Vashi Dominguez. This tailored, boutique ethos for a company that competes in the engagement rings market, is a remarkable USP. We had to invite the multi-millionaire TV diamond expert and celebrity jeweller, Vashi Dominguez in for an interview. Good Morning Vashi, how are you today? I’m very well, thank you. Have you always wanted to work in the diamond industry? I’ve been fascinated by diamonds my entire life. My passion comes from when I was a little boy and my grandmother’s jewellery got my attention. I couldn’t understand how such a small stone could be so valuable. However I didn’t set out to work with diamonds. I studied law for two years in Tenerife, but dropped out to set up a business in importing consumer electronics from China. It was extremely successful and quickly became a chain of stores in Tenerife. I later decided to follow my true passion for diamonds and sell my business to study Gemology. It was the best decision I made. Tell us about Diamond Manufacturers Ltd I’ve always liked a challenge. It took around 200 meetings when I first went to Antwerp to strike my first deal, the one that would allow me to enter the diamond wholesale market. In 2007 I had built the necessary capital to start Diamond Manufacturers Ltd, an online diamond jewellery retail site. This filled a gap in the market, by selling the jewellery exclusively online. Our method allowed us to cut out the middle man and reduce prices of high quality diamonds, making fine diamond jewellery much cheaper (up to 71%) than the high street. This approach made the company unique, which was essential to its success. When was Vashi.com launched? We decided to re-brand in 2013 (to Vashi.com) to give our business a more personalised touch. As much of my business entails me to be hands on (especially as I handpick each stone for every customer), I wanted this to reflect in our brand with the understanding that they will receive the total Vashi experience. What would you pick as the highlights of your career? There are a few highlights… I couldn’t’ pick just one. I am however extremely proud of the awards we have won especially our accolades for best customer service and business of the year (i.e. eCommerce Award 2012 and European Business Awards 2013/2014; plus the 1200 5 star reviews we have received on Review Centre). We have gone from strength to strength, from tripling in size to growth projections and I’m really excited for the future. One of the factors that keep me so fascinated about what I do is the fact that diamonds are the everlasting symbol of love and knowing that we as an organisation provide unforgettable moment for our customers is a great feeling.