Transparency enables ethical ceramics business to put authenticity first

"Transparency is a symbol of authenticity.

It gives you peace of mind because it only rewards those who have invested time and money in growing their brand."
David Richards
Founder, Windhorse

Supporting local communities and launching a successful e-commerce business

Previously, David Richards had always been in retail sales.

He had toyed with the idea of 'going it alone' and building a successful business, but he never imagined that the project would become a reality.

It all started when he decided to take a sabbatical and embark on a trip to Thailand.

Colourful, vibrant and inspiring, Thailand was everything David was looking for and more. "I met hugely talented artists", he recalls, "who were making unique and incredible products".

Instantly fascinated by the work of local artisans, David agreed to bring a small batch of products to the UK to try and resell them.

A network of creators was born

The items that David had brought home were very successful. Before long, he was expanding his network of Thai artists and artisans and began selling their products in craft markets across the UK.

"At first, I thought it would be a niche business. I wasn't interested in selling a lot and making big profits. For me it was enough to cover my costs and be able to support the artisans I worked with."

So for a few years, David let the business grow organically.

Then in 2015, his Thai contacts introduced him to a family-run factory that produced hand-painted ceramics with distinctive rainbow patterns.

Helping the factory distribute its highest quality ceramics was an opportunity not to be missed, and David decided to start his own company, registering the Windhorse trademark.

From day one, Windhorse's main goal has been to support the incredible talent of the artisans and artists of Thailand, the country that stole David's heart.
It makes me very happy to be able to give some extremely talented people the chance to live doing what they are most passionate about. I think it's the best reason to start a business.
David RichardsFounder, Windhorse

Protecting talent

Unfortunately, Windhorse's growing success caught the attention of some ill-intentioned people.

"Some people copied Windhorse products and sold them as originals."

Something had to be done. And it had to be done quickly.

For brands like Windhorse, the implications of counterfeiting go beyond the customer and the company.

For starters, the artisans live in disadvantaged communities, where economic opportunities are few and far between. By producing and selling counterfeit products, ill-intentioned people are depriving these communities of the opportunity to make a sustainable living.

David decided that action was needed.

Trademark registration and Transparency enrolment

"We decided to register the trademark to protect our products from those who tried to sell counterfeits."

It was then, having decided to advertise the Windhorse brand on Amazon, that David discovered Transparency.

"I had noticed the Transparency label on some products and it immediately struck me as a great system.

Each product has a unique code, making it impossible for others to sell similar products or even factory rejects, which can be extremely damaging to the brand image."

The decision to start selling on Amazon and enrol the brand with Transparency has been a winning move for Windhorse.

"Transparency has transformed our entire system", says David. "It sets a standard and prevents people from counterfeiting the brand."
Between September and October 2020, we turned over more than half a million pounds. From October to December 2020, our sales doubled. I’m certain that Transparency is one of the reasons for this success.
However, the growth in sales has not been the only advantage for Windhorse.

"Transparency", David continues, "has also helped us establish strong business relationships with new producers". "Signing up for Transparency shows that the products are original and of high quality, and that they are not copies of other people's brands."

This good standing has created new opportunities for Windhorse and, above all, for local artists and artisans, whose livelihoods depend on the brand.

New goals to be achieved

Windhorse plans to expand further in the future.

Having consolidated the brand's reputation in the UK, David is considering launching Windhorse in the United States, Europe, Singapore and Australia.

It's an exciting time. David believes that being an Amazon seller and being enrolled in Transparency has been a big help.

"Amazon is an incredible platform for business growth", he concludes, "because it offers great support and a lot of programmes".

"The biggest advantage of Transparency is that you can't sell a product unless it has the correct code. You can only get this code if your products are genuine.
Simple, but extremely effective."
United Kingdom, Thailand
Home, Ceramics

Get in touch with the Transparency team to learn more.

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