Team Hiho!

As you may know, I’m so lucky to be able to call myself a brand ambassador for Hiho Silver and have been working with THE top country and equestrian jewellers for a number of years now which is such a privilege. I love everything about the company from it’s roots which are firmly bedded deep in the Somerset country soil, to the gorgeously innovative designs which always make a stylish, elegant and subtle nod to the countryside and equestrianism. The jewellery is ideal for country and city dwellers alike and is the perfect addition to any outfit for any occasion on anyone. But what I love most about this brand, much the same as the others I am lucky enough to be affiliated to, is the people. The team at Hiho make the brand what it is and contribute to the authenticity that so many other country brands often lack.

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So there’s been a lot of controversy recently about brand ambassadors and it’s got me thinking – what does it really mean to be a brand ambassador? I would hazard a guess that it means lots of different things to lots of different people. To me though it means an opportunity to support a company that I already have a well-established relationship with. Someone that I have championed and loved as a customer, so there are genuine feelings there before even thinking about acting as an ambassador – I mean how can you promote a brand if you’re only experience is through an offer of free/discounted items? It also means loyalty – again how can you be shouting about two (or more!) companies that are offering similar things and that are competitors of each other?! No, to me being a brand ambassador is a two-way street, and I like to think that I put just as much in as I get out of it.

So what does being a brand ambassador for Hiho mean to me? Well it’s so much more than wearing their gorgeous jewellery – although I have to admit it’s a pretty huge perk! It’s being part of a team, belonging to a group which contains lots of like-minded individuals who all support and encourage each other and contribute to the continued evolution and success of Hiho. Team Hiho as I like to call the group of ambassadors, are given a lot of privileges, but what I love most is the opportunity to input into the designs as well as being given the chance to represent such a well-established and well-loved brand at various events and on a day-to-day basis. Team Hiho are not only there for the jewellery, but have formed a really close support network which is so important. There’s so much negativity and competition between lots of bloggers, particularly with the influx of country blogs, that’s it’s brilliant to have such an amazing bunch of people who encourage each other and enjoy each other’s various successes.

With that in mind…I wanted to catch up with some of Team Hiho and see what being an ambassador for Hiho means to them. I also caught up with the Queen Bee of Hiho – Emma, who is company MD and all-round superstar, to see what it means to such a well-established brand to have ambassadors on board. So enough from me…

Rhea Freeman – PR Guru

Who are you?
Rhea Freeman – @rheafreemanpr on Instagram and FB, @rheafreeman on Twitter, www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk
What is your favourite Hiho item and why?
This is a tough one! I adore my Cherry Roller Bangle (mine has two CZ purple beads, the central one is white CZ and then it has two solid rose gold beads…) and I love the Foxtail. I think both of them are SO Hiho in that they are such amazing quality, so hardwearing and durable, and really do take you from mucking out to going out. I also love that both can be completely customised. Adding beads to my Cherry Roller to mark special events really makes me smile as, when I look at it, I can remember those times. And being able to have my Cherry Roller rejigged when I want is fab. I still think the original one is amazing though.. I’m thinking I’m going to need to get a second one
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What is it like being a brand ambassador for Hiho?
It’s superb. I have worked with Hiho for a number of years and assist them with PR, marketing and more, and I can honestly say that every person involved with the business is amazing. Hiho’s Queen Bee, Emma, is incredibly kind and her mind is just something else. King of the Road, Andrew, is absolutely hilarious and so skilled in what he makes and customises – I’ve seen him customise Cherry Rollers while chatting and he was restringing a client’s necklace (not even a Hiho necklace but it belonged to a lovely customer!) on the stand. Michelle, Hiho’s Countess Of Contentment is an absolute legend, is so organised and on it, and just goes over and above for all Hiho’s customers. They are the most amazing team. Being part of the professionally is a complete joy. Being part of that as a brand ambassador adds another dimension too!
What does it mean to you to be a brand ambassador for Hiho and/or what is your favourite thing about being a brand ambassador?
The most stunning jewellery is definitely a perk of being an ambassador, but it’s more than that, it’s being part of such an amazing business. The designs that the team create are out of this world, and they are always striving forward. Hiho has recently been announced as the official jeweller for Badminton Horse Trials – this is amazing but quite typical of Hiho in that the team are always working on the next thing. They never rest on their laurels. 

Becci Harold (the lady behind the amazing Super Cross-Country)

Who are you?
Becci Harrold. 26 year old amateur event rider, working full time to fuel my passion Eventing!  Twitter @becci_leigh – BLH Eventing (@becci_leigh) on Twitter Instagram @blheventing
What is your favourite Hiho item and why?
I don’t think you can beat a cherry roller for everyday, however when I am going out I love to style up my outfit with the Exclusive long chained sterling silver necklace. 
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What does it mean to you to be a brand ambassador for Hiho and/or what is your favourite thing about being a brand ambassador?
I was literally beaming from ear to ear when I heard they wanted me to join the team as a BA, for as long as I can remember going to horse shows my mum always used to visit the Hiho stand it was her favourite shop and soon become one of mine! It was tradition for us to try on all their new pieces stacking them up and admiring them. Putting down which ones I wanted for Xmas and for birthday’s. So feels very surreal to now be part of the team, I am really really delighted

Lucy Robinson – Footluce Eventing and Fairfax & Favor’s Right Hand Lady

Who are you?
Lucy Robinson @FootLuce Eventing. Part time amateur event rider, full time marketing assistant at Fairfax & Favor, based in Norfolk.

What is your favourite Hiho item and why?
My favourite Hiho item has to be my newest addition, the Cherry Roller Snaffle Bangle. Day-to-day I don’t tend to conform to the norm, I like to combine both silver and gold jewellery- the Cherry Roller marriages the two beautifully, and it’s perfect. Hiho added the final personal touch and used blue and yellow roller beads to represent my cross country colours. I was a tad over excited when, upon closer inspection, I found they had incorporated the Fairfax & Favor shield on the central bead.

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What is it like being a brand ambassador for Hiho?
It is great being a brand ambassador for Hiho, a brand I have long admired. Not only do I have the opportunity to wear some wonderful pieces, but also feel chuffed to be part of such an awesome team of people.

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What does it mean to you to be a brand ambassador for Hiho and/or what is your favourite thing about being a brand ambassador?
I really do enjoy being a brand ambassador for such a fantastic brand. The nature of my job means I am lucky enough to go to shows, where it is always a joy to go and visit the Hiho team on the stand and have a natter, often I will be lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at new designs to gawp over, definitely a highlight!  

Emma Warren – MD of Hiho Silver 

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What is your favourite Hiho item and why?
Ohhhhh…that is a toughie – I absolutely love our jewellery and layer my pieces up. But if you push me to choose, my cherry roller never comes off and at the moment I’m adding a foxtail with roller beads alongside it.

Hiho are a huge well established business, why are brand ambassadors important to Hiho?
We love the diversity and talent that our ambassadors bring to our brand – we see them as brand curators really, helping us develop and work out where to take the brand next.  We may be a well-established company but we’re always looking to learn and push our own boundaries and the different ideas and ways that our ambassadors style our pieces is really inspiring.

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What is the best thing about working with your brand ambassadors?
Their positivity!  It is totally infectious – they cheerlead madly for us as a business, and we all know there are times when you need a bit of a boost when you run your own business – so it’s lovely to get feedback from ambassadors and hear that we’re getting it right.  We also are really lucky that we have such lovely customers  – we think of them as unofficial ambassadors, they post amazing photos of our jewellery and we really appreciate it. 

How do you pick your brand ambassadors?
We’ve really focused in on having people as appointed ambassadors who are already Hiho customers – as they get what we’re about as a brand.  They understand the things that it is really important for us to get right and that innate knowledge makes their feedback so insightful and useful for us.  We’re passionate about what we do, so when people write or blog about us, we want them to be really excited about our jewellery – and if you’re not a true fan, it’s really hard to fake that.  Outside of this we look for an engaged social presence on whichever platform they are present on and the ability to self-start and get on with things.

Sophie Callahan – Equestrian Photographer Extraordinaire  

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 Who are you?
Sophie Callahan. A specialist equine photographer & country lifestyle blogger. Facebook – /SophieCallahanPhotos Instagram – @SophieCallahan Twitter – @SophieCCallahan Youtube – /SophieCallahanVlogs

What is your favourite Hiho item and why?
My cherry roller bangle. It’s so comfortable, lightweight, understated and easy to wear. Whether dressing up or down, it goes with absolutely everything and gets so many compliments. Not to mention the fact that it is so iconically ‘Hiho’!

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What is it like being a brand ambassador for Hiho?
Fabulous. I’ve been lucky enough to have so many wonderful experiences, thanks to Hiho Silver. Speaking on the radio at Badminton, attending so many exciting events and the opportunity to create fabulous content (not to mention wear fabulous jewellery) for my audience. And as well as all that, I’ve made some incredible friendships and met the most inspirational women!

What does it mean to you to be a brand ambassador for Hiho and/or what is your favourite thing about being a brand ambassador?
Oops, I’ve kind of already answered that above. To me, being a brand ambassador means pledging my loyalty to a brand that I love. It means mutual trust, mutual cheerleading and the agreement to champion one another at every opportunity. And it means being a team!

Karen McConnell – Owner of KAEquestrian

 Who are you? 
I’m Karen McConnell, mum of 2, Equestrian, Business owner, Blogger & Vlogger and lover of life’s little luxuries. I own and run KAEquestrian, a busy training and livery yard in Perthshire Scotland, am currently setting up FossoPLAY, a woodland-based pre-school nursery with my husband Chris, and about to open the doors to our first venture into Air B&B hosting.
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What is your favourite Hiho item and why?
My favourite item of HiHo jewellery is my cherry roller bracelet – it’s simple, elegant, comfortable to wear and is a nod to the Equestrian part of my life wherever I go and whatever I wear.
What does it mean to you to be a brand ambassador for Hiho and/or what is your favourite thing about being a brand ambassador?
I’ve only recently been invited to become a HiHo Brand Ambassador so I’ve yet to truly experience what being an official part of the Hiho family is like. I have however, been an unofficial ‘friend’ of Hiho for a while now and it’s been lovely getting to know the amazing team that bring us not only the amazing pieces of jewellery they sell but also deliver the added bits, the ‘what it means to wear HiHo jewellery’. For me, that means being part of a team of passionate, talented and inspirational people who bring positivity to the equestrian world. Getting to know the team I’ve discovered that for me, Hiho as a brand means far more than just pretty jewellery, it’s about warmth, friendship, and camaraderie.

Tina Wallace – Life on the Left Rein Vlogger 

Who are you? Tina Wallace
Insta @life_on_the_left_rein, Facebook @lifeontheleftrein, Twitter @LifeOTLR, Website www.lifeontheleftrein.com

What is your favourite Hiho item and why?

 My Favourite HiHo Item has to be my very first Cherry Roller Bangle, I wear it every day, it feels weird if I don’t put it on alongside my watch. You can tell it has been designed for equestrians because the bangle itself is so robust, yet still very delicate & feminine. It matches perfectly and the fact it has our “Cross Country Colours” in the CZ bead makes it even more special and completely unique. I love that it goes with everything and have so many comments about how beautiful it is since, wearing it and not just from “Horsey Maids” as my dad calls them!

What does it mean to you to be a brand ambassador for Hiho and/or what is your favourite thing about being a brand ambassador?
Being a Brand Ambassador for Hiho is something I take very seriously, I am proud to have been asked to work alongside people that are so passionate about not only their brand but also supporting and encouraging amateur riders. I strongly believe in only representing products/brands that I would spend my hard earned money on. I have always loved jewellery from a young age, my parents used to own a jewellery shop in which I worked on Saturdays from approximately 12 years old, I loved helping polish all the rings and making them super shiny and choosing which bangles or dangly earrings I would have when I was old enough to wear them!  (My parents were quite strict and I wasn’t allowed my ears pierced until I was 14!!)
My husbands family are also jewellers specialising in wedding rings and watches, which meant when customizing the extremely gorgeous Cherry Roller Bangle it was essential that it was matchy matchy with my Beautiful Bi Metal Rolex which was a Belated 30thBirthday Present from my husband. The new Mojo Cherry Roller is also a great addition to my wrist wear, I have a Beautiful Lilly ring that was a Christmas gift one year that I know will go so well with the Hiho Mojo… It’s currently been sent away for resizing so as soon as its back I will be sure to get some snaps! (Keep an eye on the Insta!) We are delighted to have been asked to represent HiHo Silver & I am very much looking forward to meeting up with fellow Hiho Ambassadors at upcoming events this season. First being Badminton ~ See you all there!!

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