Today marks International Women’s Day! At SnapDragon, despite being known for spotting fakes there is certainly no imposter syndrome when it comes to women building careers in tech. From the start SnapDragon was set up to be inclusive, as we hire the best talent to help businesses fight the fakes that could ruin their brand. We are full to the brim with passionate, talented women (not to downplay our team of formidable men of course).
Like so many across the globe, we are surviving the pandemic by working from home, juggling childcare, business demands, home schooling and generally staying motivated in what are truly uncertain times. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate inspirational women than by honouring our fearless founder and CEO, Rachel Jones. Not only did Rachel build SnapDragon from scratch, but her story is one of strength and a passion to help other businesses protect their brands by hunting down counterfeit goods. Rachel is also a big believer in supporting women coming back to the workforce from caring responsibilities or those looking for a career in the tech sector. The diversity of the SnapDragon team is testament to that.
SnapDragon was founded on sheer determination following the anger and frustration Rachel experienced after developing a baby product, only for it to be counterfeited. For those not familiar with the history of SnapDragon, it began officially in 2015, however stems back many years when Rachel had her daughter. Disappointed with the lack of highchairs when out and about, Rachel and her husband saw a big gap in the market for a portable child seat, one that they could easily carry when eating out, holidaying or visiting friends. With nothing suitable on the market, Rachel made her own, and so the Totseat, a washable, squashable baby seat was born. A huge success, the Totseat was sold into stores like John Lewis and exported to over 40 countries. However, as what sadly happens with many successful products sold online, counterfeit products soon reared their ugly head.
Fast forward six years, sophisticated copies of the Totseat were discovered by customs, arriving into the UK from China. Alerted and outraged by the damage this could do, plus severe concerns over the safety of these fakes, so began Rachel’s journey into the world of brand protection. With no luck finding affordable brand protection services to help her deal with this big problem, she was determined to find a solution and fight the fakes herself. Within days, Rachel found 2 Chinese speaking students from Edinburgh University to help her search online in Chinese to locate the fakes from shopping platforms and remove them from sale before setting off to Alibaba in China, with Jet, another of our wonderful team, to meet Alibaba’s IP department and tell the story of an SME fighting for survival.
Luckily, in the early days of business, despite many challenges and being such a small business, Rachel had taken steps to register Intellectual Property for Totseat. To many in the industry this seemed an unusual act, particularly for such a small business. However, this foresight proved invaluable in her early battle against fakes. Using her intellectual property as armour, the Totseat counterfeits were defeated and Rachel now has become an authority on fighting counterfeits and her knowledge and advice to SMEs and industry bodies is highly sought after.
Since these early days SnapDragon has grown from a small team of four to a team of 25. A fun and flexible place to work, Rachel has encouraged women of all nationalities, ages and backgrounds to work in tech, proving a career in tech doesn’t have to be about high-end coding. With diversity at our core, our largely female multilingual team speak over 12 languages and have a varied background, originating from all parts of the globe from Korea and Europe to America and Australia. Many of the staff work part time or flexibly around their post-graduate studies, business (non-competing) and family commitments.
Rachel is supported by SnapDragon’s talented management team – two of which are equally passionate and diligent women. Jet Doran, SnapDragon’s Director of Brand Protection, who we mentioned earlier, is one of the original dragons. Jet’s outstanding expertise in recognising and anticipating the creativity of infringers in trying to avoid detection allows us to go above and beyond for our clients. Anyone who has worked with SnapDragon will have spoken to Mary Kernohan, our fabulous Head of Nurture. Mary’s ability to effortlessly find cost-effective solutions for current and potential clients is second to none. Together they are a triumvirate to reckon with!
Our pioneering Swoop software helps locate fakes across global selling platforms, playing a vital part in reducing the sale of counterfeits. We are delighted have won many awards over the years, including the “Triumph over Adversity Award” in 2019 from Amazon’s Growing Business Award, highlighting the SnapDragon team and Rachel’s dogged determination. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, a huge honour as it’s one of Britain’s most prestigious accolades. We love working with our local and global clients, and over the years have prevented tens of billions of dollars of fake products being sold, which is so rewarding.
Rachel’s story proves that with perseverance, hard work and thinking outside the box to solve a problem anything can be achieved.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the inspirational women out there.
If you’d like more information about SnapDragon’s Brand Protection services, please get in touch. Our friendly but fierce team are here to help protect your brand.