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Article | 4-minute read

Building a gem of a business with help from an ANZ GoBiz loan

Brisbane jeweller Ashley Portas is funding the next chapter of growth for his successful jewellery store, Diamondport, with help from ANZ GoBiz. Using the speedy online loan application process, Portas secured the funds he needed within days.

Business development

The jewellery trade is steeped in tradition. It’s the type of business typically handed down from generation to generation, with kids following in their parents’ footsteps. Not so for Diamondport, a young and thriving jewellery store in the heart of Brisbane with a unique – indeed, some would say serendipitous – story to tell.

The founder of Diamondport, Ashley Portas, began his working life as a courier driver. It just so happened that he was often in charge of delivering valuable parcels to gold, gem and diamond merchants in the CBD. Being the affable person he is, Ashley befriended one of these merchants and was soon offered a job working on the wholesale side of diamonds.

“During those early days, I learnt a lot about sorting, buying and selling diamonds. I fell in love with them, and even travelled to Surat in India, the city famous for its diamond cutters. It wasn’t long before I started a side business, enlisting the help of jewellers to make engagement rings for friends,” said Ashley.

That side business quickly grew into a full-time job and, in 2015, Diamondport was born. And it soon became a family business, with Ashley’s twin brother Jason coming on board as general manager. “Indeed, the most rewarding part of starting Diamondport was being able to fulfill my childhood dream of working with my identical twin,” Ashley said.

 

Investing to grow

Until 2019, Diamondport relied upon another jeweller to make its classic engagement rings. When Ashley decided it was time to set up his own workshop and bring a jeweller in-house, his extended family chipped in to fund this first big step. It quickly paid off, with 65% year-on-year growth in the first year. This rapid growth opened the door to new opportunities.

“When you grow this fast, you need more money to grow. Suddenly, we found ourselves needing more diamonds, new tools, more rings to market and sell,” said Ashley. “After all, he who has the stock, wins.”

To fuel the next chapter of growth, Ashley decided to apply for a $200,000 business loan. He initially approached an online lender after being, in his words, “stonewalled” by his existing bank. But his astute brother didn’t like the look of the loan’s fine print, so Ashley kept looking.

“I found the ANZ GoBiz offer online and really liked what I saw. It only took me 20 minutes to apply, and I got my answer straight away,” said Ashley.

 

Online application ‘the best thing’

Ashley was blown away by how easy the ANZ GoBiz loan application was. There was no tedious form-filling – all he had to do was grant access to his Xero accounting software and his business bank account, and answer a few quick questions over the phone.

“I applied on a Wednesday and was approved by Friday. I felt like I was dreaming – this whole experience really has been the best thing for my business,” Ashley said. “I had no problems sharing my Xero and banking information with ANZ, and I found it so refreshing to see a bank like ANZ put their trust in us. They clearly understand that our Xero financials are legitimate and this process is just so much easier than paper-based alternatives.”

“Other banks are not nearly as supportive of small businesses like ours. ANZ GoBiz is different. From the get-go, I was struck by their can-do attitude and genuine support for my business. The ANZ team got where I was coming from and made me feel respected and empowered. I would certainly recommend them to any other small business looking for a loan.”

Now, with the money behind them and all pieces made in-house by a trusted team of jewellers, Diamondport is expanding its portfolio of engagement rings. Alongside traditional designs like solitaire and halo, the team is introducing more unique and bespoke designs to appeal to a wider customer base and help set in stone the next phase of growth for this gem of a business.

ANZ GoBiz links to the following accounting software: Xero, Intuit QuickBooks and MYOB.

Have you been inspired by Diamondport’s story and keen to see where an ANZ GoBiz loan could take you?

Explore ANZ GoBiz

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