Small Business Profile
If you'd like to promote your small business in this series all you need to do is answer 10 questions, oh and its free. Get in touch today.
Question 1 - Who are you, and what’s your business called?
Question 2 - Can you provide me with a description of your business?
I make silver jewellery, pieces that are designed as wearable sculpture. I make each piece myself. However, I am exploring various methods of production, such as working with social enterprise groups or local enterprises.
Question 3 - How long have you been in business?
I just registered my business in January, so not a great time to try and start a new business!
Question 4 - How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I went to art-college and studied craft design and did a post- graduate diploma in teacher training. I also have a degree in fine art. I taught art in secondary school for a number of years. When I first left art college, I went to London and worked for two different design companies and this experience triggered my desire to start my own design business one day. I have done various start-your-own business courses over the years, but my interest lies in drawing and design. I’m learning about running a business as I go!
Question 5 - How did you get started in this business?
As an artist, I was working on three dimensional pieces and had the idea of adapting some of my drawings to make pieces to wear. I began in the way many people do, making jewellery for friends and family. That led to the idea of starting a business, a long, slow process.
Question 6 - Are there any ethical concerns that your type of business must deal with, and how do you overcome these ethical problems?
Potentially, there are issues that could cause problems, such as outsourcing work. I have to be careful that people are getting fairly paid for any work done. It is important to me that everyone benefits from the work they do for my business. I am also looking to keep all aspects of the business as environmentally friendly as possible. This includes using recycled silver where feasible and sourcing eco- friendly packaging.
Question 7 - What are the most significant issues for running your business?
My biggest issue is getting noticed online. I need people to know my business exists. It’s so easy to get lost in the vast, crowded space that is the worldwide web. Because the type of jewellery I make is labour- intensive and relatively expensive to produce, I am not in a position to sell through shops or galleries at the moment. I aim to develop further ranges of jewellery so that I have options for different routes to market.
Question 8 - How do you market your business?
Marketing is very much a work-in-progress. I am a social media-phobe; I have never had a Facebook page. I realise that this is not especially helpful when trying to establish an online business, so I have begun to post on Instagram. I am slowly figuring out ways to gain online traction. It is important to build trust, for people to have confidence in my brand. I aim to establish a good working relationship with someone in PR as this is an important component of my business strategy.
Question 9 - Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
I want to build a brand that has integrity and longevity. I would like to have a more established online presence by this time next year. In five years time, my aim is to have added more jewellery lines, along with other accessories. In ten years, I would really like to be working in collaboration with some of the big design houses, focusing on designing high-end jewellery pieces. Well, I can dream!
Question 10 - Lastly, how has COVID-19 affected your business, and what have you done to overcome these challenges?
I started the business in January, so the COVID-19 pandemic came at a bad time for my fledgling business. I had to put everything on hold for months, much like everyone else. However, I realised that this issue was minor in the context of the pandemic, when other people are suffering terribly. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get the business going again, but just as I was coming to terms with the possibility that I had started a business at the worst possible time, I had an inquiry from a lady in California. She had found the website and loved the earrings. Her interest was encouraging and we are regularly in touch now. She has become something of a business coach for me, which is a very positive outcome and one that I appreciate wholeheartedly.
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