At 18 you chose to go into the jewellery industry rather than university, what helped you make that decision?
It was easy. I loved my Saturday job, I love jewellery and I love being in shop during the day chatting to people, helping them choose pieces and just being around beautiful jewellery. I also particularly enjoy planning the shop layout and changing around the displays.
It must be quite daunting taking over a business, how have you coped?
It was really really daunting! It’s a lot of work, but I have coped by trying to take things one step at a time. As well as this, my parents have been supportive, helping me to understand how to do things I had never done before, and I’m even starting to be able to deal with the accounts side of things myself. I also ask for help and advice when I need it.
As a fresh young face, how do you feel you will fit in in the industry?
I feel like a few suppliers have been surprised by my age as I guess it is unusual, but I think it really could be an advantage. I am passionate about jewellery and what particular styles are current trends, this makes me think that I will hopefully fit in just fine!
You sell your own designs, where do you get your inspiration?
I have always collected ideas from all over the place. From a young age I’ve bought pieces but always thought of ways I would change it if I was capable. Also, I originally started by making friendship bracelets for my friends so following that kind of style lead me to develop them to the stage they are at now.
What advice would you give to others who want to break into the industry?
I would always say to people that if you love something, you should put yourself into it 100 per cent Also, take advice. I know that particularly to start with, I found it hard to have confidence in my own ideas if they were questioned.
How have customers reacted to you taking over?
They have been very supportive. As I’d already worked for a year as the Saturday girl many of the regular customers recognised me and were pleased it would still be someone who they knew and who knew their tastes. I’m getting a better feel for the market locally and I think for me and the customer this has been good: it helps me select pieces but includes them as well so they know that their opinion and preferences are important to me and the shop.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
I have gained exclusivity of four ranges: Eclectic Eccentricity, FredBennet, Fiorelli costume and Blowing in the Wind which makes me stand out locally. I also try hard to keep a range of ‘one off pieces’ made by local designers.
Where do see yourself in five years?
In five years I hope to be creating more of my own jewellery and will have hopefully done some courses in silversmithing to increase my skill set. I also hope to have grown the business, maybe even to open a second shop.