Describe yourself in three words.
Creative, personable, determined
When you were at school, what did you want to be and why?
In my early days at school I just wanted to draw. I later refined this and decided I wanted to design and make clothes or jewellery. It’s something that’s always interested me, even when I was really young my favourite thing was the bead box and to tie friendship bracelets.
How did you get to be where you are today?
I took on a Saturday job at a local jewellers whilst I was at sixth form and absolutely loved it. When the owner said she was thinking of a career change and selling the business I thought it was too good of an opportunity to miss. With help from my parents and my savings I bought it off her. I have made a lot of changes over the three years I have been here and now I have the jewellers that I hoped for.
Which aspect of your job do you enjoy and why?
I enjoy it all, aside from the paperwork, but my favourite aspects are definitely the choosing and buying of stock and the social media marketing. I find that social media allows businesses to connect more closely with their customers and potential customers – it isn’t limited to business hours or a particular location.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is being sure enough of myself, and my plans, to take a chance on the business rather than starting university. Whilst I was at sixth form there was a lot of support for students wanting to start uni, but none for people hoping to do anything else. I was already nervous about the choice to start up on my own and when people around you are trying to persuade you into doing something different it’s easy to start doubting yourself. To stay sure of myself, and for the business to have done well, is definitely what I am most proud of.
What is the best advice you’ve been given in work or in life in general?
The best advice I have had is from my dad who, when I was worried about whether I was doing the right thing, told me that you should always start new ventures before you feel ready because if you wait until you have everything ready and prepared you will just end up waiting forever. This was the case with opening the shop. When I think back to the majority of things I was worried about, I realise that most of them have never happened.
What is your next goal?
My next goal is to complete the first collection of my own brand, Connie Bear, and have it ready to sell in my shop. As I said before, it was always my aspiration to design, so to now have this in sight feels like a huge achievement. I then hope to develop the brand further and build on the collection.
This feature first appeared in the December 2016 issue of Jewellery Focus.