Welcome to the first instalment of my 8 part blog post series about starting your own business! As I am a jeweller this will mostly related to jewellery/craft based businesses but I have tried to add in things to help as many new businesses owners as possible!
When I sat down to write these blog posts I had all these ideas running through my head of topics to write about and I found I was giving myself a bit of a sore head trying to figure out where to start! I thought about talking funding first, or how I picked the tools I did or how I found my style but I knew if I mentioned all that first I would be jumping years into the future!
So I decided to go back four years ago, to wee Claire who was in City of Glasgow College, who had a great idea for a business and that is all she had. An idea.
This was the first steps I took to starting a business:
1. Learning My Craft
- I was lucky to study jewellery at City of Glasgow College, where I learned a lot of my skills from my amazing lecturers! To this day I still sing their praises. After I left college I learned more skills through books and youtube videos. One book I swear by and actually call it my bible is ''Tips and Shortcuts for Jewellery Making by Stephen O'Keeffe'' There is so many different ways to learn, from youtube videos to books and even classes whether that be attending college, online classes, weekend ones or just good old trial and error. Just remember a good designer/artist is not measured by what degree they have, its measured by their work and who they are as a person.
2. The Idea
- So I was nearing the end of my last year in jewellery, in fact it was my exam time when I decided to start Pop Up, I felt I had learned all this knowledge, knew all these techniques and I wasn't going to do anything with them! So it was then I decided I was going to start a business, that is as far as I thought, I was going to make jewellery and sell it. I never had a business name, or products or anything! I just had this idea.
If all you have is an idea then you are in the same boat as every other business owner, because that is where we started, with a rough idea!
3. The First Few Products
- So I had this amazing life planned out, I was going to be a jeweller, I was going to make tonnes of money and spend it all in Ikea or at pets at home buying things for my dog. Sad thing is I didn’t know where to go from this life I had planned out!
I started small, I made eight products I was confident in making, that were low cost to make so I wouldn’t break the bank, at that time all I could really make was a circle so I focused on my one strength and made all my pieces circle pieces! Concentrating on only one technique of making a circle helped me hone my skills and become more confident in the products. I also never felt like I was taking on too much because I stuck to these 8 products and only worked with them.
Don't overwhelm yourself when you start! Keep it simple, make something you love, that you can practice and hone your skills with.
4. Getting Help
So now I have eight products I knew what to do with I started looking for free mentoring help, one of the companies who helped me was a company called Bridge to Business they supplied me with a mentor and gave me ideas, really what they gave me was confidence, someone who wouldn't laugh at my idea! Going through this organization I also found a company called Kernowcraft where I buy my gemstones from, Kernowcraft had multiple blog posts written by creatives who have started their own business! I have linked them below!
1. Bridge to Business 2. Kernowcraft (Link to business tips blog post) The idea of starting a business is scary, but I always found it feels a lot less scary when you find out your not alone, I had the same fears and confusion as many other new business owners feel. The important thing to remember is you control your business, nothing happens in your business without your say so and you get as much out of it as you put in!
I hope this first blog posts help you and make sure to keep an eye out for my second blog post which is all about tools and how I kept my costs down buying them once I left college!