Tuesday, 25 February 2014
2Inspire Network Business Profile: Sian Bostwick Jewellery
In this 2Inspire Network Profile we meet Sian Bostwick of SianBostwick Jewellery who has overcome her own personal challenges to build a successful growing business in Jewellery.
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
There no such typical day as sometimes I have to pop into London for meetings, jewellery events, or just pop into Hatton garden, sometimes I am at a show or exhibition for days which means attending the show all day for many days but I meet lots of lovely jewellery stars.
But a workshop day means I get into the workshop at abut 10am having planned out my to do list on the way. When I get into the workshop I check my online stockists and sort out and beautifully wrap any jewellery orders that need to be posted out that day, accompanied with there own “vintage” style library card which shows the literary inspiration for the jewellery. Then deal with urgent emails and journalist requests plus any other more urgent paperwork. If I have a show or event coming up then I get on and sort out everything for the show.
Then its to the workbench, sometimes I work on a bespoke jewel am creating for someone like a engagement ring, a trade order for a shop, stock or an online sale. I usually do a few tweets and social media stuff form the workbench, sharing what I am working on or a press feature.
I spend the rest of the day creating jewellery in the workshop, setting sparkling gems, polishing up the jewels so they shine and generally playing with all my tools.
I stop for lunch in the courtyard of the art centre in which our workshop is based, its usually already busy with the other artists so its a lovely social little lunch, very creative and buzzing. After that I'll pop any jewellery orders that need to be sent out to the post office then its back to the workshop.
Usually I head home from the workshop about 7ish, later when at home about 9 or 10ish I start again and finish off any other work that needs to be done, emails, bespoke designs, paper work and admin finishing up by about midnight.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
After I graduated I began I few internships and work experience placements, this was really useful and some great experience but it didn’t pay. so I began making a few smaller pieces of jewellery selling them locally and taking on a few bespoke commissions whilst gaining all the work experience.
Then it just grew and took over, I was getting busier and busier with my ownjewellery so I officially started business and created a website and my first collection after a year of various work experience placements I stopped them and launched Sian Bostwick Jewellery at the one of the jewellery industry's biggest trade shows "International Jewellery London".
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
It was wonderful to be listed in the HOT 100 in 2012 as one of only 17 NEXGEMS (up & coming jewellery designers) it was a huge boost both for the business and myself, so fantastic to be selected and placed among so many talented jewellery stars it really assured me that I was on the right path.
I was also selected for the kickstart stand at IJL (International Jewellery London) and a finalist for Young Accessory Designer of the Year both in 2010 just a few months into the business, it was a huge surprise and honer to be picked out by industry leaders for this so early on.
We have also gained a few other awards and lots of press coverage both national and international which has been fantastic.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Finding a space was a big challenge at the start. I had to work from home for the 1st year as there where no affordable and suitable spaces for me have a workshop and base the business. Since I moved into the Nucleus Arts Centre and set up my workshop there I have been able really develop and grow phenomenally. having that dedicated workspace where I can also have press and clients visit me, hold open studios and shopping evenings and over all be much more professional has been a big factor in our growth as a business.
On a personal level I have been overcoming anxiety issues whilst trying to grow my business, which In the past left been unable to talk to people, panic attacks and more. Though mediation, breathing exercises and slowly building up my confidence I can now attend events and meetings without being a complete wreck, and though I still have a way to go things are getting a LOT better.
What are your future plans for the business?
Grow further and further. I'd like more stockists possibly international, celebrity fans would be a big boost and lots more press features and awards plus taking part in lots more shows and events.
Eventually I want to move to a larger workshop with either a shop front or a dedicated “showroom” area for displaying all our jewels and meetings.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have had a e-commerce website from the start as since we have launched the e-commerce site the response has been amazing, and I would have had my branding more refined and defined at the start, plus invested in professional photography at the very start. I didn’t realise at the beginning how extremely important this is.
I do wish I had been able to deal with my anxiety better earlier on as I am aware it has made me miss out on certain opportunities or unable to make the most of some others. but this is slow progress and not something that can be changed quickly.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
To fulfil their potential and surprise themselves, as a younger person I would have never thought I would be running my own business, designing and making jewellery and winning awards for it.
Its so important to push yourself and your work all the time, I it would be wonderful to inspire others to do the same and to really fulfil their potential.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Branding is really important, having you personal story tied in with the look of your website, packaging and everything else so its one consistent story that the consumer and get to know the personal side of there jewellery, why and how it was created and that connection.
Also social media especially twitter has been hugely useful for connecting not just with jewellery fans but with stylists, journalists and more.
What or who inspires you in business and why?
I love making and creating jewellery, especially bespoke jewels. Its a inspiration in itself, I just couldn’t stop, I love making and designing these beautiful jewels which will be treasured forever, have meaning and value beyond there financial worth and that will hopefully be passed down the generations. Its a very precious and special thing.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sian Bostwick Jewellery