In the first of my series talking to women who have started their own business, I interviewed Lisa from http://www.sparkleandcharm.co.uk. Sparkle and Charm was established in February 2013. Lisa designs and handcrafts her own jewellery and accessories for adults and children. All items are made to order and can be adapted and personalised for each customer.
I wanted to find out a little bit more about what inspired Lisa and what advice she would give to other women planning to start their own business. Here is what she said:
1) Lisa – what inspired you to start your own business?
I didn’t intend to start a business. I just love to create jewellery. It’s a hobby/passion of mine. I decided I would make some children’s bracelets to sell at my children’s school fete this year to raise some money for them. I showed a friend who asked if I would make one for her, which I did…then she asked me to make matching earrings. My friends were very impressed with their jewellery and told me I should showcase is on Facebook . so I did! Within a few days I was growing quite a fan base… A few weeks later I had people I didn’t know asking if they could buy jewellery! I was pleasantly surprised by how popular my creations were, so I decided to set up a website.
2) What do you think has been your biggest breakthrough so far?
My biggest breakthrough has been discovering the power of social media, without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. I decided to enter the world of twitter! Since joining twitter I have won business awards, been contacted by 4 magazines and built up a fantastic customer base. Just over 3 months on and I have gained quite a following on twitter – over 3000 followers, web traffic is fantastic and am very busy with web orders and bespoke orders.
3) What advice would you give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs?
I would advise you to use social media and network, network, network. The networking hours on twitter are great for making valuable contacts and friends! Remember your customer is king or in my case probably Queen! I pride myself in giving an outstanding service, working with my customers to achieve the results they want. Nothing is too big an ask. Be positive – you need to believe that you are the best in your industry. If you don’t believe it no one else will!