Self-Starter Stories: From Psychology student to jewellery Designer.
This week's #SelfStarterStory features Becky Bishop, owner of Becky's Bijoux, an eCommerce site selling hand-made, one of a kind jewellery.
#PickYourselfUK caught up with Becky to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.
Looking back, what lead you to be where you are today?: I have always been a creative person and previously made my own cards and gifts. I took up jewellery making as another hobby and in part because I wanted more unique jewellery to wear as opposed to the same things you find mass produced. As friends and family liked what I was making I developed it into a side-project and part-time business and having been out of work since last July I have been able to devote more time to it and publicising it and also to develop new and different ideas to help the business grow.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: The most challenging part was initially setting up the business and getting the first customers to make it worthwhile. It is a continuing challenge to think up new ideas and designs and keep up with the trends and of course keeping the customers and finding ways of getting new ones and different ways of marketing and promoting my business.
What did you want to be when you were a child?: From about the age of 7 I wanted to be Police officer or in scenes of crime and did my degree in criminology and psychology.
What was your last job?: Over the last 6 years I have worked in administration and accounts administration but ideally would love to make my jewellery business into a full time occupation or to combine it with my love of books.
When did you choose to PICK YOURSELF instead of waiting to be chosen by someone else?: No one knows me better than myself and I believe in order to succeed you have to put in the effort and make things happen for yourself
Do you do everything yourself? What do you outsource?: I design and create all the jewellery from scratch and also do all the marketing and promotion. The bits I outsource are the beads, materials and findings which I outsource either from bead or craft shops or I look for old pieces of jewellery in charity shops which I then up-cycle. Additionally I am about to start selling jewellery holders which will be something else I outsource.
What is your productivity secret?: Everything I make, I make sure I devote plenty of time to, in order to ensure the quality of each piece is what it should be.
How do you market your business?: I primarily market my business through Facebook and Twitter, which is where I have got most of my customers from. I also promote it regularly on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, and recently managed to get free advertising through my local newspaper. My designs have also been featured on several wedding and bride websites and in a sports valentines gift guide. I have also contacted several celebrities and the actress Kara Tointon has had a piece of my jewellery.
When you first launched, how did you get your first paying customers?: To begin with when I started making jewellery I just gave it to friends and family members as presents followed by selling at craft fairs. My first proper business came via Twitter and Facebook and the customers I got through there have since become regular buyers.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: I kept promoting the link to my website on social media and I've always made sure the website is updated with all the latest pieces.
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Find something you're good at and enjoy doing and something that you have a passion for as this will motivate you more to succeed and do well. Start small but don't expect things to happen overnight as it takes time to set up and gain trust from customers.
If you could have dinner with one entrepreneur, who would it be and why?: Jessica Cunningham from The Apprentice as she is a role model for women and mothers in business and seems such a lovely bubbly enthusiastic person with drive and passion to succeed.
Becky Bishop has qualified for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2017. If you'd like to enter yourself or nominate a small business entrepreneur for this award, please submit your story below.
Voting for the #PickYourselfUK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year award 2017 will take place in November 2017 so make sure you get your entry submitted to qualify.