When I look back I know it had always been my childhood dream to run my own business. From a very early age I had lots of mini entrepreneurial experiments selling homemade pictures and perfume to family, creating bracelets, swapping clothes and generally going all out to promote my wares. I was probably quite an annoying child.
Mama Jewels has been my dream come true, although as anyone who has ever run a business will tell you it can be a massive love hate relationship. There are the months when you can’t afford to pay yourself, when your part time employees get more that month than you do. There are the planned days off with the kids when the website breaks and stress is through the roof and there are quite simply those months when sales are low, you feel like everyone hates you and you start scouring the job sites for a safer option.
But then in contrast there are those days when everyone in your Whats app group is at work moaning about how much they hate their jobs and i’m like; Whoah! i’m so blessed, i’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do, I have the freedom to take time off when I want (not that I really do that much) and I really have a job I love!
It’s very fair to say that Mama Jewels has been, and I’m starting to realise probably always will be a rollar coaster. The past 7 years have been the biggest learning curve of my life, bringing up 3 children, starting the business and fighting to stay at the top as the teething necklace market’s expansion has gone insanely crazy!
Competition I have learned is a blessing! It keeps you on your toes, wills you to stand out from the crowd and helps you to strive to be the best. There has never been a sitting back on laurels and watching the cash roll in for us, as working life for me and for Mama Jewels is a constant strive to bring new and exciting designs to our customers, to make sure we use the very best quality materials and that maker quality is consistent throughout everything we produce in our workshop in Nottinghamshire.
Mama Jewels is a passion, supported by a loyal following of customers, friends and other businesses we work with. We’ve been supported generously by our local authority over the past seven years who champion us through local business networking groups.
We are still here after 7 years (which is a miracle for any business) We’ve had a new studio built, we now sell worldwide, we’ve won awards, our designs are more refined and we re-branded too! We are stronger than ever, making artisan jewellery that is safe for Mama to wear and for their little ones to chew on, fiddle with and focus on whilst nursing.
Only yesterday Elizabeth reminded me of our first trade show at the NEC when my mum and my aunty and my friend Lou were all taking turns to man the stand and I was missing my 7 month old Finley like crazy. A pregnant lady came up to the stand and asked us ‘why would I need to buy baby-proof jewellery, i’d just tell the baby to stop pulling and tugging’ We all had children and we all knew what was to come. But I want to thank that lady, because she helped me to hone my message, to fight for what I was trying to achieve and to see things through my customers eyes. Her honesty was gold!
Seven years is a long time. It’s gone by in the flash of an eye. Life is short and I often wonder how much I’d have seen of my kids if i’d stayed in the corporate world. Yes we sometimes wonder how we will pay the bills, but doesn’t any business? I love what I do and the passion is still here, if anything it’s stronger as I have become more confident as our customer base has grown.
There’s a famous saying ”When you support a small business you are supporting a dream”. Thank you so much to everyone who has ever bought from us, recommended us, taken the time to give us feedback, sent in photos, shared something for us on social media, worked with us or quite simply championed us. You have helped to support my Mama Jewels dream and for that I can’t thank you enough!
Here’s to the next 7 years
ps. If you own a business that you think would be a good fit with us and would like to collaborate please get in touch here