To celebrate Independent Retailer Month, with the help of our partners SumUp we’re spending July highlighting some incredible independent retail entrepreneurs.
SumUp helps small businesses to get paid, whether they’re starting up or leveling up, supporting entrepreneurs to make their business ‘oOOooficial’.
Laura Llewellyn Design makes unique and handcrafted silver jewellery from its studio in Hampshire. Laura loves to source beautiful and unique gemstones to include in every piece of jewellery which are entirely one-off pieces.
When did you switch the business from a hobby or side hustle into an oOOoofficial business?
I graduated with a degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing Design in 2006 and had always designed and made jewellery for friends and family while working full time within the industry. Having always wanted to set up my own business in 2016, I left my full-time job to set up Hampshire School of Jewellery teaching others to make jewellery and I launched Laura Llewellyn Design properly in 2017. It’s now five years since I went completely self-employed.
What are your hopes for the business post-Covid?
Since the shops reopened in April this year, I have had my jewellery stocked in a local store and I am taking part in Hampshire Open Studios for the first time this year; developing my business by having it in physical spaces is really exciting.
What’s the best thing about being an independent retailer?
Being able to be really flexible particularly over the past 18 months in particular has been hugely beneficial for me. While I haven’t been able to run any classes at the jewellery school during lockdowns I have been able to shift my focus and concentrate on designing and making new pieces of jewellery.
Being a small business, how have you benefitted from digital transformation?
Utilising online platforms has helped me to have more visibility beyond my local area. As well as having my own website I sell on The British Craft House website; the community of other sellers there have been invaluable to me especially as working from home on your own can sometimes feel quite isolating.