Welcome to another of our excellent Friday Feature articles featuring new women run businesses - today we're talking to Viv Smith, the designer/owner of Poppy Sparkles.
I’m Viv Smith, a self-taught jewellery artist and the owner, designer and jewellery creator of Poppy Sparkles. I am based near Blackpool, Lancashire. I have been making jewellery since my early teens. Poppy Sparkles was launched this year, 2010, and offers handcrafted jewellery, predominatently bridal jewellery. The majority of my jewellery is made using Freshwater Pearls, Swarovski Crystal and sterling silver. I aim to create beautiful jewellery using high quality materials, that are designed to be lasting pieces to treasure.
Ever since I began making jewellery as a young teen I have sold bits and pieces. In more recent years I started to sell online with some success. With two young children, I am currently on a career break and decided that this was a perfect opportunity to put more time into creating jewellery, promoting and selling it. And so, Poppy Sparkles was launched earlier this year. With a real love for Freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals, it seemed logical to focus on Bridal jewellery. Plus, I love being a part of the magic of someone’s wedding and helping a Bride to look her absolute best with well-chosen accessories.
What do you love most about your business?
I love creating beautiful jewellery, especially custom orders. Interacting with customers and creating a piece that is just perfect for them in style and colour is perhaps the most enjoyable and satisfying part of my business. But, in all honesty I love all of it – except the paperwork and accounts side!
Jewellery is notoriously difficult to photograph. At the moment I am trying to find the best way to capture my jewellery on camera – looking at different backgrounds, lighting etc, as well as trying to learn how to use my camera to its full potential. I want to ensure that each and every image I have shows my jewellery off properly, so for now the thing I want to change is my product shots.
What is your aim for the next year?
Over the next year I hope to develop my website further, adding an online shop so that people can buy direct through my website. I also want to begin to establish Poppy Sparkles locally and nationally as a place to source quality handcrafted jewellery, especially Bridal jewellery.
Ideally, I would love to be a full time WAHM. Realistically, it is extremely difficult to make a full-time living from creative work. Bearing this in mind, I would like, once my time being a full-time mummy at home comes to an end, to be able to return to work in a more part-time capacity. Obviously, if I were to be able to do Poppy Sparkles full-time I would be extremely pleased.
What are your Top 5 tips for new Business Women?
Tip 1 Write a business plan – it helps you work out where you want to go and how to get there
Tip 2 Keep up to date with paperwork
Tip 3 Create a network of supportive people around you, for WAHMs who may struggle to network whilst at home with children, the internet and social media, like Twitter, is a valuable resource
Tip 4 Have some proper time for your different roles i.e. quality time with family, dedicated time for the business
Tip 5 Enjoy what you do!
I can be contacted via my website at http://www.poppysparkles.co.uk/ or by email at email@example.com; I also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/poppysparkles and you can Tweet me at http://www.twitter.com/VivPoppySparkle.
Viv, all your pieces are stunningly beautiful! We wish you the very best of luck in the future and thank you so much for talking with us today.
Remember, if you are a woman running your own business and would like to be featured on our regular Feature Friday, please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put the words "Friday Feature" in the subject line and we'll forward on the information to you. If you're interested in joining our forum, you can find us at http://www.creationcollaboration.myfastforum.org/ - we'll be happy to see you there!