Judith has recently published a book called “Your Biz, Your Way”. Judith is putting together a Blogfest on her website inviting Solopreneurs/small business owners to blog about how they are running their businesses in their own ways and opening up a dialogue which she will run on her website.
So when I saw the invitation, it got me thinking – do I do anything differently in my business? At first, I thought perhaps not but then I realised that actually, I am doing things completely differently.
Little bit of history
I am 42 years old and went straight into nursing when I left school. I worked for 22 years in the NHS and I loved my profession. However, in September 2016 the stress of the job role and current difficulties working in the NHS took its toll and I had to leave for the sake of my own health.
For anyone who has ever been in this situation, I am sure they will understand how scary this was. The following went round in my head for months and months:
- I have always been a nurse
- I have no other skills
- I am too old to retrain
- I won’t cope with stress ever again
- I will never get well again
In early 2016, a friend of mine who is a silversmith asked me to be her guinea pig – she gave me a day’s tuition in her workshop and I made some simple silver jewellery.
That was it – I was hooked!
I had no idea where this would lead, I was full of self-doubt and worries but what I did know was that I enjoy creating things, I love silver and gemstones and yes – the prospect was scary but it was also exciting.
One of my many concerns was my complete lack of traditional artist/design training. I hadn’t studied art at college or university and I felt that this would go against me and make it impossible to become a jeweller at all. I also had zero knowledge about setting up and running a business.
Despite my worries and with encouragement from close family and friends, I enrolled on a Silver Jewellery Diploma course at The London Jewellery School in Hatton Garden in London. This began in September 2017. Alongside this, I am currently in the middle of an 8-week Business Bootcamp Course specifically for the jewellery business (Jewellery School Online). I can’t tell you how exciting it is being taught in the heart of Jewellery Mecca – that is Hatton Garden.
Basically, I have not looked back.
If you told me back in September 2016 what I have achieved 17 months later I honestly would not have believed you!
Fast-forward to February 2018
- I work from home in my workshop which I have built up with my own tools and equipment over the year
- I launched my own business – “JmB Silver” in October 2017
- I was awarded Distinction in Term 1 of my jewellery course
- I am my own boss
- I have achieved a better work/life balance
- I have joined a local artist/designer collective – “Made in Herne Bay”
- I am a blogger and have joined a local blogging group – WhitPress
- I have just completed my first-ever exhibition in a local art gallery – which was successful
- I have just been asked to stock my work in a local shop!!
- I have my own website – which I built myself and am building up sales and customers
- I am a whiz on social media – I am running my own Instagram and Facebook business pages
- I have 3 craft fairs and a summer festival booked for 2018
- I am a happy and more confident person
So despite my complete lack of traditional training, I think I am proof that it is possible to change direction, to do things differently and to be successful.
If I have any advice for anyone who thinks they can’t change their career – believe in yourself – it is possible if you have the passion and drive to do it!
Visit JmB Silver and take a look!