What does your business do?
Jewellery design and manufacture.
Where are you based?
Glasgow city centre in the Wasp's Studios South Block in Osborne Street. Previously, I was based in my garage, for the first two years of the business.
It was a great workshop, and although it is fantastic to have your own space, it can also be quite isolated. I moved into my current studio to share with five other jewellers, and I use it purely as a design studio.
Wasps Studios also has an All That Is Coffee cafe on the ground floor to which the public are also welcome, so it provides a great meeting space on a variety of occasions.
How did you get started?
In the beginning all of my jewellery was made by hand. I came up with a concept which was to incorporate pictures into my jewellery. I started just after the recession hit and I knew I had to design pieces which would stand out against the competition. I hoped that by creating pieces that immediately held a sentimental value, people would be more likely to spend on this meaningful item rather than a generic pendant.
What is your background?
I completed my HND at Cardonald College, and began selling collections through shops and at events.
After two years I felt the need to expand the business by aiming for the higher end of the jewellery market.
I happened to come across new technology for the jewellery trade, which would allow me to design everything on the computer, using 3D modelling software. I decided to undertake a one year BA (Hons) in Jewellery Design and Technology at North Glasgow College, which would give me all the skills I was looking for.
What is your top tip for business success?
Find something that you enjoy doing, and find out how to become very good at it. Therefore, if you are good at what you do, and people are willing to pay you for those skills, the rest will fall into place.
How long has your business been running?
Three and a half years, in which time I have seen many huge businesses fall, which can be daunting. But I have also heard of and met so many other inspirational people who are trying to do the same as I am.
Has anyone helped you get started and how?
I am very grateful to The Princes Trust (formerly PSYBT), firstly for its start-up grant, without which many things would not have been possible. Furthermore, I am particularly grateful for the personal support that the East Dunbartonshire and Glasgow City councils have given me.
What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?
Although I appreciate the workshop space that I have, and was able to start up from home, I feel the business and my own attitudes have significantly benefited from joining my fellow jewellers in the studio.
Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?
In the future, I intend to buy a commercial property, with a shop front, from which I could meet with clients in a professional and stylish atmosphere, to discuss commissions. I would hope to have a workshop from which I could 3D print my CAD jewellery models, and also be able to cast into various metals on the premises.
WEBSITE: www.oui designs.com
EACH week the Evening Times will throw the spotlight on one of the dozens of new businesses determined to succeed.
They are the future for Glasgow and the West of Scotland's economy and are working hard to achieve success in the face of continuing economic hardship.
Many start-up businesses are struggling to take off because of the economic downturn, and this new column will offer advice for potential start-ups.
Each start-up will answer the same questions about their business and their answers will be showcased in the Evening Times every Wednesday.
Today we talk to CAD jeweller Anna Marion, of Oui! Designs