It was never my intention to start my own business.
While I've been creating things and drawing ever since I was old enough to hold a pen (well, one of those chubby Crayola wax crayons), it was only when I started working at Godiva a couple of years ago that I realised it was maybe something I could do too.
Finding myself surrounded by beautiful and unusual clothing and jewellery each day, mostly handmade in the UK, was something of a creative awakening. After years of college and uni, of the educational treadmill of exam after exam, essay after essay, I'd felt kind of stifled.
But being at Godiva made me want to try new things for the first time in years. I had a go at crochet (how do you guys do it, seriously?!) and pulled out my old sewing machine in an attempt at putting my rusty dressmaking skills - taught by my granny - to good use. But crochet was too frustrating, dressmaking too... slow. I wanted something I could design and create in an evening. I wanted that immediate satisfaction.
I started painting again. At 16, I'd planned to go to art college. While that didn't work out, I would occasionally paint commissions for friends. This felt closer to what I craved... but really I wanted something more tangible than a drawing on a piece of paper. Something I could feel, hold. Something I could wear.
And so I turned to jewellery!
I spent a good year or so experimenting with different styles, different materials. Something I still do today! I spent a lot of time (and money) testing the waters, before settling on something that felt 'me'. Simple jewellery, made with care. Geometric shapes and monochrome colours with a splash of luxe gold. Jewellery that could be worn everyday, but still feel special.
I didn't go in with the intention of selling my jewellery, but soon I had more pieces than I could ever wear. Etsy Resolution hit my inbox with perfect timing and I thought I may as well give it a go. Chatting with the other women and men in our private Facebook group was so inspiring. If these people, with their families and jobs and busy lives, could build up a successful business fuelled by their creativity, why couldn't I?
I remember the excitement of hearing that first 'cha-ching' - the notification that I'd made an Etsy sale. It was to Lizzie, a fellow Etsy Resolutioner, and I was so nervous wrapping it up, using my new packaging supplies for the very first time. I still get a thrill every time I hear that cha-ching, and I hope I will for as long as my shop is open.
If you're like I was, making things but too scared to take the plunge into selling, I have one thing to say: just try it. List something on Etsy or put it on Facebook, see what the reaction is. What's the worst that could happen? It gets ignored? Think about what could happen if you try: sustaining yourself, paying your rent and everything else with the proceeds of your creations. How amazing would that be?