How did the idea for Kriket Broadhurst Jewellery come about?
Initially (over 15 years ago now) I wanted a change from the career I was in. I was a mosaicist and public Artist working on large scale public Art projects for Local Councils, Governments and Architects. I had always been interested in jewellery and silversmithing, but knew if I wanted to stand out within this craft I needed a great USP.
I had always loved collecting beads during my overseas travels and wanted to make my own to incorporate within my jewellery designs. My Mum was a ceramicist and had some very old faience bead recipes that were based on a 5000 year old Ancient Egyptian technique. I fell in love with the process of making the beads and began perfecting her recipes, adapting them and tweaking them until I had a set of rich, opulent, unique colours. It took many years of ‘secret’ testing to get the exact surfaces and glossiness that I wanted in my beads. I really wanted a unique component to base my designs around that not many other people were making or using.
From there my business grew and grew as I started selling at markets and in galleries. As my skills developed so to did my designs and I began to incorporate other materials into my collections such as seaglass, rough cut diamonds and precious metals. After several years I set up my own shop and gallery in the Uk which enabled me a direct market to my customers.
What motivates you?
The desire to create, I have been making my whole life and I cannot imagine living without it. I am motivated to create beautiful handmade jewellery that is totally unique, beautiful and made with passion.
I am also motivated by the desire to work for myself, to be my own boss and to fulfill my visions, sometimes it isn’t easy to maintain this path and I suffer from overwhelm on a regular basis!
In one word, characterize your life as a start up/ business owner?
Who has been your greatest inspiration? Why?
This is hard, I really cannot say just one person. It would have to be all the amazing woman I have met, read about or seen who have forged their own paths, followed their dreams, been true to their nature and marched to the beat of their own drum 🙂
Where do you get your creative energy from?
Honestly – I don’t know!
In the beginning, when I worked to a brief on Public Art Projects it was a little harder because I was striving to fulfill someonelses vision so I had to foster that energy a little more. But since I have been operating under my own steam it has hardly ever faulted, I could make all day, everyday. The ideas just keep flowing as my skills keep growing. If I go through dips when I feel like my creative energy is wavering then I just ride it out for a few days and trust it will come back – it always does.
What was a watershed moment in your business journey?
There were 2, the first was opening my own studio/gallery in the Uk and selling directly to the public. Prior to that I had been supplying galleries and working part time in a gallery too. I got to a point where I knew if I wanted to make a decent living from all the effort I was putting into my designs and jewellery then I needed to be selling it directly myself. It took a great leap of faith and it wasn’t easy at first but setting up shop was the best thing I had done to date for my business. The second was then moving that shop (after 2.5 years ) to the high street of the town we were living in. Even though the move was only 100 metres or so from where I was originally, being in a better location made a huge difference to my sales and the sales of the jewellers whose work I stocked. I was grateful for the slow start however as it allowed me time to get a true handle on my business and all the aspects of running a shop before moving to a bigger, busier and all together more demanding environment.
How is running a successful business different to what you may have thought it would be?
I had a pretty good idea from watching close friends open business’ that it was no easy path so I went in with my eyes wide open but even though I was prepared for hard work I did not realise the amount it demands of you. I operate pretty much on my own and so the daily pressure is immense. To me the idea of a business is to grow & at one point mine was growing a little faster than I could maintain – in terms of all the day to day running of it as well as still hand making all my own pieces, never mind the demands of a newborn (I fell pregnant 6 months after launching my shop)!
Now I am no longer in the same boat as I sold my business last year and my family and I have moved back to Australia. I am now adjusting to launching my business online and I am finding that has just as many ramifications as managing a bricks and mortar shop (although I get away with bad hair days with less stress!) I am also finding Australia is (naturally) a slightly different market to the Uk so I am finding that a little bit of a challenge too.
Having said all of that, being self employed is a wonderful thing and I love the flexibility of it, the challenge and the fact that it is always evolving.
What do you struggle with most as a business owner?
Not enough time, who doesn’t? At least 5 times a day I wish I could clone myself! Also the mundane aspects – like bookwork and ordering etc, things that I cannot really outsource easily. After years of project management I am pretty good at anticipating what needs to be done well in advance and so I have become really good at planning and working to schedules that help keep things running relatively smoothly.
Given your experience, what advice do you have for women starting a business?
1.If possible plan one full year ahead, acquire funding or utilise some savings or get family support. It takes time to develop a business and lots of steps may need to be taken before you start to see a return and then money needs to go back into the business to keep it building. You cannot expect to make much money in the short term and so without that initial investment it can be hard to survive. A good business plan (UGH what?) does really help, it doesn’t have to be in depth and thorough but it helps you map the first 12 months and also break down all the tasks and jobs that you need to do and keep the process on track and manageable. After the first year things tend to get easier, as money starts to come in and you learn from the first 12 months what works and what doesn’t and where you need help and direction.
2.If you believe you have the tenacity to run your own business then make a solid plan and just start don’t procrastinate – take the steps and things will start to fall into place.
3. Network, network, network. Use social media, workshops, markets, business events to meet people in your industry or field whenever and wherever you can. I have a network of incredible friends all over the world who are all business owners with healthy, thriving businesses. Generally, people are more than willing to help and give advice, it all goes full circle and one day you will be the one offering that advice so listen with gratitude and take on board what you think will help you. I mentored several young graduate designers through my shop and over a few years saw them turn small fledgling ideas into solid businesses that are now generating incomes for all of them.
Where could we take you today?
Villefranche Sur Mer a small village on the French Riviera, unpretentious, quaint and in my opinion with the best pizza in Europe!
You can find Kriket online here.