From education to employment

Teacher turned jeweller celebrates anniversary

Former Primary School teacher Ruth Hollick

Career change from teacher to jeweller is reaping Ruth rewards 

A Staffordshire teacher is celebrating her third anniversary of making the leap to launch a bespoke jewellery venture.

Former Primary School teacher Ruth Hollick is the brainchild behind Mayflower Jewellery in Hamstall Ridware, near Rugeley, where she specialises in bespoke jewellery commissions.

The 48-year-old has seen business grow steadily year on year allowing her to expand to offer ready-to-wear jewellery and run jewellery-making workshops as well, including for Judith Holder, of “Older and Wider” podcast fame alongside comedienne Jenny Éclair.

Handmade, bespoke, and supporting small, local businesses are all elements which are driving sales for ventures like Ruth’s, but with most people staying at home in the pandemic, continuing to adapt and not standing still is yet another key factor to continued success.

Expanding skills to offer a cutting edge service

With this in mind, the mother-of-two has revealed that she’s also in the process of expanding further with a new cutting edge service that’s also Covid-friendly and will help families to get crafty at home.

Ruth said: “I am currently developing a range of casting kits, which allow people to carve their own ring designs in wax, in their own homes.

“Once the design is carved, I will then cast into the metal of their choice – silver, gold, rose gold – so that customers will get a true one-off! I also hope to expand this further and roll out into real-life and online workshops, to create a new Covid-friendly creative experience.”

The female entrepreneur absolutely loves the flexibility of running her own business, despite some of the challenges it brings, but why does the independent jeweller think she’s been so successful?

Organic approach is working for ex-primary school teacher

“I’ve taken an organic approach to growing the business so far, and I’ve been busier year on year, and taking on more and more commissions,” added Ruth. I’ve taken time to make sure that I am investing in myself as well as in tools and materials, and am constantly updating and expanding my silversmithing and business skills.

“The three elements of my business – bespoke, ready-to-wear and workshops – had been growing equally until lockdown. With social distancing and restrictions on retail businesses like mine, I’ve had to look hard at my business and adapt quickly, investing in individual workshop toolkits and screens, and substantially developing my website.

“I think a key factor in my success has been that people have really enjoyed experiencing the true nature of a bespoke handmade business.

“Attention to detail is key across service, quality and value. I really take time to develop relationships with customers to ensure that their experience with me – whether it’s buying a ready-to-wear piece, joining a workshop, or commissioning a bespoke item of jewellery – is memorable and enjoyable.”

No plans to stand still but to keep developing

So, what’s next in the pipeline for Ruth? “The last three years have flown by so fast. There is always so much to learn, in silversmithing terms and also running a business, that I never seem to stand still!” Ruth went on to say.

“It can be overwhelming at times, but when I look at how far my business has come since I started, it’s a pretty good feeling. I’ve so many things I would like to achieve, including looking into corporate events and a subscription service, so who knows what adventures and developments the next three years will bring!”

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