Good morning! Today we’re having an update with a very enterprising lady, Leigh-Ann Arundel, who’s come a very long way already (all the way round the world, in fact) since she launched Jingle Jewellery as recently as April 2012. I first interviewed Leigh-Ann in January 2013, and when she was asked where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she replied “Hopefully gaining in momentum and operating in more areas nationally as a successful business“. She’s done well with that plan – read on to find out more!
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
The year has gone so quickly, but yes, I think I am. I am really happy with how everything is going. We turned a profit in our first year and built on the existing business model. I am reducing my hours at the day job and have a plan to work solely on my business in the next few years – fingers crossed.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
The party business is still going strong, and we now have licence holders in East Yorkshire and plans to expand into other UK areas. The other exciting news is that we also have a licence holder in Queensland, Australia, so we are international. The party business is dipping its toe into the wedding industry, and we hope to offer these services very soon. I have been able to step away from the delivery side of the parties a bit more, and am overseeing the business.
The other change is that we have branched out into importing and wholesaling jewellery new to the UK. I have gorgeous Treasure Lockets which are from the USA. These have been branded and licensed very recently, and we have two people who own licenses to sell them as well as our existing consultants.
All in all, it’s a very busy and exciting time!
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I have learnt that there are not enough hours in the day, I often take on more than I need to and I should be less chaotic and more organised. However its difficult to slow down and get organised with 2 small children, a husband and a day job. I am so thankful to my family and friends, who are not only patient but very supportive and a great help. My sister is my partner, and often has the kids whilst I get on with other things or makes hundreds of our big-bottomed angels at Christmas, for example. l also have a fantastic small business support network of entrepreneurial women, and we work as a team advising, supporting and helping each other to keep things going. I am now also part of a new venture created by our group, bringing all the businesses under one umbrella ‘A Pocketful of Wonderful’ – we have a beautiful catalogue showcasing the businesses and a website.
The things I wish I had known last year would be how to better manage my time and also better knowledge of social media and website creation. I still find that very hard to get to grips with.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Believe in yourself, use your time wisely and make friends with other business owners as they can be an invaluable support and knowledge base. Oh, and not to waste money on things you can do yourself with a bit of practice.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I am still getting over Christmas! but this year I am focussing on streamlining, expanding and breaking into the wedding market.
What strides Leigh-Ann has made, and what a good example of working together with other crafty people and makers to produce a joint catalogue that will benefit them all. She’s obviously making time for learning, too (I have some good resources on social media on this blog, by the way). I don’t doubt that she’ll have broken into whatever market she chooses to break into in 2014. Oh, and it does get easier once you move away from the day job – I can vouch for that!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my book, Going It Alone At 40: How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment.