How can you run a jewellery business?
Each week we share what someone is doing to make money on this side. This week we have Victoria Brown who owns Boadicea Brown. She kindly sent a set of earrings and a necklace to me to review, is running a giveaway (details below) plus shares how and why she does what she does so you can learn from her business experience too!
Boadicea Brown – Beautiful and Affordable
I used to have a fair amount of custom-made jewellery with diamonds, rubies, green amethyst, tanzanite and other pieces. In 2012, they all got stolen and I did not replace them. Since then I have only purchased a few cheap items from stores in the local shopping centre, knowing the quality wasn’t great.
When I saw the prices for Boadicea I thought there was no way they could be good quality but they are amazing! The earrings are the most comfortable ones I have ever worn
They slide through my pierced ears with ease, I wore them all day and got so many compliments. I even wore them on our Princess Carriage ride for my daughters birthday.
The earrings totally matched!
The necklace I loved is this one
Again, it is so light yet feels strong. I’ve worn it a few times and have been told how pretty it is each time. You can check out more of the range here.
So there’s my thoughts on it, but here is all about how Victoria has built her business.
How and why did you start your business?
I started Boadicea Brown when I was on maternity leave. Like a lot of people, I was in a demanding fulltime corporate job and really wanted to create a work environment that was more conducive to being a mother with two kids. I think it is such a shame that many businesses are still intolerant of the demands applied to working mothers. Job share and flexible hours are still unheard of in many industries across Australia. While I was working such long hours we had no family support, so the kids ended up in childcare which is a massive strain on any family’s finances. I think the final straw was the constant guilt, I felt like no-one was getting the best of me. I couldn’t be the parent, employee or wife I really wanted to be. So I made a significant life change. I found a part-time job and started to work on Boadicea Brown whenever I had the chance through the week. It is a constant juggling act, but far more rewarding and I feel like I am starting to get some traction and I get to do what I love.
What inspires you with it (e.g. what inspires your jewellery?)
Today Boadicea Brown is a very different business to the one I created at the beginning. We are so much more than a jewellery e-commerce store. Certainly, Boadicea is about treating yourself or someone you love but we have evolved. Over the last few years, I have faced mental health challenges and breast cancer which I now share to help others. Through these experiences I feel like I have found a greater purpose, if I can help break down those stigmas around mental health or encourage you to check your bits then there is so much good to come from an otherwise difficult situation. When I re-launched the website it was important to incorporate a blogging where I talk about my journey, learnings, connection, mindset and above all how we can be kind to ourselves.
Here is my Journal: http://www.boadiceabrown.com.au/journal/
What do you do to keep motivated?
Motivation becomes so easy when you are doing something that you really want to do. Helping others has been a humbling experience and people’s feedback has made it very rewarding. While recovering from surgery and bearing my soul I had so much support and encouragement. No-one talks about mental health so by being brutally honest about what I have had to face, I am giving people permission to open up, sometimes for the first time. Just by the simple act of sharing a person can feel lighter and more equipped to deal with what they are facing. Making a difference and helping people find their voice, that’s what keeps me going!
What’s your favourite piece and why?
I love our entire collection. I am so lucky, as I get to decide what is in the range based on what I like and what I have seen in the fashion industry. It is great fun to shop for your own business. My main goal is to provide quality jewellery of real silver where every piece is personally hand-picked to guarantee the highest standard. I have a few pairs of earrings I wear a lot! Here are my favourite earrings.
What tips do you have for selecting jewellery for different purposes e.g. every day, work, formal events etc.?
Jewellery is such a personal thing. For me when I buy jewellery I see it as an investment and would much rather go for a quality piece that I can continue to wear. This means that I pick pieces that will be more likely to stand the test of time. I recently came across some necklaces in my jewellery box that had tarnished beyond repair but I cannot bring myself to throw them out as they were gifts from friends. Keeping them in an airtight container/bag can reduce this issue.
Here are my top 8 tips for choosing the perfect jewellery:
1. Stick to similar styles
When I am choosing what jewellery to wear with an outfit I try to pick similar styles. It doesn’t have to all match, but keeping with similar design themes will bring your look together in a cohesive way.
2. Layer Layer Layer
This is a fun way to make a unique statement with many pieces you already own. The only bit of advice I would give here is to choose one accessory to stack. Earrings, bangles, rings, or necklaces. Not all of them.
3. Metal on Skin
Find the metals or stones that suit your skin. I generally avoid gold as I think the yellow does not compliment my skin. The jewellery you wear should complement you, not take over!
4. Making a statement
I love statement pieces but if you are going to go with a bold pair of earrings then maybe avoid wearing a necklace, or vice versa. With a unique bangle maybe dial down the rings to the minimum.
5. Breathing new life
Recently I inherited my grandmother’s engagement ring which obviously has huge sentimental value. However I knew I would never wear it in its original form, so I decided to have it remodelled. Now I wear it most days and I think of her when I look at my hand. Reclaiming an old piece can mean that you get to really enjoy it once more, and it can add to the story.
6. It’s so shiny
Take the time to clean your jewellery yourself or taking it to a professional. The number of times I have got compliments from people just after I have had my rings cleaned. Just make sure you follow the instructions on any cleaner and put a plug over the sink. I have lost a few earrings down the plug hole!
7. Clothes or jewellery, the chicken or the egg?
Instead of choosing your clothes first, sometimes it can be far more interesting to find your jewellery first and match your outfit accordingly. This could open up a whole new world in terms of colour and style. I reckon this makes shopping for an outfit heaps more fun too.
8. Make it yours and have fun
It is all about you. Your personal style, what you feel comfortable in and what makes you feel good. So experiment, try new things, look to magazines, stores and people for inspiration. You are totally unique so your look should be unique too. Nobody is as good as being you, as you!
What do you do for fun?
My all-time favourite thing to do is entertain friends. We love having BBQs with people over, some great food, easy tunes and delicious wine. The perfect day! I also love family orientated activities like bike riding, the beach or just visiting the local park. When the kids are happy then life is good!
About Victoria Brown
I am a wife and mother to two very energetic small boys. I live in Sydney and have been here for 18 years. I grew up in the UK and came here as a backpacker, fell in love with Australia and never went back! My husband is Australian and we lead quite a typical Sydney life, catching up with friends, getting stuck in traffic and enjoying coffee from the local baristas. Over the last decade, I have faced mental health challenges and was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38 years. While these were often dark times for me and my family, I have found more strength than I thought possible to look up and move forward. I hope to continue using my life lessons and experiences to help others.
How to win the same necklace and earrings from Boadicea Brown
To win your own set of gorgeous Boadicea Brown earrings and pendant, simply fill in the form below. Full terms and conditions are here and in the widget below. Good luck!
$100 jewellery giveaway with Boadicea Brown