During our recent Jewellery Business Week we had a live Q&A session with two of our tutors Anna Campbell, who runs her jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs, and Bronagh Miskelly, who specialises in social media and online content for the craft sector as well as running her own craft business.
One of the interesting questions posed was about giving up full time work to set up or run your own jewellery business. How do you know the time is right?
Anna and Bronagh told their stories:
I gave up working full time at a university two years ago in order to teach part time and build up my jewellery business. I enjoy my current life balance and having more time to devote to building up my business. I have recently accepted a commission to make cufflinks for Bafta winning actors alongside making my usual lines which will be fun.
I had been building up my business name and sales for a couple of years while working full-time and had reached a point where I could financially work part-time in order to devote more time to this.
I don’t earn as much as I used to when I had a full time salary but I have enough money and more importantly have a balance in life that I truly love.
I am in a similar position now to Anna was a couple of years ago.
I’m about to give up my salaried job to concentrate on my business – which is a mix of writing/pr work and designing/making.
I’ve been building up my reputation and as a result I’ve reached the point where I would have to turn down opportunities I’d love to pursue and which would grow my business more if I didn’t take this leap.
I love having a mix of things to do and when paid commissions are slow I can get out my sketch book and materials and come up with new designs. I don’t think I’ll ever be a full time maker but I will be doing lots of creative work and that’s exciting.
There is no doubt though that deciding to concentrate on your business and give up the safety net of the “day job” is scary. I think you need to be very sure what you want out of life, what you need to earn to survive/have the lifestyle you want and you need to be prepared to change your mind if it doesn’t work out the way you want.
But, I think it is better to try than to endlessly wonder.
Are you thinking about taking the leap to make your creative business your main occupation or have you already changed direction? Why not share your story below.