WOW! It has been 7 years since the London Jewellery School first opened its doors – how time flies when you are having fun! Things have changed a lot since we first opened but one thing hasn’t – our fantastic customers! You never cease to amaze us with the wonderful jewellery your create both during our classes and afterwards. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us on this amazing journey and your continued support!
Our founder, Jessica Rose, started the London Jewellery School in 2009 aged 21 with only one class a month held in a community hall in South London, and to date we have welcomed over 12,000 students and taught over 3,300 classes.
So we thought it apt to find out from Jessica how she feels about the last 7 years – what her biggest highlights of the last 7 years have been and what her hopes are for the School going forwards!
So Jessica – congratulations on the School’s birthday! How do you feel 7 years on?
Whoop whoop! Happy Birthday to everyone at LJS! Yes it feels amazing to have reached 7 years. When we first started out back in a small community space in Dulwich (South London), I could never have dreamed of how much we could all achieve together. It is hugely rewarding to see your own business sustain and grow over that period of time and what is even more rewarding are the stories that come out of the Jewellery School. So many talented students who learn and develop their skills with us and go on to set up their own jewellery businesses and develop and grow as a result of their time here. There is something very special about being part of that. It has also been great to see the team of staff and tutors grow over the years and many students have gone on to teach or work here. It’s like a hub of jewellery making fun and creativity. What more could you ask for in your life than that?
What are you top 3 proudest moments from the last 7 years?
Gosh there are so many, but we were delighted to win 6 awards for the London Jewellery School in one year, including the professional jeweller hot 100, HP Smart Business Awards and the NatWest Everywoman Business Award! That was an incredible feeling. Not only to see the business grow, but to get that external recognition from so many established institutions. It really gave the school and the jewellery training industry as a whole extra credibility and recognition.
Meeting the prime minster, writing my first book, demonstrating jewellery-making live on TV, speaking on Sky news, teaching Robert Patterson (the BBC Business Editor) how to make a cocktail ring! So many highlights to be proud of, and it has all been such fun too!
But, the proudest moments always come from students and seeing what they are able to achieve and do each and every day. My favourite events of the year are always the Diploma exhibitions – to see the quality of work that students have worked so hard on go up and up, and to hear about their businesses and plans for the future. Hopefully we can help many more people to do what they love in the future too.
What would you say the most important thing(s) you have learned in the last 7 years?
Never give up! There will always be tough times and ups and downs in business and in live but if you keep going amazing things can happen.
I have also learned that it is not all about me! As soon as I feel like everything is on my shoulders and that the school is about me, things get difficult. I have the most amazing team and have been so lucky with the staff and tutors that have come and go and been part of our journey so far. And like we keep saying it may sound cheesy but it really is all about the students. When I focus on what I can do to make their lives better, to improve their experience and to reach more people who want to be part of what we are about then the rest all falls into place.
And finally that it is possible. Many people told me when I started out that it was a nice idea but would never make any money, that it would be unsustainable or unrealistic. Luckily I didn’t listen and did it all anyway. With business, it’s always possible. It is just a case of when, where and how.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Property! Being in London property has been a definite challenge for us and it didn’t help that I knew nothing about it before starting and renting our first places. We have been unlucky with property and the staff team will be the first to tell you we have moved 5 times in 7 years (moving a jewellery school is no easy task!) but we have been lucky enough to always find what we need just in time and we have made it through.
You have already achieved so much in the last 7 years but what is next for the School?
So much! As well as continuing with our popular one-day, evening and certification classes, we are building the online school at www.jewelleryschoolonline.com
With our mission to bring jewellery making to the world and to help over 1 million people to learn the fun and creativity of jewellery making, we have built an online school. Here we offer some of our most popular courses through video based learning, e-workbooks, podcasts, webinars and supportive community groups. It’s great! If you haven’t already you should join us and sign up to some of our free courses at http://learn.jewelleryschoolonline.com/
We are also developing partnerships with Create and Craft TV channel and our tool partners to bring you more exciting jewellery making tools and kits. Continuing to develop and build our jewellery diplomas programme to train budding jewellers to build their own businesses and work in the industry.
I would love in the coming years for us to do more to help jewellery designers run and sustain profitable jewellery businesses. There is so much we have to share!
I can’t wait to see what the next 7 years bring, but whatever happens, I promise it will be sparkly!
Thanks Jess! We just can’t wait to see what amazing things happen in the next 7 years!