Seeing her young daughter start school was the push that prompted a Dinnington woman to turn her hobby into a full-time business.
After taking a silversmithing course, Victoria Galbraith had been producing personalised items requested by friends for a number of years.
The handmade pieces were often requested for special occasions and featured names, quotations or prints of children’s fingers, hands or feet.
Her work proved so popular that the Dinnington mum launched Victoria Grace Jewellery in February, thanks to free expert guidance from Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce through the Regional Enterprise Programme.
“I have always been creative and made items as a hobby for several years,” said Victoria.
“It began to snowball as people would notice the jewellery I’d made and ask me to make similar items for them. My daughter started school in September, which give me the push I needed.”
Victoria received a wide range of assistance from the chamber’s business advisors, who helped her develop her business plan, secure a workshop and profile her jewellery in the window of The Source Rotherham building and Rotherham Visitor Centre.
Their advice also enabled her to access a £500 grant from UK Steel Enterprise and Victoria has also reaped the benefits of taking up membership of the Chamber through the organisation’s events calendar.
“From initially contacting the chamber for some help with accounting, I realised the back-up they could provide for me,” Victoria continued.
“Not only have the chamber staff worked with me in developing a business plan from grass roots level, they have also introduced me to contacts who it would otherwise have taken me much longer to find.”
“The £500 grant effectively got my business going, as I used it for my website which is my‘shop front. I also attended a recent social media event organised by the chamber’s Women in Business group which was really helpful.”
“Being able to access the Chamber’s help without paying a penny has been a major bonus for me as someone starting out in business. I’d recommend that anyone in the same position give them a call,” she added.