A young designer who was inspired to start her own jewellery business is now so busy she is expanding into the lucrative weddings market.
26 year old Jill Parker from Newton Stewart was inspired by another local jewellery designer, who like her, received support from The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust to start her own business. Jill spent five years working with the designer, and one year working with jewellery designers in New Zealand, before taking the plunge and launching her own business.
Jill’s Jewellery has a shop in The Schoolhouse tearoom in Ringford, near Castle Douglas. Her collections are inspired by nature such as shells, butterflies and daisies and contemporary shapes using sterling silver, white gold, yellow gold, palladium and platinum. She has recently been expanding her business into the weddings market and has already undertaken commissions for wedding bands, as well as wedding and engagement rings.
“I spent most of my 5th and 6th year in the art department at Douglas Stewart High School” says Jill. “At that time I was making hairpins and my art teacher suggested I try jewellery making. I started off with small earrings and silver trinkets and I knew I was completely hooked.”
Jill spent three years at Cardonald College undertaking a jewellery design course and graduated in 2005. Having had the experience of working with other jewellery designers, in November last year she approached The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust which supports 18-25 year olds start and continue in business.
Jill was nominated to receive funding from the BT Scotland Young E-ntrepreneurs awards scheme. The scheme is focused on encouraging young people to use e-commerce to boost their start-up companies. Through the scheme, which is now in its tenth year, BT Scotland has invested more than £440,000 in supporting new Scottish businesses.
Jill said, “I can’t believe how well the business is going, the website has really helped as it is so visual and allows me to display my designs to customers and showcase each new collection as I want to. PSYBT and BT have been incredibly supportive. My PSYBT mentor has been very supportive and I know I can contact her for guidance and as a sounding board for new ideas for my business. It’s wonderful to get positive feedback from my customers and it also makes me hugely proud to be able to say that I have my own business.”
Brendan Dick, director at BT Scotland, said: “Jill’s business is flourishing as a result of her natural creative talent and design flair but also because she is marketing her company so well and using her website as a showcase for her stunning collections. It is very rewarding for us to be able to give young people a boost to get started and to see their fledgling businesses begin to succeed, particularly in the current challenging economic climate. Small businesses are the backbone of the Scottish economy and we wish Jill all the best for the future.”
Issued by Jen Nash of Panache Communications, Tel. no: 07971 466 220, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information contact the BT Scotland press office: 0800 0850 660 or Margaret Gibson and Louise Moore of PSYBT on 0141 248 4999. You can also check out the PSYBT website at www.psybt.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Contact Jill Parker on 07706017610 or check out her website at www.jillsjewellery.co.uk