Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Curvy&Successful: Nicola Relph

Every fortnight Wednesday we feature interviews with successful curvy women. Take notes as Nicola opens up and tells what it takes to be a successful jewellery boutique owner

Twitter: @ABBjewellery
Facebook: Always Be Beautiful

1. Tell us about you and what your business does?
I’m Nicola Relph. I am a 24 year old, curvy, online jewellery boutique owner from Manchester. My jewellery boutique specialises in unique Swarovski crystal encrusted bags, rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and statement sets. I want my business to provide women with accessories that make them feel beautiful and confident and are within an affordable price bracket.

2. Have you always wanted to run your own business?
My career goal has always been to become my own boss. I wanted a job that gave me the freedom to balance my career and a personal life. I hated the thoughts of a repetitious work day and running my own business has given me the opportunity to challenge myself and my creativity.

3. Where did the idea for your business come from?
I have always loved bold and glamorous jewellery from a young age. In University, I began to notice that high street jewellery was starting to become generic and repetitive and I felt that there was a huge gap in the market for affordable, unique, bold pieces. I decided to investigate designing my own jewellery and finding statement pieces. I wanted to ensure that my jewellery emphasized my love for Swarovski crystals, which creates the most beautiful sparkle. I initially bought the jewellery and would wear it in lectures and on nights out. People began to notice and would ask me where they could purchase the same item. On the strength of this, my university professor encouraged my to set up my own jewellery business, as to her it was obvious that there was a market for it, and Always Be Beautiful was born.

4. What were you doing before starting up?
I have worked many jobs before I set up the business and have studied five years in University for my Masters degree. I found that working for large companies restricted me as a person and would monopolize a large proportion of my time.

5. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Go for it! It is hard work, but if it means doing something that you really love for the rest of your life, it will be worth the challenge. I set out to prove that no matter, who you are or what you look like, if you work hard enough, you can obtain your dreams. I hope to inspire other women to be brave enough to take a chance.

6. Where do you want to be in five years' time?
I would love to have developed my business further and branch out into different parts of the UK and America. My dream is to have my jewellery stocked in fashion boutiques and worn on fashion catwalks worldwide.

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