Back in 2010, Christy-Anne ventured into the world of jewellery. Christy-Anne Jewellery is a Durban-based shop that offers unique hand-crafted jewellery pieces for all occasions. To get the inside story of her entrepreneurship journey, we took the time to have a sit-down chat with Christy-Anne. We found out her best tips, tricks and sources of inspiration – what particularly stood out for us was that there’s beauty in the process.
Like many entrepreneurs, Christy-Anne had her fair share of challenges and victories. Today, 11 years later, she embodies what it means to grow through what you go through. So, whether you’ve just entered the world of jewellery or are a jewellery lover, there’s a golden nugget here for you too.
Tell us a little bit about you and your business
Christy-Anne Jewellery has been around for 11 years now. I decided to take the first step and start what has been a very slow journey but a good one.
I’ve always had a creative side to me. When I was younger, I loved making things. So, when the time came to choose what to do with my life, I knew I wanted to go into a crafting field. At the time, I didn’t really know much about what was out there, but I had found out about studying jewellery design and thought: ‘Let me give it a go’.
What made you decide to start your own business?
The flexibility and ability to control my own time. I wanted to be a mom that was there and available for my kids. But I also wanted to work and be part of the commercial space. So, opening my own business seemed like something that was going to give me the best of both.
Also being able to be more creative and grow in an area that I wanted to.
How would you describe your brand in 3 words?
Feminine, customisable, approachable.
What challenges have you faced in starting your own business?
I didn’t have any capital at all. I came straight out of studying and ended up moving back in with my parents after living on my own. They had a little outhouse on their property that I could use as a workshop. So, I moved back home to save money and put everything I could into starting my business. In the beginning, there were a lot of challenges, but if you’re willing to put in the sacrifice for the goal then you will get there eventually.
Who’s helped you in your business journey?
My family have been a huge support, especially my parents. If I hadn’t been able to move back home and set up a workshop, it may have been very different.
I think also other people in the industry that have been willing to share their experience and their expertise with me.
What are any tips or tricks that you would give somebody that was starting their own business?
An attitude of learning and an attitude of humility can make you grow so much and take you a long way.
Also, perseverance. You will go through some bad times, self-doubt, and some sacrifices. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot, in terms of your time as well as in finances and willing to give a lot of yourself in order to succeed.
Hold on to the passion and the dream of what you want and if you want it enough. Be willing to get stuck in, sacrifice and persevere.
How did you find managing the challenges of COVID-19 and lockdown?
It’s been very challenging; I think it has been for every business in whichever field.
My biggest concern was that my business supports other people and the challenge was trying to let it not affect their lives as much as I possibly could. Being put in a situation like that forces you to grow and look at other ways of doing things that you maybe wouldn’t normally. I was lucky that I had set up my online shop quite a while before that. I put more time and effort into that. I think challenges like that really help you to think out the box as a business owner.
In an environment like this, you have to be willing to change, willing to adapt and willing to constantly be ebbing and flowing.
What payment method do you use and what do you enjoy about it?
The iKhokha Mover Pro. It’s not a bulky machine, I can just put it in my handbag and take it somewhere if I need to. It’s really easy to use and it’s small and portable.
The fact that it’s on my phone and has a nice interface that’s very user friendly. That’s what I really enjoy about it.
When did you start using iKhokha and how has your experience been?
I started with iKhokha when you had those little machines that plugged into your phone. It was a long time ago. I saw your ads online and then saw someone who had one and asked them about it. I have never really experienced any big problems with the machines. And when I call customer support for anything, they’re really hands-on and helpful.
What inspires you?
Nature and people inspire me. Whether it’s the people around me or customers, I draw energy from that. I’m also very inspired by modern contemporary women and all the different roles we have found ourselves having to fulfil. When I’m designing my jewellery, I want it to be something that can transcend all those roles – it’s comfortable, it’s practical but you still feel pretty.
If you’re looking for jewellery that goes well with pretty much everything, look no further than Christy-Anne Jewellery. The custom hand-crafted jewellery is sure to be personal and add sparkle to any occasion. Shop her pieces online or follow her on social media.
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