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How I set up my own jewellery business at 19

Lucy Toone, 20, set up her business TOMM Jewellery when she was 19. She lives in Sussex.

At school, I was very creative but not overly academic. When I was 11 I used to sell products and made my pocket money that way. I loved fashion and art and it was always a way of expressing myself.

I didn’t go to university but I went to college to study media. I really enjoyed learning about advertising and social media.

I worked in a pub as soon as I left school, then quickly got a job working for Benefit makeup and then Guerlain in House of Fraser. I was the youngest person Guerlain had ever employed.

But my passion was jewellery. I’ve made jewellery since I was ten years old.

Finding my path

I went to craft fairs selling my jewellery under a brand name ‘Loula Belle Designs’. I then moved away from jewellery and went to drama school and trained to do musical theatre.

Ten years later I decided the hobby I had as a child was a passion I couldn’t ignore.

So many friends and family asked for bracelets as gifts and for themselves and it became so in demand I set up the business and never looked back.

I’ve always enjoyed business talk. I never dreamt of getting married, I dreamt of having a successful brand and selling a product I’m passionate about.

I started TOMM Jewellery in March 2019.


What it’s like running my own business

It doesn’t feel like work for me. I love what I do and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love.

TOMM Jewellery is handmade jewellery which I design and make. I aim to create pieces everyone can wear. From girlie girl to tom-boy. I sell jewellery ranging from costume jewellery, Sterling silver jewellery and 18k gold filled jewellery, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings and earrings.

I have big goals for the future but I know persistence is key. I’m just so grateful for every single order.

My advice to my younger self

To ten-year-old Lucy, I’d say be grateful for everything you have and to have confidence that you’re smashing it!

My advice to someone wanting to set up a business is ‘go for it’! We only have one life so you’ve got to do what you love.

To view the collection, visit www.tommjewellery.com


Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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