UK Steel Enterprise backs ambitious jewellery business
A Scunthorpe-based entrepreneur has embarked on a glittering new career as a bespoke jewellery designer and manufacturer following receipt of a £750 grant from the UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund.
Victoria Markham officially launched Silver Orb Jewellery in June 2018 after using the funding to commission her own personal jewellers stamp. She has since started helping others create their own pieces by delivering jewellery making workshops at the popular Café INDIEpendent.
Specialising in pendants and bracelets made using ethically sourced stones, business owner, Victoria started making jewellery as a hobby in 2013; selling a few pieces to family and friends via the online marketplace platform Etsy.
Thanks to the support from UKSE, she hopes to eventually leave her current job as a supply teacher and start pursuing her passion full time with plans to launch her own website in the coming months, as well as introducing a bespoke wedding arm of the business for couples looking to make their own custom rings.
Victoria is now also offering jewellery making workshops to bride-to-be’s searching for an alternative to the traditional hen party.
I am so grateful to have received the funding from UKSE without which I would not have been able to make the transition from enjoying making jewellery as a hobby to creating a business centred on it.
For me, crafting is a therapeutic experience and has definitely helped me though some difficult times – this is why I want to share the skill through running local workshops and getting involved with collaborative exhibitions.
A subsidiary of Tata Steel, UK Steel Enterprise is dedicated to helping the economic development of areas of the UK most affected by changes in the steel industry with the Kickstart grant scheme designed to support budding entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, such as Silver Orb Jewellery.
In addition to the jewellery making and workshops, Victoria is involved in a number of collaborations with artists; most recently working alongside Scotland-based artist Anita Inverarity which resulted in one of her jewellery collections being featured as part of the International Group Exhibition, Magic and Medicine.
Commenting on her recent collaborations, Victoria explained:
The collaborative approach to jewellery and crafting is the direction I’d like Silver Orb to follow. Not only does it allow me to explore multi-media creations but the sense of community is overwhelming and it’s great to be connected with such creative, talented and likeminded individuals.
Alan Stanley of UK Steel Enterprise added:
It’s been a pleasure to support Victoria as she establishes Silver Orb Jewellery and gets her jewellery making workshops off the ground.
She has a clear vision for growth, and I have no doubt that her bespoke designs and quality craftsmanship will continue to attract custom across the UK and beyond.
The Kickstart fund was established to support start-up businesses and budding entrepreneurs, such as Victoria, by providing grants of up to £750 alongside guidance and advice from Growth Hub advisors at North Lincolnshire Council.
UK Steel Enterprise also provides equity and loan finance up to £1M to established and growing companies to facilitate expansion and create job opportunities. Established businesses in need of growth finance can contact the UK Steel Enterprise team on 0800 915 1188.