I met Roz at a Tring Buzz (now Buzz Hub Co) networking event a while back and immediately loved her style and her jewellery! (She has a fantastic personality too of course!). We got chatting and Roz told me all about her business. I really loved hearing about the bespoke wedding rings she creates with couples and have kept an eye on what she's been up to ever since. Delighted to feature Rosalyn's Emporium in our Businesses Built on Passion series.
Rosalyn's Emporium - Roz Prest
Tell us a little bit about your business.
Rosalyn’s Emporium is a bespoke jewellery business based in Buckinghamshire. The business was established in 2016 with the aim of sharing over 20 years of jewellery making and knowledge by offering ‘Make Your Own’ experiences, commissions and recycling services.
In November 2019 the business moved to a new private workshop in Chiltern House, Chesham. The larger space caters for group workshops with adults and children as well as the couples ‘Make Your Own wedding rings’ experiences.
What inspired you to set up your business?
In 2001 my sister was getting married and asked me to make their wedding rings. I’d graduated in 2000 with a degree in Metalwork and Jewellery but I’d never worked with gold so it was an exciting challenge. I made the wedding rings and then most of my cousins and friends started asking if I could make their rings. Some of them came to my home and would help to make their own rings so I’ve been doing this as a hobby for over 15 years before making it a business. I love the personal experience and uniqueness of making rings that you will wear every day. They carry so much more meaning as a result. The business is very much inspired from the love and experiences of my family and friends.
What gave you the final nudge/ push to go for it?
I worked for a big national jewellery and watch retailer for 13 years as Visual Merchandise manager. It was a stressful role but married my love of jewellery and window dressing so it was perfect for me at the time. Retail was a hard industry to be in and I was made redundant in January 2016. I was grateful to have extra time at home with my young children. The career break also meant I could seriously research setting up my own business which had been my goal all along. To start with I took over our spare room at home and worked from there before things got big enough to justify renting a workshop and giving us our home back.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Nothing quite prepared me for juggling two young children (2 and 5 at the time) and setting up a business completely from scratch. I wanted to own every aspect of the business to ensure it’s authenticity.
Every single part of the business from building the website, designing and sourcing packaging, accounts, marketing, dealing with customers and sourcing quality suppliers is all done by me. I’m very glad I went down that route but my learning curve was very steep and I worked every single evening for seven months to get things in place to launch in September 2016 when my son started nursery.
This gave me some day-time to work and focus which helped as the business started to grow. My husband also took a career break to refocus his own skills and help me from a childcare aspect. We completely turned our lives around all at the same time. Not sure I’d want to repeat that ever again but we did it and I am so proud of how we’ve managed to work together to make our family life better then it was. Hopefully our children will benefit from that.
Describe your greatest success/ the thing you are most proud of.
There have been many points over the three and a half years but still my greatest highlight was attending my first wedding fair in September 2016. Three couples signed up to make their own wedding rings. It gave me the confidence that I was doing something right and there really was a space in the market for this kind of jewellery business.
I’ve made mistakes and learned from them. It’s a constant flow of success and failures but I love it and would never want to do anything else now. The feedback from my clients has been incredible and when they come back for more things or recommend me to their friends it is the biggest compliment. One day I’d love to have a massive party with all the people who made their wedding rings with me - my clients are brilliant people - it would be the best party!
What motivates you to keep forging ahead with your business?
The bespoke aspect of my business is what keeps me going as well as being my own boss giving greater flexibility with family life. Creatively I need new ideas and projects to keep me interested, so from the outset I needed to build that into the business model. This newness tests and challenges me. I’m constantly learning new skills and growing my knowledge of jewellery making and sourcing gems. Over the years I’ve gradually added extra services such as recycling gold/ gems and repairs. Not everything works, I’ve dropped some things and grown others.
I still have plenty of ideas and am not worried about how to grow my business, keeping it fresh. That’s the wonderful thing about jewellery - it just keeps giving. Everyone has a story and memory about a piece of jewellery. Experience and personalisation are my unique selling points. During the current times I hope that is something even more people will appreciate like I do.
My business celebrates love in every form. Love is endless and hopefully so is my business.
Thank you so much to Roz for sharing her story with us here at Cat's Pajamas. We always feel inspired hearing about the journeys of others. And the fabulous cover photo for the blog is Roz's workshop, where the magic happens!
If you would like to find out more about Rosalyn's Emporium you can visit:
Facebook - @rosalynsemporium
Instagram - @rosalynsemporium
Twitter - @rosalynemporium