Business Profile: Parchment & Pearls

Name: Maureen Nelson
Company: Parchment & Pearls
T: 07545672210

Business Profile: Parchment & Pearls


Can you describe your business?

I am a milliner and jewellery designer specialising in creating bespoke bridal accessories fascinators and jewellery. I design and make pieces unique to the client and every piece is hand dyed and made by me to compliment their dress perfectly.

Why did you start your own business?

I had been working part time as a crafter for many years, doing craft fairs north and south. I was also teaching jewellery design at night classes. My students found it difficult to access the materials they needed, so I decided to open a studio where I could design pieces and sell jewellery making materials as well.

What are the best things about running your own business?

The independence and flexibility it offers. Being self employed is not a 9-5 job, but it does mean that I can fit work around family life. It also means that I’m doing something that I love and it challenges me every day. Ask any designer or crafter why they do what they do and they’ll tell you it’s not to get rich, it’s because they love what they do.

What are the main challenges facing the business?

Time. My business is a one woman show, so the only thing that restricts me is my productivity. Designing and creating a piece is a lengthy process and at peak times I can have up to 30 pieces on the books to be completed each week.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business?

Be prepared to put in long stressful hours at the start. Research your target market and local competition. And be flexible, adapt to what your clients need.

Can you describe your experience of running a business in three words or less?

Stressful, exhausting, rewarding.