Meet Laura Eyles. Founder of Laura Eyles Jewellery, where her contemporary approach to jewellery design reflects her own approach to life. Each piece is an adventure strewn with surprises: rotating universes and hidden worlds waiting to be explored. This is her entrepreneurial story.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
I had followed my heart for years studying courses that I was passionate about. Painting, Curatorship, Gold and Silversmithing. So I was confident in my creative skills and was passionate about what I was making. I had been making contemporary jewellery as a hobby for a few years and galleries were starting to take interest in what I was making. I thought to myself, ‘I feel so good when I am making my work, I really want to do this as a job’. I knew that it was possible, so I started taking the first steps to make it a structured occupation.
How did you get your business started?
I applied for NEIS at RMIT because although I was confident in my making skills the same could not be said for my business skills. I had always been good at navigating the process of study and knew that completing the NIES program would mean that I would come out the other end with structure and support to start my business. It was around tax time and I had got a great return which I gifted to my business to get it started.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
I have learnt that I need to structure my day in a way that makes sense to me. I have some quirky/daggy daily routines that are central to me controlling my productivity for the day. I have learnt to keep my to-do list under control and if a task is feeling a bit scary to just start doing it because it will only get scarier the longer it is left on the list. I have also found it really important to take a step back every now and again, and to reassess the direction my practice and business are heading in. I won’t let myself or other people get me down for now powering full steam ahead all of the time. Sometimes I just need to make time for inspiration in order to hit the ground running again.
How important for you has it been to have a mentor?
I have and have had a variety of mentors who help to keep me and my business in check. They boost me up when I am denying myself praise, and help me see clearly when they find me getting lost. I have different mentors for different aspects of my business. My NEIS mentor was central to me learning to set and achieve business goals, she taught me to be accountable for my achievements. My creative mentors help me stay true to my vision.
What are your top three tips for starting a business?
- Have a chunk of money to invest in getting the ball rolling. I had a $4000 tax return that started me off. Keep all your business money separate to your personal accounts. Money in and out of your business needs to be easy to track.
- Have a very clear idea of what it is that you want to achieve. For me, it was to be a represented artist at a specific set of contemporary jewellery retail galleries around Australia and to sell through my own online shop.
- A workday is a workday, get up early and make the most of the hours of the day. Then at the end when you have achieved the jobs you set yourself for the day, you can rest knowing you have done your best.