What Does Baking Have To Do with My Jewellery Business?
As it turns out, everything! I’d been toying with the idea of turning my jewellery making hobby into a side business for a while, but hadn’t had the time to focus any energy on it whatsoever. I’d been going through a particularly stressful time at work, doing long hours, having no work/life balance and generally not being happy within myself. This was an unusual feeling for me, because I’m one of those incredibly lucky people who is a naturally happy soul. It was around this time that my friend Millie asked me if I wanted to go to her church to watch a live interview with the famous Mary Berry after work. I accepted immediately, and told myself that if I left the office on time for one day, the world wouldn’t collapse.
For those of you who don’t know, Mary Berry was one of the judges on a hugely popular TV program called The Great British Bake-off. It’s a baking contest, and even for someone like me, who NEVER bakes, it’s compulsive viewing. They start with, I think, a dozen bakers, and each week the ‘least best’ baker leaves until you have a winner. Simple concept, but I always end up having a favourite or two, and watch because I’m rooting for them. If they lose, then I watch because by then I’m hooked. Anyway, off we went, Millie and I, to the church near Oxford Circus. There was a queue that went all the way round the block! For what was likely to be considered an “uncool” activity, there were certainly a lot of people doing it. I always wonder about uncool things. Like musicians for example. I haven’t met a single person who admits liking Phil Collins. So how did he sell millions of albums? See what I mean? Anyway, I digress.
We waited patiently in the queue and got seated inside the church. A few minutes later, the interviewer came on stage. “I recognise him!” I whispered loudly to Millie. He was the pastor at Millie and her husband Arno’s wedding. Not sure why I got so excited about that, but I did. He introduced Mary Berry and her son, who was also going to be interviewed, onto the stage and so began the interview.
Mary is 80+ years old. She’s intelligent, articulate and energetic. She told us about her experiences during the War, how she got her first job, and talked candidly about losing a child in a car accident. She does TV shows, writes books and does tours. And inevitably the question that everyone wanted to ask came up; “how do you continue to do so much?” the unsaid
subtext being, of course, “at your age”. Mary’s answer was simple. “I love what I do.”
And for me that was it! Instead of dreaming of an early retirement, if I loved my work so much that it wasn’t work anymore, I could go on forever. The rest of the interview was a blur. In that moment I’d made up my mind. I was going to turn the idea that I’d been toying with for so long into reality. I would start a jewellery business. Fail or succeed, I would stop wondering and start doing. That was in the spring of 2018. And so, here I am today. Incidentally, check out the video below to see the early stages of some of my upcoming pieces.
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