Norwich sisters launch jewellery business from spare room - and its now worth £1m year
- Credit: Steve Adams
When launching a jewellery business in late 2012, sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett used some borrowed money and a spare room.
After ordering a small batch from their manufacturer in the Far East, their only customers the first Christmas were friends and family.
But fast forward to today, and the duo are sitting at the head of a successful digital business, selling more than £1m of jewellery online each year, and employing 10 people.
For the two sisters, who had each pursued careers in London before moving back home to Norwich, the root to success has had its trials.
Sophie, 38, who lives in Le Strange Close off Christchurch Road, had just given birth to her youngest son Jack – now three – when they launched the business, and Jenny's first child Kasper was born in late 2013.
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But working all hours of the day, driving sales through online marketplace Not On The High Street and a particularly successful necklace design has helped the sisters achieve their dream business, J&S Jewellery.
So far they have sold more than 125,000 pieces of jewellery and are now hoping to grow their brand using their own website.
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Jewellery designer Jenny, 35, of Cardiff Road, who previously worked for top-level clients including Marks & Spencer, said: 'It has dominated our lives. You can't shut off from it but financially it has been fantastic. I did own a house which I bought while I was in London on a good salary, but when I came back I couldn't find work and I had to live with my parents and rent it out.
'Once the business looked more promising I could move back in with a lodger and now I can live there on my own.'
In May 2014 the business opened its first dispatch office in Earlham House, off Earlham Road, and in April this year they expanded into a second office in Fuel Studios, above the Job Centre in Pottergate. Sophie, who worked as a photographer at The Times before returning to Norwich, said: 'We didn't expect it to progress this quickly. But we had to be in it to win it. We knew it was possible but we didn't think we could do it so quickly.'
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