Name: Lisa
Business: Animal Prints in Silver

Tell us about your business?
People say a pet is a friend for life, our clients have a friend forever.  Animal Prints in Silver capture your pet’s paw print and horse’s shoe in stunning silver jewellery, creating a memory that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Each piece of jewellery is totally unique and created to your requirements.  Our jewellery is 99.9% pure solid silver, handmade in England and hand inscribed with your pet’s or horse’s name.

What motivated you to start your business?
I had been hand crafting silver jewellery capturing children’s and adults fingerprints, hand and footprints for over 5 years with my other business Cheeky Little Prints.  I began hand crafting jewellery with pet paw prints 3 years ago within Cheeky Little Prints.  The demand and market for Pet Paw Print Jewellery became very clear and in October 2014 I began to create a new brand, Animal Prints in Silver.  I designed and trademarked our logo, created a wide range of new samples including personalised horse shoe charms as well as paw print charms.  The website www.animalprintsinsilver.co.uk was launched early 2015 and a mobile friendly version of the site was finished in June 2015.

What have been your greatest successes?
I have created a wide range of sample jewellery designs that have provoked lots of interest and been well received by both our clients and the general public.  I have received very positive feedback regarding the website; it is clear and easy to navigate.  Animal Prints in Silver have recently set up jewellery displays and are working with 2 large local Veterinary Hospitals to make our jewellery even more accessible to pet owners.

What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge has been marketing in a fast, efficient and cost effective way.  I have been using a combination of creating an easy to use website, using the power of social media, collaborating with local businesses and attending various animal shows.  I believe you need to use a wide range of marketing channels and explore what is successful and what is not.

What advice would you give to other small businesses and those thinking of taking the plunge and creating a start-up?Research your target market and make it specific.  Clients like to use experts in their field and they value your product more if you are a specialist rather than a business trying to sell to everyone.  Ensure you look at all of your set up costs including relevant insurances, budget for essential marketing materials such as business cards and flyers.  Social media is very important so secure your business names within these platforms and trademark your logo.  Protecting your Intellectual Property is a must, so budget for that too.

How has technology (the Internet, Social Media, etc.) impacted how you conduct business?
Technology has a massive impact on all businesses.  If you are not online with a website and social media you will find it incredibly hard to be competitive and build your business in most fields.  Having an easy to use and comprehensive website has assisted me with communicating my messages to my clients and prospective clients.  Social media is helping me build up a relationship with my clients and prospective clients.

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