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Flashback to 1997: Catching up with Rachel Jeffrey

Thu, 01 November 2012

In 1997, jeweller Rachel Jeffrey won the Shell LiveWIRE Top Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Hertfordshire.
We caught up with her to find out how she has adapted over the years as an entrepreneur and what her tips for success are…

What can you remember about your involvement with Shell LiveWIRE?
I remember having to work on my business plan which has proved to be very helpful. I remember having to sit in front of a panel of judges and prove to them my business would work. It made me really fight for what I believed in and really clarify to myself that this would work. It was great meeting other entrepreneurs as well, and even though we were in competition with each other it was a fantastic atmosphere! It was a real boost to my confidence thinking that other people believed in me.

How have things changed for you since you won your Shell LiveWIRE award?
I went from working alone in a workshop selling through other people's shops and galleries to having my own shop and jewellery school with a team of employees.

How have you had to adapt as an entrepreneur over the years?
I've had to go from being a designer/maker to a manager and now director of 2 companies. I had to learn additional skills over and above being a goldsmith to make my dream come true!

What has been the biggest obstacle you have overcome in business?
The biggest obstacle to overcome has been the massive increase in gold prices and the recession.

What are your top tips for a young entrepreneur who is about to set up in business?
Never be scared to employ people who are better than you (my dad taught me that and it really is true!). Live within your means and believe that your reward will come. It takes years, hang in there!

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