How I Started My Business

Handmade polymer clay slab with a crab apple blossom design

I started Pink Lime Mango with encouragement from my sister. I loved the Aussie style of colourful polymer clay earrings and I wanted to make my own. I thought I could make bright, bold and colourful jewellery for customers in the UK. I also had trouble finding that style of jewellery with nickel free findings. I couldn’t commit to buying products plus paying expensive delivery costs from Australia only to find out that it caused me skin allergies.

So I decided to use that as my USP, unique selling point. I thought surely there are other people out there with skin sensitivities like mine, a nickel allergy, that want to buy colourful statement jewellery.

In 2020 I worked my way through a great career book by Richard Bolles called What Colour Is Your Parachute? I narrowed down my favourite transferable skills to making, sculpting and designing. My favourite subjects included fine art, making jewellery and exercise (Zumba classes and Jenny Ford Marching Workouts). I knew I wanted to be my own boss in a creative career that combined my art and health interests.

In June 2020 I completed a Google Digital Garage course called ‘Get a business online’. This helped me make a plan, build customer profiles and compare e-commerce sites. I decided to use Shopify as it was easy for me to start building with a basic template and had the functionality I required.

I’d tried Etsy in the past and wanted to try something new. I wanted to get people to focus on just my jewellery and not get distracted by others. It was a gamble as I’d have to drive traffic to my website myself as I didn’t have the Etsy marketplace visitors already there. I much prefer having the freedom to set up my own site how I want it.

After much research and watching lots of tutorials I made my first earrings in June 2020. The photo at the top is the very first slab I made. (A slab is a base of polymer clay with designs or patterns attached to it). It was inspired by a walk amongst the crab apple trees on a sunny day! I cut earrings and pendants from it and called it the Apple Collection.

I launched my website in August 2020 with Bo-Kaap included as one of my first collections. That was based on the colourful houses in Bo Kaap, South Africa! You can see the bright bold colours below:-

Colourful textured patterned polymer clay slab

My original plan was to side hustle my business alongside my full time job for 1-2 years while I built up a customer base! Instead I took voluntary redundancy from my previous job and took the plunge to go fully self-employed in November 2020!

I am happy and content with where I am. I took a big risk but in terms of my health it was the best decision. I can focus on Pink Lime Mango full time and I’m really thankful for that.