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Love Basingstoke chats to Hampshire School of Jewellery

Love Basingstoke recently spoke to Laura at the Hampshire School of Jewellery.

Tell us about yourself and the Hampshire School of Jewellery

We are a jewellery school based in Basingstoke which teaches a variety of classes from one-off introductory sessions to 10-week courses for complete beginners to more advanced learners.

The jewellery school is run by myself, Laura, and as a small business owner I do everything from running the website, social media and admin to actually teaching the classes although my sister does help me with my accounts!

My background is in jewellery and I graduated with my degree in Silversmithing and Jewellery design in 2006.  I have worked in the industry since then in a variety of roles, including at the bench, shop manager and designer.

Outside of work I love to dance both ballroom and Latin and have competed at Blackpool several times in national competitions.

What was your inspiration behind starting the business? 

I started teaching around 13 years ago at a local college, eventually taking over all of the jewellery making classes on the adult education programme.  I worked there for 6 years teaching in the evenings alongside my full time job working as a designer in a jewellery store.  In 2016 the college withdrew all of the leisure courses and this started me thinking about whether I could set up on my own and offer classes at my own jewellery school. 

Almost 7 years ago I held my first class with one lady at my dining room table and the lovely Jane still regularly attends my classes now.  From small beginnings I now teach between 50 and 60 people a week.

I love the process of teaching and seeing people learn new skills.  Its surprising how many people don’t believe they will be able to produce anything, and they always leave wearing their new creation.

Laura from Hampshire School of Jewellery

Who are your classes aimed at?

My classes are suitable for anyone age 16 and over and we ask for age 14-16 to be accompanied by an adult to attend a class.  They are a great way to get together with friends or family for a special occasion and I often have people who have bought the experience as gifts for each other.

Many of our classes are suitable for complete beginners including sessions like Making a Silver Spinning Ring or Set of Stacking Rings and learning how to use Silver Art Clay.  I run a 10-week Beginners Jewellery Making course which includes a variety of techniques and processes. The 10-week courses are attended by a huge age range from 15 up to 82!

Alongside the beginners classes, I run several intermediate to advanced classes and have students that have been coming for years!

Stacking ring class, Hampshire School of Jewellery

Do you have any tips to share with fellow business owners?

I think when you are self employed and running your own businesses it can be hard to stop and take a break as well as taking some well earned time off.  So remembering to take some time for you and your family regularly would be my tip!

Can you share your business highlights with us?

A definite highlight was opening my own studio in January 2019; having a permanent base to run classes from after years of carrying tools around with me to different locations made a huge difference.

This was followed later in 2019 by winning a Small Business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis.  He runs an event each year to celebrate those that have won and collecting my certificate from the man himself was really exciting!

What is great about having a business in Basingstoke?

I grew up in Basingstoke and have always loved living here; I have received so much support from local people over the past few years.

Our location and transport links also mean I have had people attend classes from London, Portsmouth and even as far away as Wales!

Visit the Hampshire School of Jewellery website for information on classes. You can also follow their instagram and facebook accounts

Our thanks to Laura at the Hampshire School of Jewellery for talking to us.
June 2023

Hampshire School of Jewellery

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