‘Mumpreneur’ Carol Robinson launched a confidence-inspiring jewellery making brand six months before the first lockdown. In a nod to Valentine’s Day, she says it’s more important than ever to share the love and collaborate with small businesses
My life has been relatively ‘normal’ – school, uni, worked in advertising and marketing for 20 years. I’ve always been in competitive environments and surrounded by confident people and we always compare ourselves to others so, although I was confident, I didn’t believe in myself then.
Having children changed life, as it does for many, and I struggled with the long working week. I loved what I did, but it wasn’t conducive to family life. I unfortunately miscarried after my first child but was then lucky to have my second child and, turning 40, decided to change my life, move to Norwich from London and set up One of a Kind Club, following my passion for jewellery making and inspiring confidence in others as well as myself.
I set up One of a Kind Club in September 2019 so at the beginning of 2020 I was learning from three months in business. I was excited about pop up shops, collaborations and growing my business. I’d learnt so much but still had so much to learn and do. I was also loving Norwich life, the kind people and family life.
Coronacoaster is how the lockdowns have been for me. The highs including collaboration over competition with small business owners, not having to adapt my business too much as was predominantly online anyway, breaking even financially, learning so much from industry experts such as Holly Tucker, being featured in a Digital Mums campaign, doing 27 virtual markets which showed my market stall on my day bed sofa and getting in to my first two retailers – so lots of achievements. I’d love to say it’s been totally amazing. It’s not all been easy – the dips – not having the ability to do everything I’d planned, home schooling a six-year old and a now two-year-old has had its challenges and not be able to explore and see my family and friends. I learnt so much about the importance of consistency in business plus also learnt that others don’t all have the confident lives we think they do – it’s ok to be you. With ‘real life’ events cancelled and the online space being even more competitive we need to share the love with small businesses even more – Valentine’s Day is my focus – sharing love through the letterbox with collaborative gift sets.
One of a Kind Club is a contemporary jewellery brand aimed to inspire confidence through the power of jewellery. It’s ok to stand out. It’s ok not to follow the crowd. If we were all the same, it’d be boring. From school right through my career I have been in some very competitive environments, and one thing I have learned is how often the greatest women don’t have the confidence they deserve. So often we care for others more than ourselves. We doubt ourselves. We compare ourselves. We have imposter syndrome. But we should just believe in ourselves. I’m making jewellery with that in mind.
I love creating vivid shapes and unique pieces to give the amazing people I know a way to express their personality and style. To help them be themselves with extra confidence. Like putting on your brightest lipstick but with jewellery instead. Is jewellery life changing? Not 100 per cent – being realistic. But a pop of colour or a unique piece in your day can be powerful. Wearing something that represents you, makes you laugh or feel good can change how you start your day. And that feeling can be infectious when you interact with others.
I’m on a mission to increase confidence and empower women – and it’s not easy to do – but if my jewellery can make someone feel good today then it’s a step in the direction. I’ve got so many plans and more will be revealed – but confidence workshops, more collaborations with designers, real life campaigns, making more sustainable ranges and getting into more retailers. Plus learning every day from others.
Self care is so important so, what with home schooling and running businesses, I’ve started Couch to 5K to get fit – but also have some me time.
My lastest collaboration is with @alti.design and we’ve got a great Valentines gift set of jewellery and concrete mandala tray on my website and social channels – great for your loves – or just as gift to yourself.