Having completed a masters in industrial design, Hannah established the business in 2006, soon seeing her creations appear in national magazines as well as being worn by the likes of pop singer Eliza Doolitle, The Saturdays and Marina Diamandis.
Based in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter, Hannah united her entrepreneurial skills with her love of all things creative to produce a collection of stunning jewellery, kick starting her road to business success.
What do you currently do?
Via my business, www.hannahmakesthings.com I offer an eclectic and original portfolio of jewellery designs – all at accessible pricepoints. From vintage- inspired pieces to cutting edge contemporary designs and my latest range of handmade statement necklaces, I make stand-out jewellery that’s fun, quirky and sets out to be different from what’s on offer in the High Street.
I have also set up a wholesaling arm to the business and recently established a retail presence in the US as well as London and (of course) the HannahMakesThings retail base at Afflecks in Manchester,
Plans for the future include a move into the interiors/home accessories market, to complement the jewellery design aspect of HannahMakesThings, so watch this space for developments!
What is your inspiration in Business?
I want to be a really different, independent business, I like to design and source products that are unusual and offer an ‘antidote’ to what you may find on the high street. I think lots of people are looking for that little something to help them stand out from the crowd and that’s what I aim to offer to my customers.
Who do you admire?
I love Vivienne Westwood for her ethos and longevity in business. I also admire Karren Brady for her broad range of achievements and her cutting wit on the apprentice.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
On reflection, I sometimes wish I had started my business a little sooner perhaps instead of going to university, that said I learned a lot of things about design and made some great contacts during my time at Central Saint Martins. I’ve always wanted my own business but it took me a while to find the right path. I also wish I’d taken a few more risks along the way, but during the current economic climate I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What defines your way of doing business?
I like to find unusual products and design out-of- the-ordinary pieces. I want the business to be known for offering unique products so it takes a while to really get to know what customers like and keep offering products that will be popular. I source my materials worldwide so I can find things that you won’t find everywhere else, I know that it’s a gamble sometimes but I think customers appreciate our point of difference.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Research your market really well, see what competition is out there and see if you can build a business based around your idea. If there’s lots of competition, them you will benefit from identifying ways to make your business unique. You hit lots of obstacles when you start a business (and all along the way) but the lessons you learn are very valuable and your business will grow with the experience.
Be prepared for anything but mainly hard work and lots of your time to go into it. When you start a new business, you often end up sacrificing a lot to have your own company but I see it as building something for the future, so all the hard work will be worth it in the end.