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A jewellery maker is spearheading a campaign to help women shine in business and win the chance to showcase their products in a Lichfield shopping centre.
A spring market at the Three Spires Shopping Centre will offer free stalls as part of the the Mumpreneur campaign.
The initiative has been backed by Deborah Rowe, joint network leader for Lichfield of Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE).
She swapped a hectic schedule as an antiques expert for top auction houses to run her own vintage jewellery-making business from her home in Lichfield.
The 42-year-old decided to change career after the birth of her children Zephan and Laurence, kicking off her new venture by creating new pieces from old items picked up at car boot sales.
“I just wanted to rescue these pieces of jewellery,” she said. “I found that stopping work when the children were born gave me the freedom to try that, to step off the treadmill and have a go.
“I remember my first sale. It was at a craft fair and this lady looked at one of my items and then wandered off. She came back an hour later and said she couldn’t get my necklace out of her mind and she had to buy it.
“To think someone thought that about something I had made, created myself with my own passion, was amazing and that was when I thought that maybe I was good enough to really make this work.
“Getting my business up and running has been a steep and difficult learning curve and financially it is a lot more worrying not having a steady income every month.
“But working from home, for yourself, is appealing to more and more women these days and for me the quality of life is just so different. I get to spend so much quality time with my children and be at the school gates every day and in myself I am so much happier and more confident.”
Those who take up the opportunity of a free stall at the spring market in Lichfield will be asked to keep a video diary of the day, before pitching their business idea to a Dragon’s Den style panels of judges – with the winner offered her own pop-up shop in the city centre.
Three Spires Shopping Centre manager Lisa Prokopiou said: “I am really looking forward to seeing the range of businesses on show at the market.
“I know that both the creative and entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well across Lichfield so I am sure we will have a great showcase of talent from the city’s hardworking mums.
“Being able to offer one of them a retail opportunity to further promote their enterprise is a great way for us to give them some support as they grow their businesses.”
Lichfield’s Three Spires Shopping centre is home to more than 40 stores offering fashion, health and beauty to food and drink. It is easily accessible by car as it’s surrounded by a number of local authority car parks.
More details on the campaign are available at threespireslichfield.com.