Joanna, one of 2014's 135 Aspire winners, is using her award to do an advanced jewellery course at Bath University.

Flexibility and creativity

After leaving her previous job, due to a shoulder injury, Joanna wanted to be able to work from home. “I wanted to work for myself and I’ve always been interested in jewellery design. The course is giving me the opportunity to learn more about the jewellery industry as well as the technical design aspects,” she explained.

“Bath is quite a small city, so lots of small businesses network and work together quite easily here. My plan is to grow the business locally so that I can market and promote it in Bath primarily and eventually have local designers work for the company.”

Growing a business

Using her past retail experience working with designer brands, Joanna set up her own affordable eBay shop, Bubblegum Jewellery Box, which she officially launched in July 2015. She is now taking what she learns from the course to expand her business.