Aspire Award grant helps young jeweller shine

16 November 2022

We’re providing Aspire Award funding to help a talented jeweller grow his business. His work has featured at London Fashion Week and will soon appear in a new film co-written and produced by actor and writer Daniel Kaluuya.

Elliot, who lives at our Leaside Lock development, started making jewellery as a hobby during lockdown, teaching himself techniques he learned by watching YouTube videos. He began putting pictures of his work on Instagram and before long he had attracted a following – as well as customers.   

Building a business 

“It’s something I always wanted to do. I like wearing jewellery but could never find anything I liked. I thought: ‘let me make something I want to wear, something I could see myself wearing but affordable.’ So that’s what I did.”  

Elliot has been building his business on Instagram, which is where the people behind a new film saw it and got in touch asking to use his work. “They emailed and said, ‘we like your stuff, can we use your designs?’ I said ‘of course, I’ll make it for you straight away!’.”  

The film, a dystopian thriller called The Kitchen, will be released next year. It is produced by Daniel Kaluuya who is best known for Get Out (2017), Black Panther (2018) and for portraying Fred Hampton in Judas & The Black Messiah (2021).  

At London Fashion Week, Elliot’s work was part of the event’s Discovery Lab highlighting and celebrating emerging talent. You can watch the video here.     

Funding help 

The Aspire Award meant Elliot could buy a vulcaniser enabling him to make reusable casts out of rubber to make his metal jewellery. Before this he had to use wax which meant making new casts every time – a time-consuming process. He has also used the funding to buy an embroidery machine to expand his business to make embroidered T-shirts and bags.    

“The funding from The Guinness Partnership has really helped,” said Elliot. “It’s really great that they had that trust in me; to help a small business grow. More organisations should do something like this – Guinness is setting the standard. I couldn’t have done this without them.”  

Find out more 

Take a look at Elliot’s jewellery on his business webpage, Ex-A Studio. 

And to find out more about the Aspire Awards, and apply for one of your own to help your career, talent or community, take a look at our dedicated web pages.