Following your passions and being your own boss – in conversation with Francesca Abram

Francesca Abram, on being her own boss

This week I’m talking to Francesca Abram, a jewellery designer and maker based in Harrogate, who creates beautifully delicate, minimal jewellery, mainly working with silver. I met Francesca at a book club in Leeds earlier this year and have admired her creations ever since! 

Hi Francesca! Thanks for getting involved in this series, I always think your jewellery is so beautiful and I’m in awe that you both design and make it. Please could you tell us a little bit about yourself that we might not already know?

I’m 33 and am originally from Durham but now live with my husband and our adopted cat in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

I’ve had quite a few varied jobs over the years but the most unusual was handling birds of prey. I only worked with them for a short time but now I’m surprisingly good at recognising birds in the wild! Living in Yorkshire there’s no shortage of amazing wildlife and we often have red kites flying over our house.
What led you to starting your business?

I’ve always loved being creative and I began carving out a career in fashion journalism after studying fashion design at Nottingham Trent University. After a few years of working in that field I realised that a job where I sat in front of a computer all day wasn’t fulfilling me, I missed using my hands and wanted to regain the creativity I felt I’d lost. Jewellery has always been a passion of mine (I’ve amassed a big collection over the years!) and I felt a lot more inspired by jewellery than I did by clothes so decided to take evening courses to learn the basics of silver jewellery making. At the time of starting my business I was living in London and fortunately my husband and I got the opportunity to live rent free for six months, so I took the plunge and gave up my job to start the business. I didn’t know anyone who ran a creative business at the time but I knew that I wanted to work for myself and do something that I would really enjoy. I started selling my jewellery at Greenwich market which was so much fun and really helped me get to know my customer. Eventually my husband and I decided to leave London and move further North at which point I set up the business to sell online.

stacking rings, interview about being your own boss

Some of Francesca’s beautiful creations

What’s your biggest motivation for what you do?

The freedom of being my own boss and being able to work in a way that feels right for me is my biggest motivation. Although it can be very hard work running your own business and not having anyone else to rely on, it’s also very rewarding. I love that I can move my business in any direction I want and have no office politics to contend with!

What have been some of your biggest wins?

I would say I’m more about the small wins than the big wins! When I create a new piece that I’m really happy with, or learn a new technique that excites me or when I get lovely feedback from a customer – all these little things make me feel like I have the best job!

Where do you see your business in the future?

I’d like to continue improving my skills so that I can make more elaborate and luxurious pieces of jewellery. To me, the growth of my business is more about the quality of what I’m producing rather than the quantity. I’m really feeling creative at the moment and excited about how I can elevate my brand in the coming years!

What would you advise someone starting their own business, whether that be part-time or full-time?

I would say make sure that you’re doing something that you love, because when you are the driving force behind the business, you really need a lot of passion! Secondly I’d recommend starting ASAP, even if that means just spending a few hours a week on it in your spare time.

Who are some other creative business owners you admire?

Lauren Aston who creates giant knitted products and kits is definitely an inspiration when it comes to social media. She is very consistent and really incorporates her personality into her brand in a fun and unique way through her Instagram stories.

Dani Ives is an amazing fibre artist who creates pet portraits and other artwork by needle felting. I am in awe of how talented she is, it is almost impossible to believe that the pieces she makes have been done with fibre as they’re so detailed and realistic! Check out her Instagram @begoodnatured.

And lastly, where can we find you online?

You can find me through my website, francescaabram.co.uk, on Etsy and on Instagram as @francescaabram.

 

I really enjoyed finding out more about Francesca and her work, and how she feels about being her own boss. If you’re looking for some beautiful, quality Christmas presents then she might be just the person! Which creative business owners do you most admire?

If you enjoyed this interview then you might also like the previous two in the series, with Anna Considine and Jess Sharp.