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Set Up Shop Success Stories – Annaig’s Gemstudio

My Set Up Shop e-course is running again this July, and preparing to run it again got me thinking about my April students.

I’ve been hearing some fantastic success stories from them recently, so over the next few days I’m opening up the floor to let them tell you their stories – starting with where their business was at when they started the course, and detailing how their business has changed thanks to taking the Set Up Shop course.

Today we hear from the lovely Annaig, who’s been a gemcutter and jeweller for many, many years.


I spent a while tossing between doing the course and not doing it. I had set up my Madeit shop and had a few sales already while my Etsy shop was sitting there doing nothing.

What decided me to sign up was the shop review (Annaig chose the Gold level Membership, which includes a shop critique).

I have been admiring Jess’ shops for a while and seeing how successful she is I couldn’t help but want her to look through my shop to see what I should work on.

Best decision EVER!

Going back to the beginning one little baby step at a time made it really easy to work things through while still doing my normal work during the day.

Some things were really easy as I had already thought about them when I set up my shops in the first place… but a lot of other things required a bit more work.

I had previously put some of those in the “too hard basket” – but when you are walked through it suddenly it is not that hard anymore!

Having a business is hard work; and while making things is fun and rewarding the business side is not always so enjoyable… but it cannot be ignored.

Through the course I worked out a blueprint of what I want my online shops to become. I now have the tools and steps to get there.

It feels pretty good not to have that “is it the right thing to do” doubt hovering at the back of my head.

What I didn’t expect was the incredible support and inspiration from all the participants of the course in the private Facebook group. We were all going through the same things and it was an eye opener to realise that I was not alone thinking this is hard!

Having a few new friends helping me through the tough lessons was incredibly valuable. Also with so many more people looking for additional info we all got to share many useful links.

I can also tell you that having a few extra sets of eyes going over my new descriptions, shop policies or photos was priceless. No more questioning whether it makes sense or not because they told me.

I “met” some amazing talented ladies in the group and in itself was well worth signing up to the course.

The shop review that Jess did at the end of the course was incredibly helpful. It gave me a great sense of achievement on things I did well but most importantly I know what I need to work on further and how I can improve my shops.

Annaig – Annaig’s Gemstudio


To see when Set Up Shop is running again, click here.


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

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