Twitter is fast becoming the biggest weapon in business: An Interview with Alyssa Smith

This article was originally published on The Daily Touch. You can read it HERE

alyssa-smith-tweetie-bird

‘If you like Twitter then you’ll love the Tweetie Bird one. That’s the necklace that kind of got me where I am today.’

Thinking of starting your own business once you’ve left University? Don’t underestimate the power of social media, says multi award winning jewellery designer Alyssa Smith.

Far from your average twenty-six year old, Alyssa Smith single-handedly founded her jewellery business in December 2010. Alyssa does it all: creating new design ideas, replying to customer emails, carefully sawing gold, and even heading down to the Post Office.  Two years down the road, her jewellery has been worn by the likes of Dawn Porter and Sheridan Smith. She’s also bagged an impressive fifteen national business and accessories awards.

Commenting on starting a business at such a young age, Alyssa admits to a lot of hard graft. ‘When I started, I was straight out of University and in about £15,000 worth of debt’ she explains. ‘I had no previous work experience, I had no money at all, and I had no business knowledge.’

Nevertheless, Alyssa Smith Jewellery has evolved out of a great deal of love, passion, and talent. Not to mention whole lot of hard work. When I asked how many hours a week she works, Alyssa said she didn’t keep a tally. However what she did say, was that when running your own business, the work never stops. ‘Even when I’m not in the office, I’ve still got people Tweeting me. It doesn’t matter whether I’m in the cinema at night, whether I’m out for a meal with my fiancé. If people Tweet me asking if they can order a product I have to reply, or else they’re going to go to another jeweller.’

Alyssa gives Twitter and other social media tools a solid ‘100%’ when I ask her to rate its importance. ‘If I didn’t have social media there’s no way I would have been able to get an international audience… you can pretty much reach anyone in the world.’ The message from Alyssa is clear: if you’re starting up a small business, social media is the magic ingredient.

It seems wholly appropriate, then, that her signature Tweetie Bird necklace; the iconic Twitter bird in hand-cut silver, is the brand’s most popular piece.

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Alyssa with Dragon Theo Paphitis

This success has, however, not come without an element of trial and error. Being ripped off for flashy magazine advertisements that led to not one single sale only confirmed the power and possibilities of social media. When I ask Alyssa if she would ever contract someone to manage her Twitter, I am met with and abrupt, solid response. ‘I wouldn’t let anyone touch it.’

What I found most inspiring about Alyssa is how she defines success on her own terms, not by social expectation. Alyssa relishes being the sole decision maker, and most importantly owning a smallbusiness. After all, there aren’t many jobs where you could use your own dog as a model.

After a runaway half-hour with Alyssa, I for one felt infected by her refreshing optimism and obvious enthusiasm for what she does. Summing up her business, Alyssa states ‘it’s my life and I love it, and if I have to work loads, it doesn’t feel like work really.’

In the current climate of escalated youth unemployment and scarce graduate jobs, perhaps a solution lies in grabbing the world with both hands, becoming your own boss, and starting a business. The youth unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds still sits at a very uncomfortable 20.5%. Yet, The Prince’s Trust, who offer financial support to young entrepreneurs, has reported a 75% increase in phone calls to its business start up help line. Perhaps, as the The Prince of Wales stated in response to his Trust’s Annual Review, we must not forget ‘the importance of believing’.

Speaking to Alyssa not only highlighted the necessity of ‘believing’, but also the fact that tackling youth unemployment is not impossible or unachievable. As her business proves, anything is possible if you have the passion and the talent.

Head to alyssasmith.co.uk to find out more and see her stunning collection.

fluntearrings

Flunt Silver Drop Earrings

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‘Catch Me If You Can’ Gingerbread Man Range

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Alyssa’s dog is quite the model!

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