Introduce yourself and your business:
My name is Daniel Coskeran and I run The Mysterious Jeweller which is a men’s fashion jewellery business.
How did you come up with your business idea?
For many years I wanted to start wearing jewellery, but I was a student so I didn’t want to spend close to £100 for a simple ring at your usual high street jewellers, and the stuff I’d buy for £5-£10 would discolour or react with my skin. This got me thinking about a potential gap in the market for affordable low-cost high-quality jewellery, so I did some research as to why jewellery was turning my skin blue/green then I went from there. I found out that stainless steel, tungsten and sterling silver does not need to be expensive and are all hypoallergenic, I decided to start crafting and designing pieces. Now, the business is a collective in which many of our suppliers sell under our brand.
Have you accessed any funding through a scheme, and how has it helped you?
I received a £500 grant from Student Enterprise which enabled me to develop my website into what is it today. I was also happy to be asked to feature in their promotional video this year. (You can view that below!)
What was your first breakthrough?
My first breakthrough begins with a bit of a false-start. During a photoshoot at Akedo Gaming Bar, we were recommended by someone to start selling in a variety store that stocked products from local artists, which we explored and went forward with. Sadly, a couple of months later there were complications with the paying of staff and vendors, and the company then folded. Although this was not the ideal outcome, it opened my eyes to the possibility of selling through shops and then selling wholesale. Using the experience, I went around many cities and approached businesses with my sample box and asked them to stock my products. I began that process last year, and we now sell through five shops through consignment sales and wholesale orders, including the hugely popular EQVVS on Lincoln high street.
What is the best aspect of your job?
The best aspect of my job is by far the sales aspect. We have been attending a lot of events including craft fairs, student fayres, raves and soon to be festivals. Through this I’ve met loads of interesting people, have great conversations, freshen up their jewellery game and they go away very happy. There is nothing better in my opinion.
What has been your best moment so far?
The best moment so far has been forming a partnership with Akedo, in which I designed and created a pendant featuring the Akedo logo (below) that has been sold in the bar and gives everyone a lifetime 10% discount. I really enjoyed the process, and it was a taste of how exciting business ownership can be. Sales have been strong, so we are in the process of producing a second item in the Akedo collection!
What challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome them?
The hardest challenge I’ve had and I’m sure many other entrepreneurs have faced was the doubt from the closest people around you. Starting a business can be very lonely at times but to overcome this you have to believe in your concept, keep your head down, learn your market, adapt to changes and expand when the time is right. Risks can scare people, so you’ve just got to prove them wrong.
Where do you want your business to be in five years?
In five years time I want to have a chain of shops for The Mysterious Jeweller in a variety of different cities. Ideally we will start planning the first one early next year.
If you could give any students or graduates thinking about starting their own business a piece of advice, what would it be?
My main piece of advice is to do your research, start and learn from your mistakes. Your mistakes will be the most valuable lesson.