13-year-old schoolgirl launches business with £25 investment - ten years on, business is booming
Becky Jackson was just 13 years old when she launched her own jewellery-making company, Funky Sprout, with £25 of investment.
Ten years on, and business is booming for the savvy 23-year-old - and ‘Funky Sprout’ has just celebrated its tenth birthday.
Today, Becky’s jewellery is stocked in more than 20 independent shops across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as well as regularly going on the road to markets, festivals and fairs across the UK.
“It absolutely blew my mind that at just 13-years-old I had the chance to launch my very own business with a £25 start-up loan,” says Becky, who won first prize at the BiG Challenge awards in 2011, while still at school in Sheffield.
“I loved designing and hand-making jewellery, so with no prior experience, I used online tutorials and good old-fashioned trial and error to teach myself the skills I needed to create a variety of different jewellery.”
Becky continued to evolve Funky Sprout all throughout her education, expanding to deliver jewellery-making workshops.
“I’ve always been inspired to share what I’ve learned with others,” says Becky, who lives in Gleadless.
“I started delivering drop-in jewellery-making workshops at fairs and markets, as well as children’s parties, and they’ve been really successful.
“In 2019, I took the plunge and decided to leave university in order to pursue the business full time, embarking on my biggest run of fairs and festivals across the country - visiting everything from local galas to city centre fairs.
“Despite already being an experienced stallholder, I learned a lot in that period, and also started stocking fairly traded bohemian style clothing and accessories to accompany the jewellery.”
In March this year, Becky launched her brand new website and online shop.
“I’ve enjoyed designing every incarnation of branding and marketing for Funky Sprout, from logos to packaging,” says Becky, who reveals she has a passion for graphic design.
“I’ve spent the last decade building up a solid brand, which has also evolved quite a lot, and have some wonderful loyal customers and stockists.
“I’d like to continue to expand into other shops across the region, and am particularly keen to focus on a transition to eco-friendly packaging in the near future.
“Obviously the current health crisis has changed everything, particularly for small businesses like mine, but the people of Sheffield have such determination and terrific community spirit, and I’m sure - with the public’s support - the independents of this city will come back fighting.”