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Where to start!

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  • Where to start!

    Hi there,
    I started a website last week for my handmade silver jewellery. It is going well enough already, that I am having to work like crazy to fulfill my first lot of commissions through it. That's a good thing!
    I'd like t ohave it as a 'kosher' busness (ie all registered and official) I've been a full time mum for 4 years, still have a baby at home and a little girl in part time nursery. My husband was made redunant in Feb, and is helping with the kids while I give this a go.
    My main problem is I rent. Under our rental terms, I can't use the porperty as a business (I also use blow torches and chemicals and I'm sure they wouldn't be happy!)
    We have no money - no savings and live month to month as best we can. I only spent £420 setting up, and think I will have recouped that by May and can start making a tiny bit of profit. I'd love to do craft fairs etc once I have enough items for a 'showcase'.
    I don't know if I can 'do' fairs without being registered as a business, or how to find somewhere free or cheap to do the actual 'work in. In reality, it's only the blow torch and chemical stuff I think I would have to do elsewhere.
    Anyone have any advice? Our dream is for Mr to do part time work so I can devote half days and evenings to this, as I love doing it, and people seem to want it!
    Any help or advice appreciated!
    Lydia x

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lydia View Post
    My main problem is I rent. Under our rental terms, I can't use the porperty as a business (I also use blow torches and chemicals and I'm sure they wouldn't be happy!)
    I don't think making jewellery in your home would be a problem.
    I also rent and have the same term in my tenancy agreement. As I read it, it means you can't do things like be a mechanic and have cars and parts around the property, or be an antiques dealer with piles of junk/antiques etc to sell onsite.

    As someone who also makes jewellery, I wouldn't worry about the blow torch or chemicals, we all have cleaning products and DIY tools/gizmo's afterall
    My Website:
    Twitter: EndevaJewellery


    • #3
      thank you!
      Thanks for getting back to me - I think I'm getting paranoid, as I do most of my work in the kitchen, and have the nosiest neighbours in the world who'd love to have a bit of gossip for the landlords ;-)
      This is very nosy, but are you a registered business? I'm trying to work out at what stage most people make the leap from 'making things at home' to craft fairs, to registering.
      Thanks so much,


      • #4
        Not nosey at all Lydia, happy to answer any questions
        Yes I'm registered with the Inland Revenue, I have to fill out a simple Self Assessment form every year.

        I don't sell at craft fairs, as there's never any around here unfortunately, but I do sell online and to friends.

        I work in my living room at the moment, but I am in the middle of turning my spare room into some sort of workspace. I've got fed up of having to clear everything away lol
        My Website:
        Twitter: EndevaJewellery


        • #5
          you're a star. I think I'll give the online selling a month to see how it continues to do and then go and bore the Cardiff business link and arts council people :-)
          I'd like everything to be all 'official' I guess!


          • #6

            There are a couple of issues which are a bit grey.. As Endeva said, the clause is predominantly there to stop misuse of the property as something other than a dwelling.. however.. having said that, the clause is there and does restrict the carrying out of a business of any kind...

            As a property owner (tenanted) I can confirm that the same exclusions are in my mortgages, so I cannot permit a tenant either "officially".. although individually, it would not be an issue for me... a tenant at home is a home secured!!

            One further issue, which may not affect you is household insurance. Many renters do not insure contents, but a lot of home policies these days will specifically exclude the home being used for anything other than occasional home working, there are all sorts of issues around potential break ins and theft of stock, equipment, supplies.. and you mentioned the potential for hazards.. you could be invalidating the Landlords buildings insurance - not good if the house went up in flames!!

            In the scheme of things I doubt any serious issue would arise with you making a few bits and pieces at home - after all, you are not doing anything much more than the average hobby crafter.. but I would make discreet enquiries through your letting agent about potential problems - perhaps get a friend to call and enquire about the possibility of renting a property with the intention of working from home?? at least you would be in possession of all the necessary information. If the response is positive, then go see them yourself, explain the situation and seek "permission".

            I am sorry to appear so negative, but these things are obstacles for many folk at some point, and ignorance is never a defence.

            On a related note, congratulations on reading and looking in to the clauses in your tenancy agreement.. it's a refreshing change!!


            • #7
              thank you! I think I am going t oaks the Arts council if they can help me find free/cheap space to work in.
              With the kids around, it's a nightmare trying to keep things away from them, and their stuff, and I'd much prefer to be able to work freely without worrying about anyone else too much! (And I certainly don't want the landlords finding out from one of the neighbours)


              • #8
                you could also approach your local enterprise Council they advise on setting up small business (admittedly varying quality assistance!) but they may be able to offer you and hubby a small grant, or assistance with basic business skills and maybe with finding a workspace too..