Woman, 22, uses £126 to start jewellery brand – and is set to make six figures

A young woman who started a jewellery business during uni is on track to turn over six figures next year.

Georgia Humbert, 22, from Hertfordshire, UK, is the CEO of the brand Smoothie, a company she founded whilst she was studying for her business degree at the University of Exeter.

While the Smoothie website was closed during the first quarter of this year as she finished her degree but she’s projecting that the business will make six figures next year.

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But this doesn’t mean it’s been easy.

Georgia exclusively told Daily Star: “On social media people only show the highlight reels and everything looks very effortless but they don't show the very unglamorous seven-day weeks, the hours of spreadsheets, and all the problems you have to fix.

“Just today my stock shipment got sent to the wrong address but things like that just seem normal now!

“When it's just you alone you have to be disciplined and force yourself to do the boring, time-consuming things that you don't want to do. Honestly, just keep going and keep learning, it will be worth it!”

Georgia started the business because she had been struggling to find earrings that didn’t break or turn green after only a few wears.

She also wasn’t able to find jewellery that was affordable.

“As a student, I couldn't afford to spend £30 plus on a pair of good-quality earrings and it felt like there was nothing on the market that fit what I needed,” she explained.

“I realised that I could make affordable high-quality jewellery so I was really making what I wanted myself.

“I wanted everything to be practical because I like to keep my earrings in for a long time but I also built the brand because I wanted jewellery that reflected my personality and was a bit interesting and different.

“That was something I couldn't find in shops at the time, nothing ever stood out. So now, if a design doesn't excite me, I don't stock it. I want my customers to feel their Smoothie's are a little extension of them and that they're unique.”

Georgia used £126 of her savings to start the business, which didn’t feel like a risk due to the fact that it’s a very low cost to set up.

She added: “I'm very much of the mindset that you have to give everything a shot and expect a few failures along the way. If this was a failure then I'd just take the learnings and try again.”

The money went towards 20 pairs of earrings and some “very basic” packaging and that was it.

Everything else – such as the web design – Georgia did herself to keep costs down.

While she initially started with huggie hoop earrings, the product range now includes ear cuffs, rings, necklaces, anklets and pre-made ear stacking sets.

The products range from £9 to £25 in price and the brand’s latest drop, Amalfi Collection, sold out in 10 minutes.

So far the 22-year-old is most proud of the feedback she’s received from her customers, with some of them having placed multiple orders.

“It's so nice to hear from people who come across the brand and a few months later are on their ninth, 10th, and 11th order. It makes all the hard work worth it to know I'm creating something people love,” she said.

“A big pinch me moment was when our last launch of the Amalfi Collection sold out in just minutes, and there were hundreds of people waiting for the website to open on launch day.

“I got so many messages from people who were annoyed that the Ear Party sets were all sold out and asking when the restock would be, it felt very surreal.

“I'm also really proud of having donated thousands of pounds to the Pachamama Project who we are partnered with.”

The Pachamama Project is a charity that distributes reusable sanitary products in refugee camps to which 10% of profits are donated to.

The biggest difficulty Georgia has faced with the brand is cutting through the noise in an already saturated industry.

On a personal level, the hardest part has been her mindset and resilience.

“I have always run Smoothie alongside a full-time job or my final year degree so for the first 18 months, it often had to take the back seat,” she shared.

“At times like that, it could feel quite overwhelming so I have to remind myself to not compare myself to other founders and that slow and steady wins the race.

“I'd say I made every mistake in the book from picking terrible suppliers at the start, not having proper branding, and selling out of things so quickly. There have been so many times when I have wanted to quit but it's so true that nothing worth having comes easy.”

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Despite any setbacks Georgia has faced, she has big visions for Smoothie and she sees it shaking up the jewellery industry.

“I see Smoothie becoming a well know brand for jewellery that is affordable as well as ethical; I want to keep making steps to be as inclusive and progressive as possible,” she said.

“We've got some really cool collections and collaborations planned for Autumn 2022. I can't say much but if you're sporty, stay tuned!”


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