Netflix for jewellery? It’s here, and you’re going to love it. Jewellery is so personal, isn’t it – so the idea of refreshing your jewellery collection once a month might sound like something that goes against all your best instincts. But that’s because you haven’t tried Glitzbox. Imagine having a personal stylist who picks out a collection of unique pieces just for you, meaning that you can try out some new styles that you might not have considered, not to mention discovering exciting new independent jewellery designers… At the end of the month? Return the pieces you don’t want, keep the ones you do – with a discount on any purchases.

Launched in April this year, Glitzbox has won numerous awards, garnered fans amongst press, bloggers and the public, hosted pop-up stores and events, and generally disrupted the marketplace. Founder Tamsin Ivy is inspiration personified. Always on, always smiling and always charming, she’s someone eats, sleeps and breathes her brand – her baby. There’s no doubting Ivy’s genuine passion for not only her company, but also jewellery and sustainability. We’re delighted to speak to her about Glitzbox, women in business and the challenges of running a startup – read on for instant #inspo…

Why did you launch your own business?

I firstly had the idea through working with independent designers at my previous job. I saw a gap in the market to help promote them and make the jewellery discovery experience more exciting. The idea sat at the back of my mind until I didn’t get a promotion at work and felt my career wasn’t progressing or challenging me as much as I wanted. I decided there was no better time than the present to give it a go. I have no mortgage or children so didn’t feel there was a huge amount of risk especially as I decided to continue freelancing to pay my rent and bills. I felt really passionately about the concept behind Glitzbox and knew I’d be gutted if someone else ended up inevitably starting something similar because I was too scared to try!

Who helped you out?

I’m a solo founder, but I’ve also had amazing support from ex-colleagues, friends of friends in the industry, and companies I used to work for. Most of all my family have been invaluable too! I’ve also been lucky enough to take part in a couple of incubator programmes, like the Huckletree Alpha Programme which has really helped. Being surrounded by other startups and speaking to so many people with different experience has been amazing.

Best business advice you’ve been given along the way?

My boyfriend is in sales and has a fountain of one-liners for whenever I’m having a crappy day or feel like I should give up. One of my favourites is from Steve Jobs: “People say you have a lot of passion for what you’re doing, and it’s totally true and the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up”. I try to remember that most of the statistics on businesses failing are because people give up so part of making something a success is just keeping going and not giving up when any “rational” person would.

What problems have you faced along the way?

I don’t think we have time to discuss them all! I’ve felt like I’ve been taking a PhD in running a business, but with no one to let me know if I’m doing things right or not! So many elements are trial and error and it’s hard not having a bigger team around me – I’m well aware of where my knowledge or skill gaps are and it’s frustrating when things take so much longer than necessary. Saying that, it’s been great to learn so much over such a short time. It’s also amazing how many other people and businesses are in the same boat. Some brands look huge from the outside, but are often made up of a relatively-small team making it up as they go along!

How do you feel about women in business today?

I think there is still a long way to go until powerful, successful women are seen in the same way as men. There are still lots of stigmas and stereotypes which I think need to be crushed, but it’s an amazing time to be a woman starting out in business today. There are so many organizations supporting and pioneering women. Safe spaces and communities like Blooming Founders or Natwest Women In Business that are making steps towards making it a more even playing field. It’s exciting to be part of that moving forward and meeting so many amazing inspiring females in business makes me feel so empowered.

Favourite startups?

I have so many! To name just a few, The Workbench – jeweller best friends Katie and Kirstie co-founded their business running ring carving workshops and they are amazing. Such lovely people to be around and every single workshop they bring amazing energy and knowledge, ensuring every attendee feel special and come out with a one-of-a-kind ring. They recently also launched their Workbench Box so you can enjoy some ring carving from home!

HANX – Sarah and Farrah are the co-founders of HANX, the first male condom designed with women in mind, and I’m so so impressed with their concept and execution. They are more than just a condom brand (premium, discreet packaging and sold in places intuitive to women) but also creating a movement encouraging women to take care of their sexual health without shame or embarrassment. I’m so proud of what these startups are achieving and that they are founded by young female entrepreneurs is super inspiring.

Women in business who truly inspire you?

I’m obsessed with podcasts at the moment like How I Built This and a few of the stories I have been most inspired by are Jenn Hyman (Rent The Runway), Katia Beauchamp (Birchbox), Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (love her book Lean In), Sharmadean Read (WAH Nails/Future GirlCorp) and Carmen Busquets (Net-a-Porter). I could go on and on! Once you start researching there are so many inspiring women to learn from.

Tell us about your work life balance?

I’ve been absolutely terrible in finding a balance in my first year of running Glitzbox. Initially I worked from home – when I joined a co-working space, it helped making me get dressed and go somewhere outside of my flat! This meant I created a little structure initially, but after a while I just ended up staying there late most evenings and working again once I got home. I’ve missed so many social events and birthdays I feel guilty just thinking about it. I’ve thrown myself into every aspect of the business often going to networking events, pitches or pop-up events in evenings rather than seeing friends.

I also still work freelance three days a week, which means I have very little down time. I’ve been very aware in the last few weeks how off the balance is and that it’s not an efficient use of my energy to not take a proper break. My resolution for 2018 is to really nail down a working schedule and force myself to disconnect from everything regularly.

What do you do to relax/when you’re stressed?

Speak to people. I spend a lot of time working alone and over-thinking things in my own head. So if I’m really feeling overwhelmed I try and chat things through with friends or family. People often bring in other perspectives or thoughts that make me feel calmer. I also write lots of to-do lists, breaking each task down into tiny bits and prioritising really clearly.

What are you proudest of and why?

I’m proud to have won the Virgin Startup Voom Pitching Competition in Winchester. I had never pitched before starting Glitzbox, so I forced myself to sign up to as many pitches as possible in order to practice. It was just amazing and unexpected to be acknowledged in that way by a panel of expert judges. It’s easy to feel disheartened when not everything is going exactly to plan and as supportive friends and family can be they obviously tell you what you want to hear.

Can you run in heels?

I can’t run full stop! But as I always seem to be late these days, I have perfected the “power walk” – best not in heels though!

For more information on Glitzbox, check out their site, or follow @Glitzbox.