10 years ago I left my career in marketing and followed my partner, now husband, around the world for his career. Not long after this I started thinking about jewellery design. In 2010 and did a short silversmith course. After London I moved to Manila where I had my first child. When he was 8 months old I decided to do a part-time jewellery design course at a jewellery school and loved it! It was intense, I would stay up late finishing my designs but boy it gave me a good feeling. I’d not felt like that in ages, so there Anthea Cooper was born. Well the idea was! I always had a passion for drawing, taking up art and graphics in high school. I wanted to be a graphic designer or interior designer. I never followed my dream until now. I then moved to Hong Kong 3 years ago where my 2nd child was born. I spent time developing my designs and meeting manufacturers. 2.5 years later I finally launched Anthea Cooper. It’s been a struggle setting it all up with a few hiccups but that’s what running a business can be. I've still got a lot to do and learn. But I will keep developing and growing. Most of all, I'm doing it! So, if you’re thinking of making a change or doing something different I hope I have inspired you. Go for it!
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I always wanted to be a designer but never took it up. I grew up with my Mum always wearing jewellery and sharing her treasures with me that I still have today. I wanted to create something that other people could treasure too. I’m also surrounded by amazing woman in business who have inspired me to start my own business! To follow my dream & passion.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
For me it was not knowing everything about design and manufacuring. I’ve not been in the trade for that long and finding the the right manufacturers has been hard. But I kept preserving and surround myself with knowledgeable people.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I started reading Daring and Disruptive: Unleasing the Entrepreneur by Lisa Messenger. So far so good. Her story is very inspiring!
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
No, my family and friends have been very supportive.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I’m still succeeding. Its not giving up and persevering. You won’t know it all at once. You learn as you go!
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Try to keep your costs low and don’t be in a rush to set everything up perfectly. I spent so much money on things I later found out that I didn’t or don’t need. Think about it carefully first.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Take the leap & give it a go! Don’t be afraid to ask questions & get the help you need. You can’t be good at everything. There are a lot of online audio blogs & courses you can look into. You never stop learning.