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Amy Mackay

Amy C Mackay
Beauly,

Amy Mackay makes and sells high-end, contemporary jewellery from her studio and shop in the Highland village of Beauly.

60-Second Interview

How do you stay focussed on your business?
I stay focussed on my business by keeping things exciting. Whether I'm working on a new range or sourcing new jewellers, there's always something new around the corner.
What initially attracted you to enterprise?
Throughout the years, I have been inspired by people who have built businesses doing something that they love and enjoy. This inspiration initially attracted me to enterprise. When I left university, I became self-employed and began exhibiting in galleries across the UK. Moving back to the Highlands and opening a retail outlet was the next natural step.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
I can't remember the first £10 I made but I do remember my first significant sale. On the day that I opened my shop, one of my first customers bought a considerable amount of jewellery. I remember thinking at the time that all of my efforts were worthwhile and all of the hard work had paid off.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
The biggest challenge so far with my business has also been the biggest benefit. Owning your own business means that you are involved in every aspect of its operation - from fulfilling commissions, or sourcing new ranges, to dealing with accounts. Though the diversity is exciting, it means that you can't just focus on a single area at any one time. You have to be able to effectively manage a range of tasks and priorities which can be challenging.
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
My family and friends keep me going through any tough times. They helped me to renovate and launch my retail space and they continue to help me with any problems that I have.
What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning?
I really enjoy making jewellery and sourcing new jewellers and, because I love my job, it's not a chore to go to work which is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
How do you define success?
For me, success is happiness. If you go to work and enjoy what you do that is a great thing.
Where do you see your business in 5 years' time?
In 5 years' time, I hope that my brand will be a lot stronger, I'll be better known and hopefully by then I will have employed one or two people.
If you couold give your 'teenage' self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be confident in what you believe in. When I was younger, I really wanted to go to art school but there were many people who had reservations about it and put doubt in my mind. However, I didn't listen to them and I am so glad that I didn't as I have left university with a skill that I have been able to use to create my own job.
If you could have any one person on your business contact list who would that person be and why?
The most important people on my business contact list are my local customers. They are the people who keep coming back, re-purchasing jewellery from me and spreading the word about my business. They are the most important people to me.