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Monica Milton

Mi Jewellery
Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Monica Milton set up Mi Jewellery in March 2011. Working from her home studio in Crossgates Fife, she designs and hand makes unique sterling silver and 9ct gold jewellery.

60-Second Interview

Who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
My hero would be my grandad, if he wanted something he worked hard to get it and that's exactly what I do.
What initially attracted you to enterprise?
I am a self taught jeweller, and when I was unable to work in accounts due to physical health. I set up in business on my own designing and making jewellery in 2011. Self employment works really well for me as I am able to work around the pain.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
The first craft fair I attended at the local shopping centre was a real eye opener. I did not have the confidence or the belief in myself but after the 3 day event and almost being sold out I realised that people do like and want my work and it gave me the confidence and the motivation to go bigger.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
The biggest challenge for me is working around my physical disability as I am in pain all the time, but having Mi Jewellery and having returning customers gives me something to concentrate on and focus on. My other challenge is finding the confidence to take the risk and do bigger events and trade fairs.
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
My husband is brilliant, along with my best friend. My husband has always believed in me and gives me the push I need to get through the tough times. My best friend Cassandra is great, if I am needing help with orders, books or just someone to clean finished work, she will be there.
What is it that gets you out of your bed in the morning?
I love what I do, and when you get to do something everyday that you love, it is a lot easier to get up in the morning, only thing that holds me back some mornings is the pain, but knowing that once Im up and in my workshop the severity of the pain goes down as I am focusing on making beautiful piece
How do you define success?
Success to me is not when you are making millions its when you can sit back and look at what you have achieved and what you have gone through to get there. I done just that when I got my first shop order
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
I am setting up an online shop at the moment and in 5 years I want to be taking orders through the website and have a good selection of shops that I supply to in the UK and maybe abroad
If you could give your “teenage self” one piece of advice, what would it be?
Follow your dreams. I worked for years in a job I did not like and always wanted to set up in business for myself but did not have the confidence. Best advice - follow your dreams and as long as you have a good idea and are prepared to work hard . Then you have the first step in being your own boss.
If you could have any 1 person on your business contact list who would that person be and why?
On a more realistic note director of Debenhams, to be able to have my jewellery in their nationwide stores would be amazing.