Suffolk mum launches 'vegan' jewellery range
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Growing up, many of us had dreams of owning our business, where we could put our heart and soul into something we’re truly passionate about.
One Suffolk woman has made that dream a reality, and has launched her own eco-friendly jewellery range – which has since gone from strength-to-strength.
Sydoni Dixon, of Earl Stonham, works part-time as a recruitment consultant - but it was during the ongoing lockdown that she found the inspiration to chase her dreams and become her own boss from the comfort of her home.
“My background has always been within recruitment, but before that I studied Fine Art and Fashion, so that creative side of things has always been where my passion lies,” she explains.
“I had my son when I was 20, so needed to find a good job that I could build a career in, which is how I fell into recruitment.”
Sydoni eventually went on to run her own successful recruitment business before it unfortunately shut down.
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"I had a bit of a confidence knock after that, but it was during lockdown I realised I wanted something that was not only mine again, but allowed me to be creative at the same time.”
Thus, Rocca Rose was born.
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When setting up Rocca Rose - the name of which is a combination of both her son and daughter’s middle names - Sydoni looked at what she herself as a consumer looked for before making a purchase.
“I wanted to make something that was affordable, but also made people happy every time they placed an order. I especially wanted to concentrate on the added bits, such as making sure I didn’t charge too much for postage, and that the packaging itself looked great. Almost like a surprise every time you opened it, even if you bought it for yourself.”
Another huge element that was important to Sydoni was ensuring all of her products were as eco-friendly as possible.
“I’d done some network marketing with a vegan business a while back, and I realised how important the concept of being green is to most people nowadays.
“Therefore, I wanted to make sure all of the supplies I was using such as the glue and fabric were animal-friendly. All of my packaging is plastic-free, so I use dried leaves and flowers instead of plastic wrapping. Sustainability as a whole is really important to me - I want to make sure my business isn’t harming the planet.”
Self-taught in the art of jewellery crafting, the first accessory Sydoni made were stud earrings – and from there things skyrocketed.
“I wanted to create something that people would buy again. Some products, you may buy once, such as a necklace. You might buy one and it becomes your favourite necklace – but I find with earrings, people buy numerous pairs so they can match them with their outfits.
“You can be wearing a plain outfit or even a work uniform, but if you’ve got a funky pattern in your ears, you feel you’ve got a bit of an edge.”
Once she had sold her first few pairs, word of mouth soon got out and her business started to grow rapidly.
“The most exciting thing for me was that I was selling to people I didn’t even know. I sold my first pair to a friend who then recommended me to someone else, and it just snowballed from there.
“When I sold my first pair, it built up my confidence and I found myself really excited to get everything off the ground.”
Sydoni then started to branch out – and now handcrafts a variety of drop and hoop earrings, chokers, pendant necklaces, cufflinks, hair accessories, and earring purses.
“Everything I make is made-to-order, so I don’t have lots of stock sitting around – but it also enables me to cater to what my customers want. So if someone sees a certain style they like, I can adapt what I make to them which is always great fun.”
Besides her customers, what else inspires Sydoni and her standout accessories?
“I love bold colours. I’ve always grown up with my mum being into fashion and always looking incredible - and her style especially gave me the confidence to be quite bold with colours and patterns.”
As well as loving the brighter things in life, Sydoni uses her business as a therapeutic outlet, and found crafting jewellery somewhat of a lifesaver during lockdown.
“I have a 13-year-old and a three-year-old, and lockdown was hard – it was hard on everyone. I started to struggle, but throwing myself into my business really helped me through it.”
Sydoni, who works as a four days a week, spends her evenings and weekends working on Rocca Rose – but hopes to eventually make it her full-time job, with the hopes of passing it on to her children one day.
“Because I’m so passionate in what I do, it honestly doesn’t feel like work. My family have said how happy they are to see me this excited about something again – it's like I’ve got my mojo back. Rocca Rose is my baby, and eventually it would be great to have my son and daughter get involved with everything.
“In the future, I’d like to branch out and perhaps look at making apparel – but who knows where I’ll go. The sky’s the limit.”
Sydoni is offering all readers a buy one, get one half price offer. Simply enter the code EADT at checkout to redeem.