Peter van der Boon is living out his lifelong dream as his jewellery business goes from strength to strength.
Having a childhood interest in jewellery and luxury brands, Peter decided to follow his dream and start his own business with support from Enterprise Hub and St Helens Chamber.
Based in Liverpool, Van Der Boon Jewellery specialises in Moissanite gem stones and sells gold, platinum and Argentinium silver jewellery online.
Peter had previously worked in a number of sectors including accountancy, sales and logistics and marketing. He commented: “I went to the University of Life. I always chose roles where I knew I could learn about business and building a successful brand. I think all of my jobs have helped me on the route to self-employment, always with the final goal in mind.”
Peter started selling jewellery online while he worked full time and as his customer base began to grow he became the first independent seller of Moissanite stones in the UK.
When his circumstances changed Peter decided it was time to go it alone. He approached Enterprise Hub for support and has never looked back.
He said: “I never liked working for a boss. I always had a plan to work for myself and I’m really glad I was directed to St Helens Chamber."
“I am a perfectionist and in the past I have been reluctant to take the plunge and launch my business but the Chamber support really helped."
Peter worked with a dedicated business adviser and attended a number of workshops on business planning, cash flow and business principles. He commented: “My adviser helped me refine my business plan and we agreed a series of deadlines to stick to when it came to taking the first steps.
“I thought I was clear on everything. I’d had this plan all my life but in reality there was a lot of things I still needed to think about. The Chamber helped me cut the nonsense and create a focussed and realistic business plan. They helped me define everything.
“The Chamber has also been useful in terms of export support. Initially this was a scary process but their export readiness services helped me clarify what I should be doing when I send my products internationally.”
Peter now has business customers around the world, from Germany to Russia and Slovenia to South Korea, and has plans for further expansion in the future.
He added: “Now the Van Der Boon name is growing and I am no longer chasing customers; they come to me. Thanks to my online shop I can be anywhere in the world, selling to anyone.
“I am forever grateful for the support I received from the Chamber. It really helped dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
“I would urge anyone thinking of starting a business to go through the Chamber’s start up programme.”
If like Peter you would like to turn a passion into a business, find out more about the FREE support you can access through the Enterprise Hub, part funded by European Regional Development Fund.
Contact the Enterprise Hub team today on 0151 706 8113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.