Our latest featured wedding business owner is Sonia of Gioia Mia who makes gorgeous jewellery and accessories (such as tiaras, headbands, combs and pins) from her studio in Scotland.
1. Tell us about your work
Almost all of my work is bespoke and for the bridal industry, although I am working on a ready-to-wear collection. I will be selling this online through my website and also through a selected number of bridal shops.
2. When did you start?
I started in 2004. At first I worked from my kitchen table, meeting brides in cafes and wine bars. In 2007 I moved into a small studio space, sharing with artists and other creatives. My clients were able to come for consultations in my studio and we were finally able to eat off the kitchen table again! Earlier this year I moved into a larger studio space in the centre of town. I have plenty of space for all my supplies here, and lots of framed images of brides and models wearing my pieces on the walls.
© Sarmed Mirza
3. How did you get started?
With a commission…a pretty big one! I designed and made all the jewellery and accessories for a bride, her two bridesmaids and two flower girls. As soon as I started, I knew I’d found my niche.
4. Why did you choose this particular business?
I think it’s the perfect combination of all the things I love most: meeting lots of interesting people and being able to share in something that is very special and important in their lives; being able to use my imagination to create something unique; and being able to use my skill and experience to work on such a small scale and to such a high standard of precision.
© Ksenia Kamotskaia
5. What’s been your best moment so far?
It’s really tricky, as there are so many moments that I’ve loved when I think back: handing over that first, commissioned piece and seeing the bride’s face when she unwrapped it; seeing the first professional photographs of that bride wearing my pieces on her wedding day; seeing my first photoshoot images; seeing my pieces in a magazine for the first time. Each of those moments has made me feel very proud of what I’ve achieved.
© Kristin Mitchell
6. And the worst?
Finding out that the studio I was in at the beginning of the year was going to be closing and having to find another space at very short notice. It took quite a while to settle back down to work again and be able to pick up where I had had to leave off so abruptly.
7. Anything you wish you had known when you started?
How important it is to have the help and support of other creatives (or of other small businesses) both professionally and personally.
© Kristin Mitchell
8. What’s your biggest challenge going forward?
To keep developing my vision, to build my online shop, and to find the right stockists.
9. Do you have a top tip for someone starting out in the wedding business?
Be very patient, be very thorough.
The Gioia Mia website is www.gioiamia.net
You can follow Sonia on Twitter at @GioiaMiaDesigns