Lucy Robertson is behind Little Things By Luce, which offers a range of handmade, bead-based items like necklaces and earrings, and she says a key driver of growth has been when her TikTok went viral with 4.6 million views.
The 18-year-old says she was inspired while at school to start her own business when she watched an inspiring video about entrepreneurs. While off school with tonsillitis she decided to start planning what kind of firm she would be best at running.
The young businesswoman was also about to start at university, and conscious about funding her studies. “Since I’d been young my gran would bring me back beads and charms from craft fairs, I had already run jewellery stalls at different events, so this seemed like the best business idea for me to pursue.
"I started selling my earrings from the sixth year common room. People would message me the night before, I would make their order and bring it in the next day. This worked extremely well until Covid hit, our last year of school was cut short, and we all had to leave suddenly.
“However, for me this was a blessing in disguise. As everyone was isolating at home, spending more time on their phones, as soon as one of my friends would post a picture wearing my earrings, I would gain followers from that, and like a chain reaction it grew and grew."
She then built a website, and friends would spread the world online about her business, as she gained traction in a global online jewellery market expected to be worth the equivalent of about £43 billion by 2027.
“I used influencers whose content related to mine too, I sent them jewellery that they liked and then they shared it to their platform of followers who had the same interests as mine and would hopefully follow me back.
"My business keeps growing with people sharing their orders when they receive them so that helps a lot. I got TikTok about a year ago and that has helped incredibly as its algorithm means that people see what they are interested in, so straight away that shows my jewellery designs to possible customers.”
On arriving at university some girls there were already wearing her jewellery, “and I sometimes pass people in the street wearing it too”.
When her TikTok went viral with 4.6million views, that week she was receiving roughly 100 orders a day from all over the world – and attracting the attention of a large company in New York.
Little Things By Luce’s biggest markets are the UK and the US – which are mainly boosted by Instagram and TikTok respectively. “I have sent jewellery all over the world to lots of different places in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Norway, Canada… My plans now are to keep my business growing and hopefully begin to hire people as it grows.”