“I would be a singer, on Beyonce’s level. It’s a pity that I am tone deaf.” Emma Clarkson Webb on what she’d do if she didn’t do what she does
Get ready to enter the rather magical world of bespoke jewellery design with Emma Clarkson Webb. Working with clients all over the globe, the London-based jewellery designer works closely with her customers to create beautifully bespoke, highly crafted jewellery designs (be that a ring, necklace, bracelet, signet ring or cufflinks) for – and to mark – the truly memorable moments in life. Dreaming of a custom engagement ring? A visit to Emma Clarkson Webb’s website might be the perfect starting place for that bespoke journey. I managed to catch up with Emma Clarkson Webb herself to talk about her business journey so far and her version of Taking The Plunge, including the highs, the lows, the first jobs, the worst jobs and the tech she can’t live without…
#1 In a nutshell, describe your business/brand – what do you offer?
“I own a bespoke fine jewellery business called Emma Clarkson Webb which specialises in beautifully handcrafted diamond and gemstone engagement rings.”
#2 What’s your career background? Has it always been in the wedding industry?
“I worked for various jewellers both here in London and in Hong Kong before I set out on my own eight years ago.”
#3 What planted the seed of your business idea? Did it strike you suddenly?
“I had to move back from Hong Kong because of a health issue and was approached by a few friends to create engagement rings, gradually through word of mouth this became more frequent and popular and I took the plunge to set out on my own.”
#4 Describe the moment you decided to TAKE THE PLUNGE (what did this involve? Handing in your notice?)
“It took me a long time to find an established workshop with exceptional craftsmanship, once I found this in Hatton Garden I realised that with my other networks of stone dealers that I could do it, word of mouth was spreading and I had more and more business.”
#5 Describe how the first day of building your own business felt:
“It was very gradual to be honest and took time to become established but I do remember getting the call with one of my first engagement rings, the groom called to tell me his happy news and sent through pictures of his proposal. His fiancé was overjoyed with the ring we had created together and I remember feeling exhilarated that I had contributed to such a memorable and happy occasion. It gave me such a kick and I was determined to make ECW work.”
#6 The highs – what have they been so far?
“Creating pieces for such happy and memorable times – be it a proposal, baby present, milestone birthday or anniversary. It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of huge life moments. Our clients always love to share pictures and stories of these which make it a very happy job daily.”
#7 The lows – how did you move past them? What did you learn?
“With every business come lows, and it’s just the way of dealing with these that make you stronger and able to deal with challenges more effectively. We managed to keep crafting during the pandemic but it was hand, foot and mouth caught from one of our kids that shut our workshop down. That was a stressful couple of weeks!”
#8 If you could tell yourself three things when you first started the business – what would they be?
No.1 “Don’t get distracted or led down a comparison path with social media, stick to your own business goals and aspirations.”
No.2 “The juggle is real – juggling motherhood, business, friends and family is something that I never will be able to truly do well.”
No.3 “Determination and positivity is key.”
#9 Your tips for those dreaded lying-awake-at-3am times? (Counting sheep? Glass of water? Get up? Meditate? Read?)
“I love reading before going to bed so if I do wake, and it’s not child related, then I’ll read to send me back to sleep.”
#10 Your top organisational tip?
“I have recently become addicted to Notion which has completely transformed my day to day organisation.”
#11 Who inspired you? Or inspires you in business?
Business-wise Anya Hindmarch is a real inspiration and I loved her book. Creatively, I adore the old greats Cartier, Graff and Van Cleef whose work never ceases to amaze and inspire me.”
#12 An app/piece of tech you now couldn’t live without for your business:
“My iPhone – for images, Instagram, WhatsApp, emails and our shared drive.”
#13 Your first ever job was…
“I was a shop assistant at Ad Hoc in Chelsea”
#14 Your top social media tip?
“Be honest and real but truthfully I am hopeless with social media and have wonderful help with this.”
#15 Name a business/person- that’s helped/inspired you with your business?
“The How To Fail podcast by author Elizabeth Day – super inspiring.”
#16 Your fav social media tool: (Pinterest? Instagram? LinkTree? Etc.)
#17 Your advice to those looking to TAKE THE PLUNGE:
“Go for it, it takes huge guts to put yourself out there but be determined, surround yourself with an excellent support network and you’ll never look back!”
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS | EMMA CLARKSON WEBB
#1 Most inspirational book you’ve read:
#2 You’re in Starbucks, what do you order?
#3 Instagram feed crush:
“Far too many crushes to list!”
#4 Your worst job was…
“I had to dress up as a pig once to sell shoes!”
#5 If you didn’t do what you do…what would you do?
“I would be a singer, on Beyonce’s level. It’s a pity that I am tone deaf.”
#6 Work day pick-me-up:
“Chatting to my babies.”