SOZO Silverware began in July 2019 when I took some private tuition at Monty's Beads in Exeter to learn how to turn my dream of repurposing silverware into reality. I opened an Etsy and a nuMonday Shop and I had around 10 products listed that I had made during my tuition time. I posted these designs on my Instagram page. I purchased some start-up tools and I began to create a few more designs from my bedroom in a shared house. In September I was contacted through Instagram by Exmouth Vegan Market and asked if I would like to hold a stall at their November event. I had never done anything like this with my own products before. I only had those 10 items. I spent hours, weeks even months working every night and weekend making sure that I would have enough products to fill a 6ft table. I sourced all of the display items and had the table set up in my bedroom for a week beforehand to make sure I had made enough and it looked professional.
I originally wanted to focus on the jewellery making but I didn't feel like I would have enough products so I hand stamped a load of cutlery to fill up the table. I had taught myself to hand stamp in 2016.
Whilst at Exmouth Vegan Market I was approached by the organizer of Exeter Vegan Market and asked if I would be interested in holding a stall at their January event.
In the beginning of December I moved out of my shared house because it was becoming too difficult to work around my other housemates and in mid December I lost my day job. Rather than look for another job I decided that this was my time, that my energy should be focused into building my own little business.
Since pouring all of my energy into SOZO, it became clear that there is a definite interest in what I have to offer. The hand stamped spoons have proved especially popular, so I made more and more. As it is now my only source of income, I need to take my business to the next level. I have been signing up to as many markets as I possibly can. All markets have to be paid upfront, which means there is a huge outgoing to secure my place right through until December.
I recently submitted applications for a few festivals and to my surprise I have been accepted to trade at Sidmouth Folk Festival for 8 days from 31st July - 7th August. I am absolutely over the moon, I always dreamed of being able to have a stall there.
I need to make a huge amount of products to offer at Sidmouth Folk Festival to cover the cost to trade and to have plenty to offer. It is almost £600 for a stall for the 8 days which I can not currently afford without moving back into my parents house. I also can not feasibly progress any further without being able to invest in more materials (silverware) to make the products.
I am having costly problems with my car at the moment and without it my business wouldn't be possible and it scares me that this could prevent me from succeeding in something that is working so well.
Initially if I raise this funding and reach the target, I will have the chance to receive an extra £500 in funding as well as potentially being short listed to win a business grant of up to £10,000.
These funds will enable my business to grow further by investing in large quantities of silverware. I would like to have an almost endless supply of materials rather than having to shop each week to replace what I have previously sold, to get ahead and be able to save for a future shop/workshop rather than living day to day. It would pay for me to trade at Sidmouth Folk festival and open up an opportunity to trade at other festivals and markets. It would also fund a reliable vehicle that will help me to transport my products and market display around.
SOZO Silverware recognises that it is has a responsibility to the environment beyond legal and regulatory requirements. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our environmental performance as an integral part of our business strategy and operating methods.
We carefully select the events that we trade at to ensure we are working with and alongside companies with sustainable, ethical and environmentally sound practices.
We have always made the conscious decision to favour events that are 100% vegan, since the values match our own, however we will trade at events that are not vegan. We believe that it is important to show all businesses the value and importance of reducing the impact on our planet.
We want to create beautiful pieces and have a positive impact on the world and feel safe in the knowledge that our jewellery and accessories do not come at a cost to those creating it or the environment we thrive in.
Every item is handcrafted from second hand, unwanted silverware. Where we use sterling silver wire in our jewellery creations, our products are ethically sourced using 100% recycled silver from a Fair trade refiner in the UK to ensure no new mining is involved.
By investing in a product from SOZO Silverware you are supporting and promoting sustainable and ethical practices throughout the supply and manufacturing chain, and protecting the environment we all thrive in.
Our packaging is minimalistic and we use materials (mainly brown paper bags and tissue paper) which are either reusable or recyclable.
All products are cruelty free and no animal products are used in our creations.
SOZO Silverware is a small independent Devon based business, built from a bedroom start up with genuine passion to offer recycled products. We have a ZERO waste policy, after spoon handles are crafted into rings or fork tines into earrings, the remainder materials are used for earrings, necklaces or key rings. Anything that can not be used is sent off to be recycled by a well established jewellery making supplier.
My vision is to eventually open an eco art and craft shop where I can also showcase the work of others all under one roof.
Please help my little business thrive and pledge on one of the rewards today. With your support there will be one more women entrepreneur in the UK.
Love & Light,