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The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Notes from the Field: Starting a jewelry business in Malta

Starting a business can be daunting, no matter where in the world you are located. Sometimes it means juggling your responsibilities as a business owner and family member, and hopefully do so successfully.

WISE received a message from Charmaine Taliana of Cupid Accessories on the island of Malta (in the Mediterranean Sea) about her experience in starting her business. Taliana used to work in the financial services industry, but decided to start her own business after the birth of her second child. She writes:

Now I had time to develop further my artistic hobby for jewelry making. I made pieces which I gave out to family and the reaction was amazing, so that really spurred me on. Realising that I could turn my hobby into a business was thrilling. I asked mentors, and friends back from my old job for advice and they increased my confidence, but you do need to have self-belief.

I set up my own website featuring jewelry designs and although we had to fork out a sum of money, it was money well spent. When I have a rush of orders I carry on working after the children are sleeping but for me it works out as I can work around their hours. One big hurdle was the marketing as everything costs money, but surfing on the internet you can find very good solutions. My advice is to be honest, have a very good product – working with the best materials on the market, be flexible both with products and with postal service and very important keep prices low, this way both you and the consumer will be happy.

Like many businesses, Taliana offers online ordering to make it easy for her customers to acquire her products. She is using her web site to attract customers from Europe and other locations. She offers free shipping to Europe, giving them an incentive to purchase from her. Charmaine Taliana proves that no matter where you are, the world is your market.


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