PROJECT #BEYOUROWN WOMAN: RACHEL GILBERTSON
Roxiie’s Treasures was set up in April 2013 by Rachel Gilbertson at the age of 19 years old. I started out selling online and at craft fairs then went onto having a rented space within an emporium. I had my a shop for 2 years before selling at events and online again. Roxiie’s Treasures has been featured in a number of newspapers and magazines including Daily Mirror, Sunday Express, Liverpool Echo, Daily Post, Your Merseyside Wedding and Lancashire Life.
Rachel’s #BEYOUROWN WOMAN Story
I am Rachel Gilbertson, 26 and started my business Roxiies Treasures in 2013 at the age of 19 after finishing my Graphic Design course at college, mainly because I couldn’t get a job but still really wanted to work. I was on jobseekers allowance and I went on an enterprise course that I really enjoyed, so I began making jewellery.
After the course, I started the business on the New Enterprise Allowance, which was a weekly grant of around £1,200 from the government that was paid across six months. I also got in touch with a group called the Women’s Organisation that helps women get into business by giving me a business mentor and a £200 start-up grant to help me set my business up to buy materials and stock.
Within a few months, I rented a space in an arts and crafts emporium above a cafe where I met another lady running her own business. When the shop next door came up for rent we decided to rent it together.
The biggest challenge is trying to get your name out there and building up your clientele which is also a challenge when you start out with low funds. I have always said if you work hard, you will achieve what you want in life and don’t let anyone get you down and don’t care what they think, all you can do is try your best. I promoted my business the best way I could and I did this because I wanted to share my products with people and I promoted online, going to networking events, word of mouth, posted leaflets through doors and so on, just to get where I am today!
When running my shop, it was a regular customer that gave me the idea for the cushions – she said she’d like to see something featuring the Antony Gormley sculptures on Crosby Beach so we started making handmade cushions featuring the iron men statues which are called ‘Another Place’.
In April 2016 we decided to close the shop, move everything online and do more events – overheads were so high and it seemed that was the direction the retail industry was going. We also sell handmade Liverbird and Liverpool Skyline cushions alongside the Crosby Beach cushions but also sell Crosby Beach and City of Liverpool Bunting as well.
We make a lot of sales through social media like Facebook and Twitter, but we also go along to local fairs and events where we always get really good feedback and it only spreads the word of our business further.
Over the next few years, I want to do what I can to expand the business: I’d love to start a range of cushions featuring icons of other northern towns and sell them there and even go into reducing plastic waste and recycling it into new products.
At the end of the day, I think we’re all proud to be British and it’s nice to have something that celebrates and reminds you of your hometown.
What I would like to see changed for women in business is the opportunities that women could have to help grow within a male-dominated business industry and it means a lot to me knowing what I have achieved and to #BEYOUROWN Woman in the 21st Century as women within the business world are growing and there are strong independent female role models to inspire the next generation of girls and women so I am proud to be a part of that movement and share my entrepreneurial journey to help inspire and motivate others to do what they want in life and follow their dreams.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/roxiiestreasuresliverpool