A MALVERN jeweller who specialises in making glass beads is celebrating her major order to New Zealand thanks to support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Julia Fountain, of Beach Art Glass on Hayslan Green, completed her first strategic export and firmly believes the future of her business is now in overseas sales.
“My bead jewellery is inspired by the sea and beach, which means it’s very summery,” she said.
“Because of that seasonality I knew I had to expand and reach different countries because it is summer at different times of the year, depending on where they are.”
Award-winning Julie, who founded her business in 2015, joined Malvern Small Business Forum in the hope of getting advice about starting to export.
It was there she met an international trade adviser from the Hereford and Worcester DIT team.
Since then the jeweller has been supported by the DIT which identified key markets and provided advice regarding her website to ensure it looked its best and was found easily.
Julie received funding for a DIT-supported stand at the 2017 Jewellery and Watch show in Birmingham, where she met the buyer from the independent store in Beachlands, near Auckland, New Zealand.
“It was an amazing opportunity for me to be able to exhibit at the fair because I couldn’t have afforded to have gone otherwise.
“It enabled me to meet buyers from around the world, which is very exciting.
“I’ve just shipped my first big order to New Zealand, which is a huge deal for a small business like mine, and it has really boosted my confidence – I really believe that the future of my business is overseas.
“That’s where it should be and I’m grateful to DIT for helping me start exporting.”