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Fledgling BoldB takes out Etsy Design Award

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Hailing from the Saxony region of northern Germany, industrial designer Britta Boeckmann moved to Brunswick in inner city Melbourne in 2013. The next January she began selling her distinctive range of jewellery, which combines native woods with colourful resins.

From a standing start Britta Boeckmann’s brand BoldB now has a committed fan base online and stockists in the USA, Japan and Hong Kong. Last month, the designer was announced the inaugural winner at the Etsy Australian Design Awards in the Fashion and Accessories category.

Tiffany Loh sits down with Britta to ask her what she has learned from her first successful year as a jewellery designer and retailer.

Britta Boeckmann BoldB jewellery designer Etsy award

Turn your passion into profit

“I studied industrial design in Germany but it was an internship in England that sparked my interest in jewellery. When I came to Australia, my partner and I started off in Wangaratta in regional Victoria and it was there I discovered a passion for working hands-on with Australian timbers.

“Originally, I hoped to just earn some extra money with handmade wooden products and there was no intent to make a living out of it. Now, 10 months later, I’m working full-time on my business with my very own workshop and selling to costumers and stockists all over the world!

“It was such an honour to be recognised at the Etsy Design Awards alongside some of the country’s most talented designers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my hobby would lead to this kind of recognition.”

Give yourself goals you can achieve

“I had been working at a big shared workshop so my first big goal was to create my own space which would mean I could do my jewellery making at a time that suited me. In April 2014, four months after I began selling my jewellery, I had achieved this aim.

“My goal for 2015 is to launch a homeware collection including table lamps, wall clocks, side tables and pet furniture. This will drive my business in a whole new direction keeping me excited about what’s ahead.”

Put your best face forward

“Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are really useful online tools, but if you want to grow awareness of your brand you have to constantly engage with your customers. I regularly upload interesting content such as new images and products. For handmade work it is important to tell a story to make your work stand out from others.

“Something that I’ve learnt selling online is the importance to have high-quality photographs. This makes potential customers feel more comfortable buying products which they haven’t been able to touch and hold like they would in a shop.”

Stick to your craft – Get others to help with the rest

“At this point, I don’t have any business loans and my expenses are minimal. The only investment is my time. While I don’t plan to grow my business by having investors I am looking at outsourcing some activities, such as packaging and PR. I want to concentrate on my area of expertise which is the artistic work. In fact, I don’t think I could let anyone else do the hands-on side of things. I guess it would be like a painter not wanting others to paint their pictures!”

You’ll make mistakes – Just learn from them

“This is the first Christmas for BoldB and while I expected it to be a busy time, I completely underestimated how flat out I would actually be. I now regret that I didn’t force myself to make more items and prepare more. But it is definitely something I will keep in mind for next year.”

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