UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 21 AUGUST 2019
Students from the School of Jewellery received a £500 grant from Birmingham-based charity Craftspace and worked together to create the ‘Enhance’ brand.
The project saw students design a brief, create a brand, design logos, make and sell their own jewellery collections with the aim of raising money to support a chosen charity through fundraising.
Craftspace is a leading charity promoting maker development and social inclusion through crafts in the Midlands. Initially, the funding was provided as a GRAD+ social enterprise activity, due to span across three weeks during the academic year but since became a much bigger project, with work being sold at the University’s Open Day in June.
The students sorted and separated scrap metals and took to scrap merchant W.H Taroni Metal, raising more money to put towards their project. Prototypes were developed and construction began using off cuts of acrylic and aluminium. The students cleverly turned upcycled jewellery parts into new designer collections, ready to sell in their first experience of selling their own work to the public.
During the activities, the students learnt valuable entrepreneurial and employability skills. As well as discovering the importance a name has on a brand, the students also learnt how to make production pieces, the costing of time and materials, working in a team, staying motivated, brand identity, perceived value and sales techniques.
The students started the project by brainstorming brand values and using these to come up with a name. Initially the project was named 'Myself' with thoughts of self-worth and belief being at the forefront of the brand identity. It was later agreed that this could limit the customers’ purchasing decision and may consider the pieces solely for themselves. In order to maximise potential selling opportunities, the students went back to drawing board and decided to rename the brand 'Enhance', encouraging the jewellery to also be bought as gifts.
As well as raising money, the venture also intended to unite students from difference disciplines across two School of Jewellery sites and develop their interdisciplinary knowledge through combining skills of business, design, and making.