Movers and Shakers | Lenique Louis | Founder | Lenique Louis Ltd

We continue our series focusing on women of colour in business, leadership and work.
 Lenique Louis creates luxury handmade jewellery for men and women influenced by Coral Reef. Her entrepreneurial journey has included placements and internships with renowned jewellery designer Stephen Webster and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II former jewellers, Garrard & Co.  Lenique won the PRECIOUS Start-up Business of the Year Award in 2012.

What drove you to start your own business?

It was a trip to Thailand’s East of Eden Coral Reef that began my love for all things natural and organic. When I returned to England it made sense to start my own jewellery business as I’ve always been creative with my hands.

I’ve always had an interest in fashion and being creative. I did a tailoring course at Chelsea & Kensington College and jewellery courses such as stone setting. I first started making jewellery from my grandma’s garage. I got a grant from the Princes Trust and did an apprenticeship placement with Stephen Webster.

image of ll_London Lenique Louis LtdWhat was your career path prior to starting your business?

I’d finished my degree in International Business & International Tourism Management and was working internationally in the tourism industry.

Tell us about the business planning stage.

I wrote a business plan with the help of the Princes Trust who helped me gain more experience in the jewellery industry. They also gave me a loan to start my company.

How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?

I try to plan three months ahead. What keeps me motivated is that I haven’t yet reached my goal.

Can you describe a typical working day?

Each day can be different. Typically I come into the jewellery studio and check emails and check to see if there are any outstanding orders that need to be completed from my website.  Anna, my assistant, keeps me up to date with any requests for wedding and bespoke commissions.

I then start working on the commissions I have to complete.  I normally have more than two to work on, so the day can be very hectic. Anna is normally heading to the post office to deliver orders to customers, I’m running around in Hatton Garden getting supplies. Sometimes it gets overwhelming but I wouldn’t change it. I’m also designing jewellery for an American based jewellery company, so no two days are the same.

How do you work on making your business grow?

Networking and creating the best products I can.

Lenique Louis at the 2012 PRECIOUS Awards
Lenique at the 2012 PRECIOUS Awards

What is the best thing about being your own boss?

The freedom to express myself in my creative field.

What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?

A major challenge is giving myself a break, sometimes I’m very hard on myself. I have to tackle that by having time out, I do this by painting.

Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?

La Diosa, the two women that first started with the help of the Princes Trust and are fellow PRECIOUS Award winners. They are very determined and now have their own concession stand in Harrods selling high-end luxury jewellery.

What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?

‘Never give up’, my grandma gave me that advice.  She’s seen me come from the bottom to where I am now.

What are the books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?

The PRECIOUS ‘Movers &Shakers’ series. I love to read the stories behind some of England’s  most successful women of colour.

What other passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?

Painting is a great way for me to relax.

 

Connect with Lenique via:

www.leniquelouis.com |  Instagram – leniquelouisjewellery

Facebook- leniquelouislondon | Twitter – @leniquelouis23

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