Startup School People: Sylvia Karen – Charmbella

What is your name?

Sylvia Karen

If you’re on Instagram, what is your Instagram profile name?


Briefly sum up who you are and what motivates you?

I’m the founder of Charmbella, I design and produce a luxury jewellery range. My aim is to offer a distinctive luxury jewellery range that women will love and adore for its jewelled charms fused with the Daisy enchantment of the new range that I will be launching soon.

The leading piece of the range is a heavy link chain bracelet, that has a featured, jewelled Daisy charm clasp, unique to Charmbella.

I’m a local Artisan and all of the jewellery range is designed, produced and assembled here in the UK, creating luxury with less impact on the environment for the conscious shopper that wants something more exclusive and to be knowingly assured of the origins of the products.

What do you do for a living?

Unemployed currently putting everything into starting up my business

How long have you been doing this?

I have been in the jewellery industry since 2007. I enrolled on a jewellery design course at the Kensington and Chelsea College, at the Wornington Centre in 2007. I learnt silversmithing skills as well as art and design aspects around finding inspiration for the jewellery. I went on to finishing a few years later with a Higher BTEC.

Since then I have been continuing with product development and many other aspects of building my business. I have also worked in a part-time job since 2014, to help pay the bills, but it came to an end in March and I have been concentrating since then on just my business venture. My next stage is to apply for some funding for the jewellery production so I can introduce the new range to the market.

What do you find most satisfying about your work?

I am very creative and I love making, producing jewellery, it often presents challenges and when you overcome that challenge or obstacle you eventually finish a creation that you are really happy with. Creating something precious, more exclusive and distinctive that someone will love. There is a lot of my own handicraft that goes into the jewellery pieces. I enjoy all the aspects of the work that goes into the process of finishing a piece, but seeing a finished piece and how it looks on when worn is very satisfying because my pieces are made to be very wearable and it’s only when you see it on someone that’s when it looks truly special.

Is your work primarily a means to an end i.e. money or the motivating force of your life?

I mean we all need to make, earn money, and yes, I feel I will need to earn a living from it, but even if say I was rich or won the lottery I would still enjoy designing and producing jewellery.

When you were 8, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At the age of 8, I didn’t really know, I was creative though and enjoyed creative stuff, like making models from potatoes and wooden matchsticks, these were the things that my mum gave me from the cupboards and drawers as well as paints and paper. I used the potato half to cut out a pattern and then stuck it in some paint and then on paper. It was like a printing block. Mum didn’t mind if I got a bit messy, mum was and still is wonderful. I feel the creative side comes from my mum.

Did you get there – and if not, are you happy/sad that you didn’t?

Life is a journey, I am getting there, I have had some setbacks, but I look on the positive side and keep looking forward.

What is your dream job?

Designing, producing and selling jewellery

If UK-based, are you glad, indifferent or disappointed that the official pension age is rising?

I would say I’m disappointed, I feel 65 for women, 66 for men should be the age people are entitled to receive their pension. If they want to continue working then they should also have the opportunity as quite a few seniors are still energetic and can offer lots of experience and value to the working world. We look forward to receiving back your responses, the more detailed, the better!