Women are central to everything we do at Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery. Our brand was founded by a woman (me!), is powered by women (my team and I), and last but definitely not least, is supported by women. In fact, there is no denying that women really are the centre of our Universe. Every decision myself and my team make on a daily basis is founded upon delivering the best possible experience for our customers and the people they are buying for. I am passionate and committed to supporting, empowering and lifting women up. If in a small way, a piece of Carrie Elizabeth jewellery can do this, then I feel like I am meeting the intention and purpose of what I set out to create.
This is also prominent in the way I run my business and work with my (all female) team. Having come from a corporate background I knew the structure and limitations of a rigid working life didn’t necessarily make for the best results (or the happiness and wellbeing of employees). I could see that so much talent was lost because work establishments didn’t support working families and women often felt they had to leave roles they once loved due to hours and commuting schedules not working anymore as their lives evolved.
When I set up my company, I was clear that remote working would be the norm and flexibility a given. My company has grown significantly and beyond targets in five years with a dedicated, loyal and happy team of women who work their own hours in their own environment. They work the way that best suits them and I trust them. It’s working for us! Here are the areas I feel are most important for creating a business and culture women actually want to work for.
Everyone on my team has their own schedule and I completely respect and support this. Some are mothers and so need to do the school run, some like to exercise in the morning (or at least plan to!), and some are night owls (like me!). The main thing is we all get our work done to a high standard and on time. I completely trust my team to manage their own time and make their roles work for them. In return I get an awesome team who always go above and beyond for me!
Working anywhere that suits you
It might surprise you, but we don’t have a Carrie Elizabeth Office. This is because we all work remotely from our own homes (and did way before the pandemic!) This is really beneficial to us as a team. Working from home gives each of us the flexibility to work the hours that suit us, to fit in work with our busy lives and also to remove that awful part of work that everybody dreads…the daily commute!!
We’ve found that by making sure we’re all communicating with each other via our WhatsApp group, a weekly conference call, Instagram messages… (sometimes all 3 at once!) we all know what’s happening and what the priorities are for us as a team and also individually so that we can be there to support when needed.
Face to face time is still important to us and there are some things that just don’t translate as well through Facetime, like when we get in amazing new samples for instance! So, we always make sure to have one team catch up every month where we can look at exciting new product, talk about future plans and strategy and generally have a lovely time together.
Being a small team, we sometimes need to outsource certain work that doesn’t fall into our expertise. Wherever possible I try to support other female entrepreneurs and have worked hard to build supportive and long-lasting working relationships with other female led businesses. A lot of our success is built upon our strong social media presence and it is through these platforms that I have also been able to meet some amazing women and to build mutually supportive relationships. I have been lucky enough to receive some amazing advice and guidance from some incredible women and so it is extremely important to me to be able to pass this onto other women starting out in business or looking to take the next leap.
All of the above is good but not enough if we also don’t put the values, experiences and feelings of the team into action in some way when it matters most. I spend time listening to and building relationships with my team and learning what products, campaigns and messaging would be important and meaningful to them. A lot of our charity partnerships come from a personal experience or passion a team member may have, and we always continue to develop our processes and workload, so people feel heard and listened to. Being valued and heard really is what changes the dynamic in a workplace – we give so much to work and should expect the same respect back. People have different levels of what work actually means to them, and I like to take my time and develop the needs that are individual to each team member. This is integral to our values and culture and should show through the ethos of everything we do. As we scale, in my opinion, it’s even more important to prioritise this.
Where you can find me
About your author
Carrie Elizabeth is a British Jewellery brand designed and based in London, England.
Launched in October 2015, it was founded by Carrie Elizabeth Dennahy who spent her last 10 years working as a Fashion & Jewellery Buyer for one of the UK’s leading retailers.
Having spent years travelling to New York, Asia and India looking at the worlds most beautiful jewellery, she realised that there were so many brands that she absolutely adored- but simply couldn’t afford!
Spotting a gap in the market, she decided to leave her well established job and take a leap of faith to set up this wonderful brand that could offer stunning designs, but at affordable prices.
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