Valg Studio

Valg Facts

Where did the idea for Valg Studio come from?

I am from Latvia and I have always been interested in arts and crafts and after primary school, I trained as a dress­maker. I have always been passionate about crafting and visual arts and while I was pregnant with my second daughter I really gave the jewellery making some time to see if I could make a go of it. At the time there was a friend of mine also setting up a business making children’s clothing so we were good for one another to push each other on and share our information and experience about how to set up a business.


How did you find setting up a new business? Were there any challenges, highs or lows?

Good. I have built it up very slowly with family commitments and life in general but I am very proud of how I have developed it and how it has grown into a quality brand people recognise. One of the biggest challenges I find is time management but setting goals and focusing on them allows me to progress.

What’s the feedback been like?

Really positive! I have regular spots at craft fairs and I’m building up repeat business and a new client base also which is all very positive. My designs might not be everyone’s cup of tea but those who like them are loyal customers who buy unique pieces regularly.


Have you a vision for Valg Studio going forward?

I would love to open a studio away from home. Sometimes it is challenging to juggle work and life especially if the kids are off school it is difficult to get into the studio in the house let alone get some productive work done. I feel that a studio away from the house would help me to become more efficient and productive. I would also like to continue to improve the standard of my products and services. I have recently started a home accesso­ries range which I would like to develop further. Who knows, one day I might offer workshops in polymer clay jewellery making and jewellery photography. I’m very passionate about creative entrepre­neurship, explore new ideas and accept new challenges.


What was your breakthrough moment in business?

I’ll never forget it! I went to the RDS Craft Fair to exhibit and I went from prac­tically working in isolation in my studio at home to showcasing at this major event where the footfall was incredible and people were really interested in my products and I remember stopping and thinking to myself am I really here living my dream, it was one of those really grati­fying times when you realise all your hard work has got you to where you set out to be.


Tell me about the support you received from your Local Enterprise Office Carlow?

The support I have received from LEO Carlow has been invaluable from when I set up and doing courses and training workshops and programmes to when FORM Carlow was established, it has been so helpful to me and my business. FORM Carlow is really positive as we are like-minded individuals who champion one another and share our experiences and learnings. LEO Carlow has arranged funding for the group to keep it going and we have regular meetings, photoshoots and exchange trips which are all excellent for Valg Studio. As a group we all learn from one another also so whether its new packaging suppliers, marketing tips on branding or getting feedback on your pieces as you are on your own so much it is good to have some honest trusted feedback from others so there is always a benefit in meeting up and for that I am extremely grateful.


As an SME are you optimistic regarding the future?

Extremely. My progress albeit is slow but measurable and every quarter the business grows and develops and with the support of LEO Carlow, FORM Carlow and creative community groups online I am very optimistic about the future.

What is the best advice you have received in relation to running a business?

I guess a combination of the impor­tance of constantly learning and adapting in such a fast-changing marketplace and that there are no tricks or shortcuts, it’s all hard work and if you do that you’ll get there.


What advice would you give others starting a new business?

If you have a vision and really want to go for it just roll up your sleeves and go for it, it will be hard work and no one will hand it to you but if you really believe in your vision and put in the effort, you will get there.


Have you any tips on costs and cash flow?

I find it hard to source quality materials to work with so when I do I try to bulk buy as much as possible and I really work hard to research the global marketplace to find my suppliers who are the best value and more importantly, best quality.


Tell us how you attract new customers and indeed retaining your existing clients?

Instagram is vitally important to my business for repeat business and attracting new clients. What I do and sell is so visual so I try to post regularly on Instagram as it really works well for posting work-in-progress images, new products and letting customers know where I will be exhibiting.

Extremely. My progress albeit is slow but measurable and every quarter the business grows and develops and with the support of LEO Carlow, FORM Carlow and creative community groups online I am very optimistic about the future.

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