Student Céline sells her jewellery online
Céline Schols, student at Windesheim Flevoland, sells her own minimalistic earrings and rings. She designs them herself. Producing them is done together with her 81 year old grandfather.
“My grandfather Ton can pretty much do everything, so he can do this very well too”, says the 21 year old Céline. Even though her grandfather did not do a course to become a goldsmith. “No, he’s just a real craftsman. He used to work for someone for whom he had to make all kinds of things, such as leg prosthetics. Making this jewellery is actually a piece of cake for him. He also still has all of his old tools and equipment, such as a workbench and a soldering iron, which we now very gratefully put to use.
Céline opened up her web shop CS Jewels only a few weeks ago, although the preparatory work started much longer ago. “I’ve been a fan of jewellery for years. Before I used to craft them myself, I would buy a new ring or a new pair of earrings every month.” She also gathers inspiration and ideas for her minimalistic designs through shopping. “Sometimes I am browsing a store and see something that makes me think: wow, that looks good! Then I try to design something exactly like that, or just slightly different. Actually, I always know exactly what I want.”
A day older
Céline hopes that her grandfather can transfer all of his skills to her. “At this moment, he is teaching me everything. But of course he is growing older every day, so eventually I would like to be able to do everything myself.” To both the granddaughter and the grandfather it’s rather special to be in business together. Céline: “Indeed, it’s truly great to do something like this with your grandfather.” Maybe even more for him than for her. “He really has something to do now.”
Céline buys the silver and gold for the jewellery at a wholesale. “My grandfather and I take turns melting it. Or we burn or bend it in a certain way that may, for example, make an earring. We use small burners or soldering irons to accomplish this.
Shortened degree course
A year and a half ago, Céline started the associate degree (AD) Entrepreneurship at the Windesheim Flevoland in Almere. ADs are two-year practice-oriented Bachelor degree courses, that connect well with a level 4 Vocational Education degree. Students are trained for a specific profession such as, in Céline’s case, entrepreneur.
“In the first year we focused mainly on brainstorming for ideas on an enterprise you can start and what you like to do. For me, that quickly resulted in me wanting to produce and sell jewellery.” The entire second year revolves around starting up an enterprise of your own. “That means planning thoroughly from A to Z and subsequently actually starting up.
Of course your teachers are there to assist you. They use their own knowledge and provide assistance wherever necessary. It works really well! In only four months I can already graduate.”
Although Céline’s web shop has only been online for about six weeks, business has been going very well. “I actually opened up before Christmas. The website was not yet quite as I desired it to be and not all of my jewellery was on it yet, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to be up and running before Christmas.”
Before she had started, she didn’t really know what to expect. “At this moment, I receive about one order a day, so that’s perfect, so early on in my entrepreneurship. Obviously I hope for more, but so far I am truly content!
Living off the profits of her web shop is – at least for now – rather difficult, Céline estimates. “It would be wonderful if I could achieve that, but my earrings and rings are, of course, not very expensive.” Most of all, Céline wants to be able to put her jewellery on display in a store, that in turn sells them for her. “For example here, in Amsterdam.” Or in England, where her boyfriend lives and where she moved earlier this month. “But those are long term plans!.”
Wouter van Emst