Q. How would you describe your business and the products or services you offer?
A. East City Jewellery is owned and operated by Zenon Bigg, an artist and silversmith who draws his inspiration from the natural world. It creates one of a kind jewellery in silver, copper, brass and bronze, incorporating a variety of gemstones. Each unique piece is crafted with care, by hand. Custom pieces are designed to fit each customer’s personality and budget.
Q. What influenced your decision to start Up Close Imaging?
A. I am an artist. I work in a variety of mediums, but I am really drawn to sculpture. I took some jewellery classes that I really enjoyed, and I find working with fine metal and gemstones very satisfying. Throughout history, jewellery has been important because of the way it can communicate things without words. It can help someone make a statement about who they are, or how they feel. I love creating beautiful objects that will make other people happy. I am pleased to help others make these statements in a way that will last and be beautiful for years to come.
Q. What makes Peterborough & the Kawarthas a great place to be an entrepreneur?
A. Peterborough is a great place to be an entrepreneur because it has such an active community. There are lots of events taking place, we have a thriving arts community, and there are plenty of people with experience who are willing to share it with others who are just starting out.
Q. How has the Business Advisory Centre helped you?
A. The Business Advisory Centre helped provide me with the advice and training to plan and start my business. I was able to seek guidance as I needed it. I am confident in my ability to design and create, but I needed help to find customers for my creations.
The Program funding has allowed me to purchase the tools and materials that I needed to get started. I have been able to set up my own jewellery studio, and can now bring my ideas from a design on paper, to beautiful silver and gem rings on a customer’s hand.
Q. What’s next for you? How will East City Jewellery continue to grow?
A. I intend to continue to design and craft beautiful pieces of jewellery. I plan to have these pieces shown and sold in a number of storefronts (on commission), as well as opening an e-commerce site. I would like to register my makers mark, and possibly eventually expand to include lapidary. This way I could be in control of the entire creative process, from raw stone and metal to finished product.
Q. What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
A. Choose something you love and pursue it. Be prepared to work hard. You will get overwhelmed at times. When this happens, take a breath, and break it down into small steps.
If you are able to, having a mentor is really helpful. They can guide you, help you find the best places to purchase materials and tools, and they can help you avoid costly mistakes.
Q. What is your personal definition of “success”?
A. For me, success is being able to continue to do what I love and to constantly learn more as I do it.
East City Jewellery