Jewellery designer Casey Lea believes in finding your niche market, creating jewellery that’s fun and a whole lot of research.

How many years have you owned your own business?

I started Pop Design eight years ago after I had my second child – it was my creative outlet. I started out making clay necklaces and earrings. I stocked a couple of small boutiques, and it was a bit of a side hustle while I I was home with two small children. I stopped making after the birth of our third child and concentrated on family life and completing a Bachelor of Education. In 2019, I started up again focusing on fine jewellery (but keeping it fun). I now stock over 15 stores throughout Australia.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

It’s a crazy, exciting, juggle. I share my time between making and teaching. I teach three days a week here in Inverell and make / create wherever I can. Generally, I make a lot of jewellery on a Sunday afternoon, because I don’t see it as work. Life’s a bit like that, I don’t believe that there’s a 9-5 anymore and I try to incorporate my children into my work. I sometimes give the kids clay and they do it with me.

What keeps you up at night?

Bookwork and family logistics – I always must be organised.

Who inspires you and why?

My children – how our children have handled the current pandemic situation and ever-changing circumstances is incredible.

What are some words of advice you would give someone wanting to start their own business?

Find your niche market, and research, research, research! For example, I started doing pearls two years ago, now pearls are my biggest market and I import all my own pearls. It also comes down to putting research into your bottom dollar. A business coach once told me that all of your money is broken into threes – one third is your product, one third is your wages and bills, and one third is profit. And it’s so hard, because for a while at the start, you really don’t make much money.

Where do you envision yourself in five years?

Creating jewellery and educating children. I absolutely love what I do and in five years’ time I hope to continue this.

What’s on the horizon for Pop Design?

To continue creating pieces that people want to purchase as a beautiful gift for a friend, or as a gift to themselves. This year I already have several bridal party orders and it gives me so much joy working alongside brides to create their perfect pieces. It is such an honour to contribute to someone’s special day.

location: Inverell, NSW