Noora Stanforth, an entrepreneur based in Penryn, launched her own business – LUMA Jewellery – after receiving support from Outset Cornwall.
Noora, 39, set up the Scandi-inspired business in July 2020 which offers super contemporary and elegant, fine jewellery.
She has been increasingly busy since she set up the business in lockdown and is impressively managing to juggle running the successful business while raising her children and her new puppy.
Her business is now one year old and she has achieved a fair bit in that short amount of time, thanks to help from Outset Cornwall – one of Cornwall’s longest-running business support programmes.
We spoke with Noora about her business and how it all began.
“I wanted to create simple yet beautiful handmade jewellery that can be treasured every day but that will last a lifetime,” she said. “My inspiration comes from Scandinavia and my home country Finland which is known for its Nordic simplicity and minimalist style.
“The idea for my own jewellery business started a good year before I launched my business. I love collecting shells and pebbles from the beaches that surround us and I wanted to start making jewellery utilising these beautiful beach finds that were already filling our house.”
Without any experience in jewellery making, Noora started learning the basic skills and began making simple necklaces and earrings using sterling silver findings combined with pieces of shells and pebbles.”
She added: “However, only a few months into my business journey I realised that what I really wanted to do was to learn silversmithing and to create beautiful pieces using sterling silver. This is the journey I’m on at the moment learning more each day.”
At the beginning of her journey, Noora knew very little about setting up her own business.
“When I launched my business I had no business knowledge or experience at all and I was learning as I went.
“Outset Cornwall sessions were a fantastic help and gave a good insight into starting and running your own business. Mostly they helped me to understand more of the financial side of the business which I hadn’t concentrated on enough at the beginning.”
“I’d absolutely recommend Outset Cornwall to others. They gave me great basic tools and an understanding of how to run your business. All the tutors were extremely helpful and friendly and you felt like you could ask anything. There were no silly questions. Outset Cornwall was there to help with anything you needed and still are if I have any business-related questions.”
But how has the process been for Noora and what does the future hold?
“There’s been ups and downs in the business with both busy and quiet times but I’m most proud of starting from scratch without any knowledge of running a business and have managed to create a business that sells online as well in a local high street shop.
“I’m hoping to start taking part in more fairs and markets and also grow my online presence with my own website. At the moment I’m having a small break until early October but looking forward to a busy festive season after that.”
More and more people exploring self-employment to be their own boss
One of Cornwall’s longest-running business support programmes has seen an increase in enquiries since the pandemic began, as the latest figures show more people are exploring self-employment and becoming their own boss.
Outset Cornwall, an award-winning business start-up programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government and the Outset Foundation, is now in its 12th year. Since re-launching in January 2020 and despite a global pandemic and much lockdown upheaval, demand for its services has continued.
Kate Perkin, programme director for Outset Cornwall, said: “The fact we’ve seen ongoing enquiries and referrals coming through proves the entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t diminished in Cornwall, and Outset is in a great position to be able to help these people.
“There’s been a real variety of ideas coming through; from people wanting to repurpose their existing skills and experience to turning their hobbies and passions into sustainable businesses.”
Outset Cornwall will continue to deliver its fully-funded package of tailored business support until the programme comes to an end on July 31, 2022.