In conversation with Giddy Friday’s Izzy McAllister

Ever wonder what it would be like launching your own business? What would you sell/offer? What resources would you need? Where would you even start?

For Cardiff-based nail technician Izzy McAllister, the COVID-19 pandemic gave her the room to think about these questions more clearly and put her ideas into action.

As a jewellery enthusiast herself, she spent a lot of time scrolling through numerous websites when on the hunt for a new ring or necklace. But, she soon found that something was seriously lacking: good quality sterling silver jewellery at affordable prices.

It seemed as though you either needed to break the bank for high quality or settle for cheaply made if on a budget. Izzy wanted to change this. Yet, she kept this desire on hold as, like many of us, had doubts that she could truly pull off her goals.

Then came COVID, which temporarily made it so that she couldn’t return to work and thus placed a whole lot more spare time into her hands.

It was now or never. Pushing all her doubts to the back of her mind, this newfound freedom gave Izzy the final push to focus on her business idea and run with it under a ‘what have I got to lose!?’ mentality (girl power!).

In 2020, Izzy launched Giddy Friday, the affordable sterling silver jewellery business for all you guys and gals looking for some hand-in-hand quality and affordability.

Since then, the business has seen multiple sell-outs, 20 product launches and a solid social media following with a rebrand on the horizon and an aim of tripling the product range by 2022!

But how did it get to this point? What were the learning curves, goals, downfalls? What is the key to creating a successful one-woman business? We need the tea.

So, without further ado, let me hand you over to the creator herself…

1. With the aim of Giddy Friday being to provide sterling silver jewellery at affordable prices, what inspired you to pursue this vision and what has the reception of this been like?

The inspiration to start Giddy Friday honestly just came out of my own struggle to find sterling silver jewellery that suited my style and was affordable on a student budget. I noticed so many jewellery businesses were bringing out gorgeous on-trend pieces but overlooking the basic essentials. I also found the market to be so saturated with gold, with companies often having a tiny silver section on their website compared with pages and pages of gold jewellery. I wanted to create the website I had been looking for! I was sick of resorting to high street jewellery that would tarnish, fade or fall apart within a few months.

Giddy Friday aims to provide higher quality, longer-lasting jewellery at a similar price point to high street stores such as Topshop or H&M, with everything from your basic hoops and chains to unique pendants and anklets. Every piece is made from sterling silver, meaning our jewellery is great for those of us who wear the same pieces on repeat but is priced in a way that allows people to switch it up depending on current trends and styles. The reception so far has been amazing! It was all such a risk, and I had no idea how people would react, but every day I’m amazed at how excited and supportive people are, and I’m so grateful that they keep coming back for more!

2. What have you learnt so far as a small business owner? Has anything surprised you?

Giddy Friday only launched six months ago but, in that time, I feel like I’ve learnt and am continuing to learn so much! Whilst running a business is exciting and rewarding, it can also be such a challenge, especially when you’ve never done it before. I don’t have a degree in business studies or any previous experience curating a brand, so every stage is new and daunting. It’s easy at times to feel like you’re moving one step forward and two steps back, but I think it’s crucial to be resilient and see every mistake as a learning curve.

If one order happens to go missing in the post, it doesn’t mean ALL orders are going missing in the post! The first time this happened, I freaked out and was so worried about losing out on money and what the customer would think, I thought it would start happening all the time. It hasn’t, thankfully, but from that, I’ve learnt to always keep back-ups of everything in stock just in case I need to send out a replacement. It’s all about recovery, and people are generally understanding about these things. One mistake doesn’t detract from the hundreds of times you’ve got it right – that’s something I’m currently learning!

3. What has been your favourite product so far and why?

The Giddy Hoops definitely! They’re a new addition to the product range, but they’re exactly the kind of hoops I knew I wanted to launch before I’d even started the business. The name Giddy Friday was inspired by the feeling you get on a Friday night when you’re going out with your mates, popping your hoops in and getting ready to hit the town! They are my perfect night out hoop, but I end up wearing them most days as they’re chunky yet super lightweight and comfortable! Both of the basic band rings are also a firm favourite of mine; I couldn’t live without them!

4. Do you plan on expanding your product range, i.e. outside of sterling silver or totally new products entirely?

Absolutely. I’d love to start incorporating gold pieces into the collection at some point in the future, but for now, silver is my priority, and I wouldn’t want to distract from that. I have so many ideas for entirely new products as well, and it’s easy to get carried away! But I always think it’s better to do one thing well rather than spreading yourself too thin trying to cater to everyone. I’ll always listen to what my audience wants and take that into consideration. For now, my focus is on having a wide range of sterling silver jewellery that people love and get plenty of wear out of!

5. What advice would you give to others wanting to start their own small business?

I’d say go for it! If you’re in a position where you have the time and money to invest, and it’s something you’re truly passionate about, don’t let yourself get in your own way! It’s a huge commitment, and you have to be responsible for remaining motivated and dedicated, but it’s so rewarding when you see sales coming in, and your hard work starts to pay off!

I’d say when starting out, try to set a budget of how much you want to invest and actually stick to it. Starting a business is not cheap, so you have to be prepared to take risks, but you don’t want to end up in a position where it’ll take you a really long time to make that money back. I’d also advise sticking to one social media platform, to begin with, and just go hard with promoting yourself on there – don’t worry about creating content for every single platform when you’re just starting out; it can get very overwhelming very quickly and is not always sustainable!

Stick to what you like doing, let your passion and personality shine through, and hype yourself up throughout the process! No one else is going to be running this business, so bring the excitement that you want to see from your audience and, most importantly, only ever sell something you would want to buy; otherwise, how can you expect anyone else to buy it!?

Check out GIDDY FRIDAY’s website here and Instagram account here.

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