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Mother and daughter team behind Aberdeenshire’s SilverStory are adapting in lockdown to grow online sales

From left, Ursula George and her daughter Hannah. Pictures by Simone Smith Photography and Aboyne Photographics.
From left, Ursula George and her daughter Hannah. Pictures by Simone Smith Photography and Aboyne Photographics.

Jewellery can elevate any outfit and make a statement that will not be missed.

Yes, we have no choice other than to spend our time at home for the moment. But that doesn’t mean we cannot continue to flaunt our favourite accessories while doing so.

And while we can fall into the habit of throwing on jewellery that we’ve owned for years, if not decades, now is the time to experiment with new items instead.

SilverStory will allow you to find new staple pieces with ease.

The business, run by mother-daughter duo Ursula and Hannah Geroge, offers a carefully curated selection of gorgeous, affordable and ethically-sourced jewellery. This includes rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and anklets.

The pair travel across the globe to source their stock, taking them as far away as India.

“It is largely sterling silver with some silver and rose gold plated pieces that SilverStory offers,” Ursula said. “However, we are looking to incorporate more gold in our new collection as lots of people have requested it.

“Hannah and I normally travel to large jewellery exhibitions to choose our stock – Top Drawer in London is the main one, but we also go to Birmingham and Harrogate – to see our suppliers and find new suppliers.

“The pair of us are currently working with a small, ethical manufacturer in India and hope to visit the factory when restrictions ease. Our other suppliers are based in Glasgow, England and London.

“All our pieces are very affordable, so you can stock up on gifts for friends and family – and maybe even treat yourself too.”

Ursula and Hannah have also kept on top of current and future jewellery trends since the launch of their business in 2016.

Ursula added: “We’re constantly researching upcoming trends. And another thing that’s important to us is buying pieces we love, whilst also trying to cover all ages and tastes.

SilverStory introduced its first kid’s range last autumn and may reintroduce a men’s range in the future.

“All our products are available online and some are only available at events when we sell direct.”

The concept for SilverStory – based in Torphins – was thought up by Ursula, who has worked in sales for a number of years.

She said: “Many, many years ago in another life, I sat cross-legged on the ground in Nepal and India, and bought precious stones by weight and commissioned jewellery pieces. Years later, I realised my dream and SilverStory was born.

“My daughter Hannah then joined me in my quest to find contemporary and predominantly sterling silver pieces ethically sourced from around the developing world – and handmade in the UK, too.

“I have worked in sales for many years, often fashion related. I worked for Boden for five years managing their shopping parties in Scotland and setting them up, and managing them in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“For the last two years and until November 2020, I worked for a small digital marketing company, initially in sales and then as managing director.

“I set up SilverStory when I was working for Boden and running my self-catering business, Woodend Lodges at Glassel, Banchory. I then ran it alongside my marketing job and the lodges too.

“Now, I am responsible for sourcing the range, ordering and pricing. Hannah looks after all social media and photography.

“We share the packing and posting of orders, as well as manning the stall at events depending on our workloads.”

Unable to attend events for the foreseeable future, Ursula is excited to grow her audience through social media.

“Hannah and I sell online from our website and at local events,” Ursula added.

“Sadly most events were cancelled last year, but we had the amazing opportunity of a pop-up in John Lewis in November. This was fantastic.

“So many social media followers came to find us and everyone seemed to really love the jewellery.

“We have booked five weeks in the store for this year, which we are pretty excited about!

“We also hope to attend lots of events throughout the summer and then pre-Christmas.”

While running a business has its challenges, the duo have always aimed to overcome these.

And, as has already been made clear, they remain optimistic.

Ursula said: “It is really hard to grow a business and get your name out there.

“However, we now have quite a good local following and people often use us for buying presents to save going into Aberdeen – we offer free collection from Torphins – but it would be really great to have enough regular online orders to be a sustainable business.

“It is always interesting to see where the orders come from, we get a lot from Northern Ireland and have a regular customer in the United States.

“Hannah and I have worked really hard on social media, mainly Instagram, and try to provide a lovely service that people will want to use again and again. Everything is packed by hand with a personalised note, which people seem to appreciate.

“We would like to continue to grow and become a sustainable business that will support us both and enable us to travel and source our collections directly with the manufacturers.

“The both of us are passionate about what we do and like nothing better than discussing jewellery with our lovely clients.

“Looking ahead, we would like to be the go-to jewellery company in the north-east of Scotland, but with a nationwide following.

“Remember to keep your eyes peeled for our new 2021 range, which is launching at the end of February or early March. There will be lots more exciting pieces on the website in the spring.”

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.