HEATHER Fox is looking forward to celebrating the fifth anniversary of her jewellery business and making plans for a creative hub at Evans House.

The Fox Studios opened in July 2018 and has moved around over the past five years before returning to the Norman Street venue.

Here, in our latest Trader of the Week feature, Heather tells us how it all began 23 years ago with an evening course learning how to make jewellery and how it’s come full circle and she is now teaching people herself.

If you would like to be featured as our Trader of the Week or Business of the Week, email heidi.summerfield@newsquest.co.uk

Heather opened her business five years ago

Heather opened her business five years ago

What’s the name of the business?

The Fox Studios

When did you open the business?

July 2018

Has it always been in the same location?

No, I’ve moved a few times now - not recommended! I started in Evans House in a smaller unit, then moved upstairs into a bigger place, which had the most fabulous view over Warrington, then moved to The Old School and now I’m back at Evans House again.

Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?

I was born in Warrington, grew up in Penketh and am currently still living in Penketh.

Tell me a bit about your business

Originally, I started on an evening course about 23 years ago learning to make jewellery. A year or two in I decided to study for my degree and went out to North Wales School of Art and Design in Wrexham, where I gained a BA (Hons) 2:1. As part of the course, we had professional practice modules and I set up my jewellery making business. So, I’ve been in business in total since 2008. I then started teaching at St Helens College, back on the evening course where it all began. I found out that I really love teaching. I then started to look for my own premises around 2017 in the Warrington area and came across my first unit in Evans House, but it was a full 12 months before I took the plunge. Since then, I’ve progressed to a bigger unit each time and I currently have two spaces, the jewellery workshop and another space that can be hired out, perfect for creative classes. At the beginning of this year, I realised I needed more tutors and I now have two other jewellers who teach for me and a fabulous lady who keeps on top of my admin for me. I still don’t make jewellery as much as I’d like, the teaching took over, but it’s something I’m hoping to get back to. I also want to keep building the business to create a creative hub, a place where local creative businesses can meet, socialise, hire space, put events on which is very exciting.

Some of Heathers jewellery, which customers and students can learn how to make

Some of Heather's jewellery, which customers and students can learn how to make

What do you do? What services do you provide?

We teach a range of jewellery making techniques, suitable for beginners through to advanced skills. We also help with the business side of jewellery as well, how to set up your business, Canva, Instagram, going to craft fairs etc. And now, we have the creative space for hire. Janice Lazzarich, another local creative, is the first person to hire the space for her weekly oil painting classes.

Why did you decide to open your own business?

I’ve always wanted to have my own business, for as long as I can remember.


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What’s your business background?

I have worked part time for most of my jewellery career and built up skills that have been very useful in running a business. I worked in IT for about 12 years, before becoming fully self employed. But I’ve mainly learnt on the job, through trial and error.

Why this type of business?

I’ve always been creative. I was making my own clothes from a young age and originally trained in fashion, but after a short stint in a fashion house in Nottingham, I realised it wasn’t the career for me. When I found jewellery making, that was it, I was hooked, and I still am. I love being creative and I love sharing my skills with people to show them what they can achieve. The satisfaction of seeing the wonder at what the students can achieve at the end of class doesn’t get old!

How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your business?

I adapted through Covid, and created colourful aluminium jewellery making kits, which I plan to expand on this year. I also created a jewellery making journal, as I had a little time on my hands. But as I look back now at that period of being open and closed, I didn’t really sit still, I was constantly working to make sure I survived the uncertainty. It was hard work, but when I look back at what I’ve achieve and I’m about to celebrate my fifth birthday, it was all worthwhile.


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What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?

I have more than 20 years of jewellery making experience. I’ve been teaching for more than 12 years and I have a purpose built fully equipped jewellery teaching space.

Heather holds classes to teach people how to make their own jewellery

Heather holds classes to teach people how to make their own jewellery

Why do loyal customers return to your business?

I teach seven-week blocks of classes and most of the students have been coming to me for some time. Even with the one day workshops, I have regulars who come as they can’t commit to weekly classes. I provide a relaxed, inclusive environment and try to put everyone at ease. It can be hard to attend a workshop in a new place, with new people, to learn a new skill, making everyone comfortable in the environment and making it fun is what we’re good at. We provide a creative space for people each week to come and unwind from the week’s stresses. Just melting metal or hitting silver with a hammer makes everything all right in the world, just for an hour or two!

What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?

Grand plan is to try and build a creative hub, I’m in discussions with the landlord as we speak, but we’ll have to see how they go. For now, we’ll enjoy our birthday celebrations and build up a programme of creative classes in our new classroom space.