When Pippa Henderson’s internship in France was cancelled and her term cut short, she needed to find a way to keep busy.
The French and Spanish student suddenly had a lot of time on her hands in February 2020.
She decided to use it by taking online courses to learn business skills.
In order to apply her new skills, the Dundonian started the jewellery brand By Pippa.
By Pippa with a modern twist
Ever since she was young, Pippa’s mum has always had a business. Even a jewellery business.
Pippa says: “My mum used to have a jewellery business herself and she would make classic strong pearls.
“She stopped doing that a few years ago and had all this stuff left over, bags and bags of pearls and all her tools.
“She told me to do something with it, but no one my age really wears pearls, so what am I going to do with them?”
Then she remembered her favourite necklace that her sisters gave her for her 21st birthday.
It was a dainty gold chain with a single pearl. This was the kind of jewellery she wanted to make.
By Pippa aims to put a modern twist on classical pearl jewellery through minimalist designs.
The collection includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings in silver and gold.
Strong commitment to charity
Growing up with a mum in business has given the 23-year-old a business mindset.
She gives her mum credit for being the motivation and inspiration to create her own business.
Pippa says: “I think I’ve always had that business mindset, because my mum and dad own serviced apartments in Dundee.
“Our chat at the dinner table is very much business oriented.
“I didn’t do business at school or anything, but I just got that mindset because of her.”
As By Pippa started as a learning experience for the University of Glasgow graduate, she made a commitment to donate the profits of her first 50 sales to charity.
She reached the target far earlier than expected, and managed to raise £850 for the Scottish Association for Mental Health when she opened her shop July last year.
Over Christmas, she donated 10% of all sales to Social Bite.
Exploring new collections
The business was put to the side as Pippa finished her master’s degree in spring, but now she’s learning yet another skill – designing her own website.
By Pippa is currently on NuMonday, a website for UK-based makers and artists.
Once her own website is up and running, Pippa plans to try out some new collections.
She says: “I’d like to expand into even higher quality jewellery, like nine carat gold.
“Maybe just make a little collection for the extra special gifts, because I think there will be a demand for that as well.
“I just had my first By Pippa bride, she bought some pieces from me and that made me think maybe I’ll make a bridal collection.”
For now, the language graduate is keeping her jewellery making on the side.
Being unable to complete her internship in France, Pippa wants to prioritise working on her language skills.
She says: “In the distant future I would love to have By Pippa be my job.
“But I’ve just graduated and I feel like there’s still so much for me to learn.
“Eventually I would love to use everything I’ll learn over these next few years and put it into my business, that’s the end goal.”