January Inspiration: Jo Stroud

“To celebrate the launch of positive lifestyle brand, Alex and Ani, at fabulous, we are making 2014 ‘the year of positive change’. By this, we mean looking at things we want to change about our lives, big or small, and making a commitment to change them this year.

Owner Jo Stroud chatting to a customer at the Alex and Ani launch

A lot can change in a year, when we put our minds to it. It could be a transformation in our health and fitness, or a major step forward in our careers or type of work; or a complete change in a relationship. It could be moving house, going travelling, or starting a course of study.

Personally, I changed my life completely in a year, when I set up Fabulous in 2005. I had been working as a senior manager in a marketing agency for 7 years, and had started to feel like there was more I wanted to achieve in my working life. Popping into a traditional jewellery shop in the Lake District in October 2004, just before I flew off on my honeymoon, inspired me to change my career completely.

I bought a couple of necklaces, but I found the shopping experience frustrating and not particularly enjoyable. I thought it must be possible to create a jewellery store that was much more browseable, much more relaxing and engaging, much more fashion-led, stocking a mix of well-known brands alongside interesting new designers. On my return from honeymoon, I spent 5 months researching jewellery, talking to designers, coming up with a name and a ‘look’, refining my idea – before I approached the banks with my business plan. And then I resigned from the marketing agency.

Opening my first ‘Fabulous’ store a few months later, in September 2005, and launching my eCommerce website, www.fabulouscollections.co.uk, a week after that – less than 12 months after imagining the possibility, I was suddenly no longer a marketing consultant helping clients with their marketing plans – but a business owner with rent and rates and wages to pay!

Eight years later, with 4 stores and a thriving website, working with  many of the world’s most exciting designers and brands, and with a fantastic following of loyal customers, it is hard to remember those days in the marketing agency. But in just one year, I changed my working life completely – and to this day, it doesn’t feel like work!

So, what could you achieve this year? What do you want to change? Will you look back and see 2014 as a pivotal year in changing your life for the better?”

Jo Stroud, Owner, Fabulous

Commit to Change for your Chance to Win!

We have chosen the Alex and Ani ‘Compass’ bangle, representing ‘new direction’, as our Bangle of the Month for January.

Bangle of the Month: The Compass

Bangle of the Month: The Compass

Each month, we will feature a different bangle with a different meaning, to inspire us all to examine different aspects of our lives – our health, our relationships, our finances, our state of mind, our environment – throughout the year and see how we can change them for the better.

Tell us how you’re planning to change your life this year, and you could win a different bangle each month – and one lucky winner will win £150 at the end of the year to create their own stack of Alex and Ani bangles, bursting with positive energy!

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