After being made redundant from her previous job, Gemma launched Lasting Touch
Gemma Illman has always loved working with children and new parents. Gemma (affectionately known as Gem) needed something with very flexible hours to fit around the school run and her husband’s shifts, something that would allow her to easily have time off for school assemblies etc…, so after being made redundant from her previous job, Gemma launched Lasting Touch.
Making the process easy and the memories special
What makes Gem’s business a success? “I am really good at listening to people’s needs and guiding them through the process of making a decision. This skill comes in really handy when customers can’t decide what to buy and need talking through their options. I’m also good at explaining how the process works and making it really simple so that customers don’t feel overwhelmed by the process. Plus of course, I am damn good at making keepsakes, especially hand and footprint jewellery!”
This dedication is easy to see in Lasting Touch’s most popular product – the hand or footprint charm. Care, time and as much attention to detail as possible is spent on each and every one – ensuring the end result is perfectly preserved in the print.
Working with real-world parents
Gem works with parents and grandparents who realise that you simply cannot make time stand still. Those who realise how important it is to look for ways to preserve memories of special moments in time.
“They’re people just like you and me. Real-world parents. They’re not usually wealthy people, but they have a little money available to invest in special treasures that they will hold dear for a long time. They don’t live in a 9-5 world and so want to be able to research and order their keepsakes at a time that suits them. For that reason a lot of my customers find me online, many of them in the middle of the night!”
Did starting a Keepsake business (Lasting Touch) come easy for you?
When it comes to starting a business, it can be quite daunting. How did Gem find making the transition after being made redundant? “It’s like any business, you need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities to run your own business and make it successful. At first I really wasn’t sure if I had what it takes.”
“However I realised that most people don’t just ‘have what it takes’ from the beginning, it’s something that is developed and learned. After reading lots of self-development books and the confidence boosting support from The Keepsake Academy, I’ve really worked on changing my mindset to one of self-belief rather than self-doubt. The saying ‘if you believe you can, you can’ really is true!”
Effort and hard work pays off
Gem’s obvious dedication and determination have paid off and her increased motivation and success have fanned the flames of a secret passion – training others.
“My secret wish is that I would love to teach others to do what I do. I have a passion for training and I would love to be able to help and support other people in developing their own successful keepsakes businesses. I’ve love to be a part of the Keepsake Company’s training and development team.”
“I love working for myself. Earning a living from something that I not only enjoy doing, but that makes other people really happy too, is just amazing. I never thought I could improve on my previous job for job satisfaction, but I have.”
Passion and that Lasting Touch
“I realised that deciding to start a business is very much like deciding to try for a baby! If you’re waiting until you feel confident that you’ll know exactly what you’re doing, that day will never come. Take a leap of faith, have confidence in your ability to learn what you need to learn as you go along.
That willingness to take a leap of faith, mixed with Gem’s obvious talent and passion, have led to a successful business – one that positively touches everyone Gem deals with and shows in the testimonials and emails she receives – and this is what keeps her pushing her business forwards.
“Receiving an email in my inbox from a customer who has received their jewellery and got so excited is brilliant – especially when the first thing they wanted to do was tell me that it arrived and how much they love it – really is just the most amazing thing. And when they come back for more pieces, that’s the ultimate compliment!”
Lasting Touch – Contact Information
You can connect with Gemma Illman or check out everything Lasting Touch, using the following contacts:
Telephone: 07775 239176