inspire: chevonne de soysa
This month, in our "inspire" series, we caught up with Chevonne De Soysa of novelty jewellery brand Cher by Chevonne on her love for her craft & life as an entrepreneur!
1) What was your inspiration for Cher by Chevonne?
I have always loved accessories. When I was younger I would make my own accessories, beaded necklaces, earrings and braided friendship bands. As I got older I would have pieces custom made for myself every now and again and I was looking for ways to create statement designs with materials other than metal. I love natural textures and colours like linen and wood. I was curious how I could incorporate these elements into jewellery. When I started working with wood I loved the outcome - it has a richness to it but yet an “earthy” natural feel.
2) What are the biggest challenges you faced whilst setting up your own business and what advice you give to other female entrepreneurs thinking of starting up?
I have faced multiple challenges whilst setting up the business, and continue to face challenges on a daily basis but I keep telling myself, “anything worthwhile is not easy”.
One of the biggest challenges is production itself and having products delivered on time. I have always known that Sri Lanka runs on its on time zone but trying to run a business on it is a challenge! (haha!)
My advice would be to keep at it, you learn something form every challenge and it helps you grow. Sharing experiences with other entrepreneurs also helps as we can share information and resources to support each other.
3) What type of exercise do you fit in whilst running Cher by Chevonne and how do you make the time?
I like variety when it comes to exercise and I like to trying new things. Currently I do yoga, a circuit class, TRX, boxing and Barre.
I have found the most effective way to fit exercise in, is to schedule my week ahead so that I can work around other commitments if need be. I try to make exercise a priority as it’s easy skip a class for a coffee catch-up instead but one of the biggest factors for me is how good I feel physically and mentally after any kind of exercise which is what keeps me motivated.
4) What is the designing process like and how do you stay fueled through the day in a healthy way?
I am not formally trained in jewellery design, it is a hobby which I am passionate about, as such the design process for me is quite ad hoc. I sketch when I feel inspired, it can be from nature or a pattern I see or inspiration from many sources online.
Throughout the day I have a few cups of green tea, I love iced green tea which is always refreshing in this weather. I also enjoy a coffee in the afternoon and snack on fruit or crackers and cheese. I indulge in the occasional Bubble Tea or cupcake, I don’t follow a strict healthy eating plan, I like to eat what I want and I exercise to balance it out.
5) What are the future plans for Cher by Chevonne?
I hope to continue to develop the business organically and for it to be a recognized brand in Colombo for unique high quality accessories. The brand is also now retailing in Singapore and I hope to be able to expand to a few other international destinations in the near future.
Cher by Chevonne products retail at PR Sri Lanka (Horton Place)