How often do you work together and do you work on specific things or have different roles?
Sophie- Once a week, I would say we probably do a massive mixture of everything.
Julie- Which is why it’s fun!
Sophie- The biggest part is writing content, or prepping content, which is the bulk of what we do.
How did you decide to do this together? Did one of you come up with the idea behind Hello Grads or did you think of it together?
S- When I left Uni I wanted to do something on the side whilst I was searching for jobs. I wanted to be proactive so that when I went to job interviews I wasn't just like “oh I'm searching for jobs”. So we started this as a side project and I didn't want to be sitting at a computer all day everyday and I wanted to do more of the business side as well as the design aspect and we basically just got chatting about things we could do. We started because a lot of my friends and family were panicking and had no idea what to do coming out of University. We just thought, there must be something out there, there’s got to be something that can help and there is, but again you're susceptible to sales and all sorts of stuff so you don't know what’s genuine. We wanted to create a platform that had genuine information, unbiased where you could find answers and know that it wasn't trying to sell things to you.
J- Or for example there are websites that help with money etc, but again if you don't know what you should be looking for, you just don't know what to search for or ask. It was supposed to just be a couple of pages on a website to begin with, but it hasn't quite worked out like that, which is good I guess!
S- Yeah it completely evolved over time from being a fun side project, to a business.
J- I think as well, we’re not experts in any of the fields, so we started talking to HR people, finance advisors etc, and then that is when we realised, there's a whole load of stuff that people need to know out there.
Did you have different skills going into the business together?
S- Yes I would say we did. Mum you talk about your skills...
J- So my main skills are marketing and new product development. But having said that marketing is very different now because of our target market, we rely on social media a lot more. It can be very hit and miss and I hate that fact, because you can’t really control it how you used to. The business side and the strategy side I am more used to.
S- I was just gonna say as well as that mum has more life experience. From a graduate perspective I have obviously gone through this stuff myself and then design wise for the website, I have done the creative direction for it.
J- I think that unfortunate thing about our skill set is that we both like doing the same things and detest doing the same things.
S- I suppose what's good about that though is that when we hit on something, we are both on the game and really go for it. I think creatively we both have seen the vision for Hello Grads the same way so I think that really helps.
J - We love the interview side and the creative side particularly and creating content.
Is there something different to working with your mum than with other work colleagues?
S- It makes the good bits better and the hard bits better as well because you really feel that you still have that support. If all else fails, I know my mum’s not gonna hate me if I mess up. Underneath it all, if I'm still really struggling, I’ve still got my mum which is something you can’t replace.
Do you then find it hard to be professional then because it is your mum?
S- At the beginning I think I found it very strange and I would always push my mum to do stuff for me. I would think “Oh I'm 24 years old I have no idea what I'm doing, who am I to talk about this?” it wasn't about being professional I just thought that because she’s my mum she knows more than me.
J- Yes in meeting and things, but then I think I gradually persuaded you to do it more and more, so that I could retire tomorrow.
S- Oh god please don’t! Haha!
J- But yeah I could see you growing in confidence and some things you had more expertise in, such as the creative side, the leading of the creative direction, so I think you just needed a little push.
S- So I guess in the beginning that was probably something I just had to get over, because if it was a colleague and not my mum I would just have to wing it. My mum used to say to me “You know your product better than anyone else, so never worry about talking about it because you know, they don’t, it's yours”.
Now onto the jewellery… do you have a particular jewellery style and if you were to describe it in 3 words what would they be?
J- Well one of my friends once called me “Junk Jewels” because years ago I used to buy gold and silver jewellery from Boots when they did it, I was the buyer. So I didn't wear proper gold and silver jewellery you could say, I used to wear a lot junk jewellery and that's how I got the nickname. I would wear a lot of costume jewellery and wacky earrings.
S- I don’t have quite as interesting a story as that, I'm definitely more of a gold person despite wearing just silver today. My favourite though is rose gold which I absolutely love. Everyday jewellery that is quite subtle is my usual style. Although I weirdly find putting on a big necklace or some nice earrings gives me a bit of confidence, so I also like a bit of “junk jewellery”. I have a few sentimental things, but I'm more of a high street jewellery wearer.
Would you say you both wear jewellery everyday? Is it something you naturally put on?
J- I feel naked without earrings.
S- yes, I completely agree, I feel very strange without earrings. Then obviously my nose stud is in everyday. I suppose yeah I do wear jewellery everyday, but its a subtle addition to my look. Or if I'm going to a meeting, I have a different type of jewellery than if I'm going out with my friends.
J- I’d say I tend to wear quite unusual things, even when I was younger I used to wear weird earrings, like feathers or spoons!
Now tell us about the jewels you have brought along today...
J- My mums born in Brazil and when her parents left, they were British and were coming back, my grandfather wanted to bring loads of semi precious and precious stones. However, you weren't allowed to do that unless they were set in jewellery. So they had a necklace done and a few other things like this ring, which is set in a very simple setting. I actually had it out on my bedside table to have valued and unfortunately we were burgled and most of my jewellery was taken. But this ring, was on my bedside table in a ring box and they missed it which was lucky.
S- The necklace I'm wearing is engraved and it says “here comes the sun” which is the song by George Harrison, my dad bought my sister and I one because he says we are his sunshine.
S- Some of these earrings I've had since I was around 12. I’m not sure why I keep them to be honest. Rose gold wise, this is the set that I wore for my best friends wedding.
S - The one with the orange stone my auntie actually sourced for me. Basically I was just going through a bit of a sad time and she said that it's supposed to give you confidence, which was really nice.
S- My mum and I are really into two way earrings at the moment. She had these and I kept stealing them so she bought me a pair!
S- As I said I'm don't have a lot of sentimental jewellery...yet! But I do love wearing pieces every day as a subtle addition to an outfit. Mum has a lot more!
M- These are probably my favourite pieces. I brought this in Paris, we were walking around after a skiing holiday when the kids were little. I was drawn to this window and it was a jewellery shop called Beche De Bere and I just loved it, so I bought two pairs and gave one to my sister, so I have two different odd people.
S- That's such a my mum thing to do!
M- But I just love it, its always made me think of friends and I used to wear it when I went out with friends. I’ve always loved it and been wondering for years whether she still made stuff, but she doesn't. However fairly recently, I found on eBay these pieces really cheap which are originals.
M- These little fan shaped brooch was from an antique market near Guildford and I bought it years ago when I had a boyfriend and a few weeks later he was somewhere else wandering round an antique market and he found this which matched! In a completely different part of the country which was quite weird.
M- My children gave me this heart shaped silver set many years ago for Mother's Day. But I've always really liked it and take it with me if I ever go away.
M- A friend of mine had a ring like this, and it actually consists of seven pieces, however I wear my wedding ring so I can't wear all the pieces. There are some that are wobbly, white gold, yellow gold. I always really liked her ring and I gave my husband the name of the designer who was based in the Oxo Tower and you can actually go and choose the stones you want and he went and got one for me.
M- This designer I quite like, Les Nereides, they have a store in covent garden. They're just quite cute and pretty and have nice colours within them. I’ve got several pieces from this designer.
And before you go here are a few more of our favourite pieces...