LCN Story: Jeweller Alma Sophia Grønli Geller

March 2018

Alma Sophia Grønli Geller is a Norwegian jeweller based in London. Alma graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, with a First Class BA in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery in 2013 and since then, has won many awards for her craft.

Repeated shapes are a key part of her design process and the resulting pieces have volume and convey a sculptural feel, whilst remaining lightweight and comfortable to wear. For Alma the excitement lies in playing with form and discovering something new. Her Scandinavian roots inherently influence her work, with the principals of minimalism strongly underpinning her designs.

What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
My main motivation for applying to LCN was to be a part of a creative network and wanting to grow my business with more help and guidance. I enjoy working around other people where I can share creative ideas and learn from other people’s experience and saw the opportunity to do this with LCN.

I heard about the programme via my application for a studio at Cockpit Arts. Unfortunately, I was not awarded a place at that time and I felt that the LCN programme would offer me an opportunity to access the business support at Cockpit Arts, give me a sense of community as well as getting to know the team.

I had previously completed the Hothouse programme run by the Crafts Council and felt that the LCN programme would be a natural follow on from this. Hothouse scratched the surface of what I could achieve with my business but the LCN programme goes deeper, approaching themes thoroughly and helps apply learning through a series of sessions.

What is the most useful advice or tip you’ve been given on the programme so far?
The LCN programme has really made me look at my business as a whole, I have re-evaluated my values and I am looking at the things that are working and what is not. The one to one tutorials have been incredibly useful and I now have a tool for better time management and feel less overwhelmed when starting a new project or an approaching deadline. Being specific about tasks, being realistic with my time and ensuring that time is allowed to manage the unknowns has meant that I can now manage my time effectively.

The workshops have made me think about whom my customers are, how those people approach buying my work and realising that ‘no’ doesn’t always mean ‘no’! These sessions have really made me think about how different people approach buying and how I can adapt my selling style to match those people. It’s taught me not to give up.

Part of the attraction of the programme for me is the wide-ranging disciplines taking part in the programme. I find interacting with makers from other disciplines incredibly useful. Getting to know them, how they work, how they approach their businesses and the opportunities they create is also a great learning experience and one aspect of the LCN programme I really appreciate.

What new product, service, business system or projects are you introducing to your practice and why?
Following on from the Creative Bloc course of workshops, I launched a small collection of one-off and limited edition earrings in silver. Before the sessions, I was nervous of showing my work but these two workshops assured me that my designs are strong and that I can keep developing these.  The feedback I received in these sessions gave me the confidence to trust my instincts and allowed me to develop my designs. Further to these workshops I also plan to focus on bespoke orders and gold pieces as a result of LCN.

What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
I have participated in many of the courses offered through LCN and now plan to spend some time reviewing what I have learned and consolidating this into my business planning as well as starting to use the tools and advice in my day to day practice.

I am planning to revisit some of my designs and explore relationships with wholesalers for these as well as developing my one off and bespoke pieces. I plan to develop my silver work by increasing the scale, whilst also starting to work in gold and producing finer work.

Since joining LCN, I have now successfully applied for a studio space within Cockpit Arts. Being part of the LCN programme really pushed my practice forward and has given me plenty to work on into the future.