Titchfield mum swaps employment for entrepreneurship as she launches two lockdown businesses

A MUM has shown her entrepreneurial spirit by launching two businesses during lockdowns.

Sarah Hurja from Titchfield set up two companies in 2020, during her maternity leave, with the plans to keep them going on the side when she returned to her job in recruitment.

The first is a jewellery brand, Gem&I Jewellery – a sustainable, luxury-but-accessible brand which tells stories through its products, which was officially launched in November. 

Being a mum-of-two, Sarah wanted to wear luxury jewellery but her budget didn’t always allow this, so ended up buying cheap items from high-street stores which were low quality and sometimes caused allergic reactions or her skin to turn green. 

She wanted to launch a middle-ground between high-end and high-street, which could allow mums like herself to wear beautiful jewellery while staying within their budget. She wanted to create jewellery that would capture memories and that would be more sentimental than regular costume jewellery. 

She is also an avid user of crystals for their healing properties, so wanted to incorporate this into the brand.

The second is a photography company, Arlo & Ivy Photography, which was born out of Sarah’s love for being in front of the camera. 

She attended a few photoshoots with another local company and wanted to make other people feel the way she felt when she was being photographed. 

She began by photographing her own children and training online during the first lockdown. 

She then started photographing friends and their children and the business snowballed and she now photographs families, children, women, partners and more. 

Sarah was made redundant from her job in October after being furloughed when her maternity leave ended. 

The 34-year-old said: ‘It’s been a rubbish year, but 2020 has made me. I’ve turned a bad situation round and made something of it.

‘I did everything initially as a side hustle, with the plan to do it all on the side when I went back to work, so when I was made redundant I had them ready to go and I was able to focus my energy on that rather than getting down about the situation.’