Helping heroes send gifts that last forever
PROVIDING beautiful gifts for UK troops to send home while overseas, a creative businesswoman has brought her unique jewellery business to East Yorkshire.
Totally Cherished is an online sterling silver jewellery boutique dedicated to military servicemen and women.
It gives them the opportunity to send handmade sterling silver gifts back to their loved ones.
The business, which has recently relocated from Anglesey in North Wales, was set up earlier this year by military wife Michelle Smithson, who designs and creates each piece of jewellery herself.
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She said: "When I moved to Anglesey, I realised I wasn't going to be able to carry on a career in PR, which I was previously doing, so I saw an opportunity to follow my own dream and set up my own business."
While living in Anglesey, Michelle embarked on a jewellery-making course to learn the skills she needed to design and manufacture her own products.
She said: "I knew I had to do something I felt passionate about and saw this as a opportunity to be creative.
"Once I started learning, I took to it quite quickly. Now I love being able to create my own designs."
Michelle's husband Richard, a search and rescue pilot, recently got a military posting to DST Leconfield, spurring on the move to the region.
As a military wife, Michelle said she is dedicated to helping servicemen and women and spotted a gap in the market to set up the business.
Michelle said: "This is what I really wanted to do. I knew I wanted to mix a creative business with the military in some way because it is a key part of my life and this is something I am really passionate about.
"The military side is unique and I knew there was a space in the market. I have been absolutely delighted with the feedback I have had from people."
In Michelle's quest to provide a service to benefit the military, she offers discounts to military families and those retired from, or serving in the military. She also offers military wives-to-be a discount on jewellery from her Wedding Collection.
With the military playing a key role in Michelle's life, Help For Heroes has a leading part in the business and is the company's chosen charity.
Michelle makes regular donations to the charity.
She said: "I have always felt passionately about the work Help For Heroes does and I have personally donated to the charity.
"Selecting it as the chosen charity for Totally Cherished was an obvious choice and it is something that will always remain at the heart of the business."
As for the future of Totally Cherished, Michelle is keen to continue building on its success and developing it.
Due to its early achievements, the business's customer base has now spread beyond the military and Michelle has recently launched a dedicated wedding collection.
This part of Totally Cherished provides bridal and bridesmaid jewellery and bridesmaid gifts.
Michelle said: "I want to try to grow the business as much as I can.
"I am quite a perfectionist, so I feel like I have got quite a way to go, but I am loving it and that is the most important thing."