Dominique Croft, 27, started making jewellery in January 2020 when she spotted a “gap in the market” for affordable real gold and silver.
She founded Elk & Bloom alongside her role as a content strategy manager until she was inundated with orders and it became her full time job in just 18 months.
Three years later, her jewellery is being sold in Debenhams and Dominique has made her debut at Paris Fashion Week.
Dominique from Gerrards Cross, Bucks, said: “It was insane, the whole city had a buzz.
“I have been to Paris before but this time there was a massive buzz around the city.
“It was certainly a pinch-me moment, you are in the thick of it and then I came home and I was like ‘Oh my god, what an experience’ – it was such a whirlwind.”
During lockdown, Dominique started making jewellery in January 2020 alongside her role as a content strategy manager.
She then ramped up production during the lockdowns in the following months and, in the middle of 2021, decided to go full-time.
Dominique said: “Jewellery has always been a proper passion for me and I have always been creative.
“As much as I loved my corporate job it wasn’t for me.
“I have always been interested in business and I have always been creative and digitally savvy.
“I also wanted the flexibility and I think Covid-19 made a few people want that.
“The decision to quit the job wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment one. I had been running my business for a year-and-a-half but it was nowhere near what it is like now.”
After single-handedly running the business from her home for two years, Dominique recently hired her first staff member, to help with packing and customer relations.
Dominique said: “I should have celebrated the Debenhams collection more. We shared it on social media and had an internal jump for joy.
“Being a small business there wasn’t a big event.
“I was here at home with my fiancé and thinking ‘oh my God’. To see it on a major retailer it was a huge moment.
“It was a better feeling than I had anticipated.”
In February 2023, Dominique flew out to Paris with her fiance Will, 27, her mum, Darcey Coft, 48, and mother-in-law, Inger Lise, 70, for support.
Dominique said: “On the first day there was a meet and greet with other designers.
“On the second day is a fitting day, I met all the models, designers, and a wealth of different brands.
“Clothing designers would come up to me and introduce themselves.
“I partnered up with six different brands. It was a range of mainstream wear, mens wear, and then there was another brand, plus size.
“We were able to collab with a diverse set of brands which was cool and to see how our jewellery was displayed was amazing.”
The collection is about strength and power. Dominique have taken a lot of inspiration from mythology and strong women; women like Aphrodite and Venus.
Dominique said: “The inspiration for the collection was about embodying strength and making people feel powerful.
“My experience of the show was empowering. I spoke to so many designers, everyone was there to have fun and explore ideas.
“Paris Fashion Week was inclusive, there was a completely diverse set of brands and models.
“People that were there wanted to have fun and explore fashion and that is what came out in the designs.”