Chupi Sweetman, IMAGE Entrepreneur of the Year 2019: ‘If you’re thinking of starting a business, the time is now’

  • by IMAGE

It’s never too late to start a business, says IMAGE Entrepreneur of the Year, Chupi Sweetman


Chupi Sweetman, the designer and creator behind Chupi, a nature-inspired jewellery brand, was named IMAGE Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 (over €250k category) at a black-tie event in Dublin’s Clayton Hotel last night.

The Dublin-born entrepreneur launched her eponymous jewellery brand in 2013 and now employs a team of 23 and ships to 67 countries around the world.

Here she shares the best — and worst — business advice she has ever received.

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The best…

"The time is now. I think one of the big fear factors we all have is that it’s too late, and that everything has already been done and built and scaled. When I started Chupi, one of my best friends said to me, ‘You know there are loads of jewellery designers in the world?’ And I remember thinking, yes, there are. There are millions and there are brilliant ones but I wanted to do something different.

"The other great advice I got was to work with giants. Everyone I work with, they’re all better at what they do than I am — a million times better."

And the worst…

"I think there are a lot of people who’ve not done it… who’ve not taken any risks themselves, who are telling you how to take your risks. There are a lot of consultants, a lot of professionals, a lot of people who have taken a route to success and so they think that’s the only route possible. But maybe they’re in a different business or industry?

"If you want to change the world, you’re going to have to do it differently. And it’s not always going to be possible if you’re following someone else’s path."

Photo: Chupi Sweetman pictured with Gillian Hennessy, head of marketing, Boots Ireland (Kieran Harnett)

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