DESIGNER, jeweller and silversmith Maggie Cross is expanding her boutique jewellery business with the help of a microloan from the Development Bank of Wales.

The 29-year old single mum makes minimal but fun jewellery using traditional silversmithing techniques and recycled precious metals from her studio in Cardigan. 

Maggie received a degree in Jewellery Making in 2013 from The School of Jewellery in Birmingham. 

After falling pregnant in her final year of studying, she recently began following her passion of making gorgeous jewellery. 

She began by making pieces and promoting them on her personal Instagram account. In 2020, during the pandemic, Maggie opened her store. 

Now living in Cardigan, Maggie owns an “open studio” where she creates her beautiful pieces. All of her work is available on her store maggiecross.co.uk, however, people are able to visit her studio in the Canolfan Teifi Arcade in Cardigan. 

Maggie creates bespoke jewellery which is ethically made using recycled precious materials. Her  aim is to make her brand as sustainable as possible. At the bench, Maggie uses eco-silver sheet, and the casting company she often works with, also only uses recycled metals. 

She is looking forward to the upcoming release of her smiley signet rings which she has been teasing for a while. 

Alongside creating jewellery, Maggie also offers workshops, in which she will work with you to create your own bespoke wax ring. She also sells ring carving kits on her website that allow you to create your own ring at home. 

Speaking about the grant, Maggie said: “I’m aiming to make my brand as sustainable as possible by only using recycled and environmentally friendly materials. Since completing my degree my time has been spent building up my client base and social media following and the time is now right to expand my offering.

Maggie’s Welsh Dragon charm necklace

“The £5,000 loan from the Development Bank has made all the difference because it means that I’ve now got the working capital to invest in my products. Their support also means that I’ve got the confidence that the business has the potential to take off. I’m very grateful for their help.”

A £5,000 loan from the Development Bank has been used to invest in stock, casting and materials as she prepares to scale-up to meet customer demand. Maggie is also preparing to launch a programme of workshops.

The Development Bank of Wales was set up by the Welsh Government to support the economy of Wales by making it easier for businesses to get the finance needed to start up, strengthen and grow. 

The purpose of the Development Bank is to unlock potential in the economy of Wales by increasing the provision of sustainable, effective finance in the market.

It was established in October 2017 as a foundational organisation for the delivery of public sector financial products, assisting micro to medium-sized businesses in Wales, and increasing the supply of finance.

In total, the Development Bank invested £197.6 million in the 2020/21 financial year.  While the Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme (CWBLS) provided £92 million in loans to help businesses through the pandemic, investments in all of our BAU funds remained stable. 

£105.6 million was provided to businesses in all sectors of the economy and at all stages of development.

Assistant Investment Executive Charlotte Price from the Development Bank of Wales said: “We are pleased to be working with young entrepreneurs like Maggie, recognising that we have an important part to play in the Welsh Government’s commitment to supporting them.

“Maggie has been developing the business for a few years and has already built up a strong following. She is passionate about what she does so we have every confidence that she will make a success of the business.”

The £32.5 million Wales Micro Loan Fund is financed entirely by the Welsh Government. Loans between £1,000 and £50,000 are available for sole traders, small businesses and social enterprises based in Wales.