Alumna tells The Guardian how work during study helped her business

Graphic Design Graduate Maria Fox has been featured in The Guardian in an article chronicling how students made money while studying for their degree.

Fox, who graduated in 2011, used the design skills she was learning on her course to rework old costume jewellery to make new pieces. By the time she graduated she selling her jewellery on and had a turnover of £30,000.

Fox credits the university and beepurple – the university’s entrepreneurship network, made up of students, graduates and staff wanting to develop their skills and business – with helping her start her business.

Maria now employs eight people as director of the Maria Allen Boutique, a British brand selling handcrafted design-led personalised jewellery and gifts made from reclaimed and sustainably-sourced British wood, designed and made in her Hove studio.

Her products sell online and are stocked in shops, museums and galleries in the UK and internationally. The company has worked on gifts at the British Museum and the National Trust, and its designs have featured in magazines and national TV commercials.

Last year Maria won Young Businesswoman of the Year.

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