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From PlayStation Exec to Creator - How I Became an Entrepreneur

From PlayStation Exec to Creator - How I Became an Entrepreneur

"Boy, was I wrong!"

Once upon a time I was happy (well, what I thought was happy). I had a secure job, bills were paid on time, my rainy day savings were healthy and I thought I knew where my future was heading. Boy, was I wrong...

In an instant, it all changed. Due to a toxic environment, I had left my job with no new placement to go to (something I swore that I would never do), was dusting off my CV (not touched for 5 years), the sofa was now my bed and chocolate was my closest friend. 

After more than a decade of overworking in the corporate world for some truly amazing brands, I found myself frustrated, broken and numb with no new job offers coming in. So I had the bright idea of starting my own company. Little did I know that it would be a steep uphill struggle and the hardest thing I had ever experienced.

The idea...

There's two consistent loves in my life, diamonds and sweets. So, I thought it'd be interesting to combine both of these in some way, something pretty to look at and then you could eat it afterwards - bonus!

So, I started looking into sugar art and the beautiful creations you can create, watching endless YouTube videos of Michelin chefs expertly whipping up spun sugar masterpieces...it was eye opening and inspiring, but as diabetes runs in my family and me being the sweet addict that I am, this could end up be a disaster. On top of that, I selfishly wanted to make sure I could have a good and long-lasting relationship with sweets into my old age, so I wanted to stay away from refined sugar as much as possible. 

"I selfishly wanted to make sure I could have a good and long-lasting relationship with sweets into my old age" 

So I researched natural sugar-free alternatives. But there was one major problem; I've had my fair share of sugar-free sweets and they rarely tasted nice, instead leaving you with a bitter and artificial aftertaste. After doing some more research (aka Googling, every entrepreneur's best friend) reading up on sweet origins, tongue maps (yes, that's a real thing) experimenting with different ingredients, cooking and burning a lot of product, using my family and friends as tasters (aka guinea pigs). I eventually came up with a method, formula and recipe that had a long lasting and mouth-watering fruity flavour, without the weird aftertaste. Best of all, the ingredients I used actively promote healthy teeth, had 50% less calories of table sugar and was suitable for diabetics. 

"the Dictionary and Thesaurus became my new best friends" 

What started as a hobby, a potential 'side hustle', I now realised could manifest into my own business, which was truly terrifying (the stuff of true nightmares), but also so exciting.

Growing up with little to no money, I had worked constantly for 20 years, to ensure that I would always be in a position to pay my bill's on time, look after my family and have financial security. Now, I was leaving that all behind; some would call this utter madness, others would call this freedom.

After some studying, 2 exams, multiple webinars, tutorials, video calls with field experts, learning code to build a website, reading research studies and policies with mountains of legal jargon (the Dictionary and Thesaurus became my new best friends), I made this into an official business, at the same time, creating the World's First Gemstone Lollipop. 

I decided to become an entrepreneur due to a combination of frustration and uncanny timing. It's a decision that no-one should ever take lightly, but should experience should they have the urge, spark of an idea and willingness to work like there's no tomorrow, consistently learn and be fearlessly persistent. The pay off is insurmountable, if you're willing to take the risk.

Davinia (Founder of Sweet Clarity)

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