I thought I really ought to have an about me page so that you can get to know a little bit more about the person behind the website!
So who I am I? My name is Paul Haywood, I am a qualified gemmologist and diamond grader, a stone setter and learning how to do CAD. Without blowing my own trumpet, I do know a bit about jewellery but I also know a bit about ecommerce and websites as well. Which I will explain below:
My interest in making money online started after doing a project on online retail, when I was at college studying business studies back in 2009. Over the next couple of years, I made a couple of websites and sold random things online but nothing serious ever come of it. I did quite well with Ipods between 2010 and 2012, back when they were still popular!
Ecommerce 2012 – 2019
In the summer of 2012, I decided to start my first ‘proper’ online business. The jewellery trade had always fascinated me and after doing some research, I decided it was the industry I was going to go with for my ecommerce business.
I initially started selling on Ebay as it was and in many ways still is the quickest way to start getting sales. While not the most glamorous website to start my ecommerce journey, it was a good way to learn how to run an online business. From customer service to stock management, you learn all the things to help you run a successful online business.
After two successful years of constant growth on Ebay, I started my first stand alone ecommerce store in 2014 with BigCommerce and since that point I have ran online stores with BluePark, ShopWired, WordPress + Woocommerce and Opencart. I have also spent a lot of time testing and researching other platforms and software such as Shopify amd EKM.
What changed in 2019?
Businesses change over time and I found myself moving away from e-commerce as I was doing more bespoke work with clients. As anyone who has ran a business knows, you need to adapt with the demands of your business. So that is what I did and in the summer of 2019, I decided to move away from selling online and focus on producing bespoke work.
This also gave me an opportunity to learn more about websites as I changed my main business site from an online store to a business website and there are some subtle differences between running the two.
Blogging 2016 – Present
Over the years, I have started a few WordPress sites which included personal blogs and business websites. Due to other commitments such as studying or running my main business, I didn’t have the time to properly commit to them but it did give me a lot of experience in building and launching websites.
I have also been able to put it into practise on the website you are looking at now.
Why did I start The Haywood Life?
As I said above, I am always looking for new opportunities but the inspiration for The Haywood Life came around organically. I found that I was getting asked a lot of questions by people who I had either studied with or had got to know in the trade about starting, building or adapting websites. When I started answering them, I realised that I knew a lot more than I thought I did. So I decided to combine some of the things which I really enjoy doing, which is writing blog articles, talking about jewellery and ecommerce and helping others to start or grow their businesses.
So there you have it, a brief history of me and why this website exists, I really hope you enjoy reading some of the articles and that they help you on your business journey.