A graduate of Elevator's Dundee Accelerator programme who creates bespoke pieces of wearable art has crafted a pair of earrings for tennis coach Judy Murray.
Genna Delaney, from Dundee, has run her own Genna Design jewellery brand for the past 11 years, which includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings as well as kilt pins and cufflinks.
She recently graduated from Elevator’s Accelerator programme at the Centre of Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee, which supports ambitious, innovation-driven businesses and teams to improve their business offering, drive growth and explore investment potential.
Genna is now focusing on creating and selling bespoke pieces of wearable art and launched her New Formation collection at the recent Dundee Fashion Week.
Each piece is uniquely sculpted using the latest haptic technology and advanced 3D printing Techniques combined with ethically hand-sourced gemstones, the collection represents empowerment of women and includes Winged Empowerment, a statement necklace priced at £30,000.
Genna said: “After taking part in the Elevator Accelerator programme my confidence has grown, particularly when it comes to pitching my business and I know how I want to grow. It was a fantastic experience and I had the opportunity to meet and work with other creative people."
“My collections are strong, confident, bold, edgy, sculptural, art jewellery which will appeal to successful women with a unique sense of style and have high disposable income. When the opportunity arose for me to attend the Association of Scottish Businesswomen conference and present Judy Murray with a pair of earrings this was an amazing opportunity to showcase my new commercial collection, Fan.”
Genna made the silver earrings just for Judy, having researched the type of jewellery she usually wears.
“This collection is inspired by a walk in Ladybank Forest,” she said. “I was attracted to a tree trunk that was cut in an irregular way. The edges and layers of the cutting were different heights and textures and this inspired me to make this new collection, which consists of three different sizes. These earrings are from the smallest of the shapes. I saw Judy wore the same necklaces which had sentimental value, so I decided to gift her a pair of studs as having short hair she really suits small earrings.”
Genna was invited on stage at the conference at Perth Theatre, where she presented the earrings to Judy, who later tweeted, “Thank you so much. They are beautiful!”
She is now focusing on promoting her wearable art collection through international markets, galleries, museums, art fairs and art collectors, as well as other celebrities.
“I use all sorts of suppliers but all the stones are ethically sourced from all over the world,” said Genna, who trained at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art in Dundee and is based alongside other artists at the city’s Wasps Studios. “It can take several weeks to source the right stone and each piece is completely unique. Everyone is different – some love my designs and others have their own ideas so they are involved in the whole process and influence the final design. Some people want an old piece of jewellery to be revamped, such as a ring they inherited from their mum or granny which has a special memory and story but can be transformed into a modern piece they can enjoy wearing.”
Genna credits Elevator with helping her to focus on growing the business, saying: “I have come so far from when I first arrived on the programme. Accelerator Manager Andy Campbell and the team have helped me to really focus on what I want to do, and change my mindset to be able to sell high value, one-off pieces of wearable art.”
Genna was one of 14 participants, known as Founders, who took part in the second Dundee Accelerator programme and spent 12 weeks working with the team at Elevator’s Centre of Entrepreneurship, which is operated in partnership with University of Dundee to research the marketplace, explore different business models, identify new opportunities and plan for investment, scale and growth.
The second Dundee Cohort of businesses represented a wide range of sectors, including artificial intelligence, luxury travel, HR solutions, cybersecurity, STEM activities for children, insight for international students, personalised stationery and video gaming.
Andy Campbell said: “Genna is an artist of exceptional talent. She is perhaps one of the most gifted, creative artists on the scene at present. She has blended the latest technology with her exceptional eye for art producing the most sought-after collections and pieces."
“Not only has her business transformed by being on the Accelerator programme but she has transformed as a person. Congratulations to Genna and her fellow Founders, who have all been on an incredible personal journey and have grown their confidence and experience.”
Located within the University of Dundee campus, the Centre of Entrepreneurship represents a £250,000 investment by Elevator, the University and other key partners and aims to drive innovation within businesses and commercialise new and existing technologies across sectors including life sciences, digital media, gaming and other creative sectors.
For more information on Genna Delaney and to view her work, visit https://www.gennadelaney.com/.