Friday, 2 January 2015

I'm Back!

Hello Everyone,

Firstly, sorry about being so quiet. There has been so much going on in the last couple of years, I just can't believe it has been so long!

I moved in with my partner back in March of 2014, the house is very much a work in progress so all of my jewellery and beads have been stuck in boxes for quite a while.

The house is making progress, although you wouldn't be convinced if you looked at it!
We now have double glazing, gas central heating, sorted the roof out, new electrics throughout and a brand new en-suite shower room.... The rest is being worked on as we speak!

In January we are hoping to get our two chimneys repaired, order our log burner which I am so excited about! We are also going to start getting some of the rooms plastered which will be great as we have bare bricks in pretty much every room at the moment, which leaves everywhere really dusty.

We have also been really busy working on the garden, and getting a veg patch up and running. During the summer and autumn we had quite a lot of produce which is so satisfying. Luckily we live next door to some allotments so we quite often shout over the wall to see if we are doing things right!

Then, just to fill in any remaining spare time we have I decided I wanted to have a workshop built at the top of the garden. 

We did decide that as there is so much other stuff happening at the moment we would not build it ourselves as we were going to, but we would demolish an old brick built shed that was already up there, dig the footings and lay the concrete slab.

Our Current Kitchen

Our Current Living Room

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Classes & Workshop Research

Hi All,

As some of you will know from here that I am looking to start running jewellery making workshops I was just wondering if I could get some input from you guys.

These are the points that I am trying to get some information about but please feel free to include anything that you have experienced or would like to see in a workshop.

1.Location - At the moment I am finding it incredibly difficult to secure somewhere permanent to run workshops from, I will keep on looking. Would you be happy attending workshops in various different locations such as community centres, private rooms in pubs and restaurants, out of town locations?

2.Times and Days - I was thinking of weekday evenings 6:30-8:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday days 2:00-4:00pm. Do you think that 2 hour classes are enough and would you attend at these times?

3.Maximum Numbers - I was thinking 8 people maximum?

4.Price - For a two hour workshop, although some will vary depending on what the project is I was looking at £25 which will include tea and coffee.

5.Tools & Equipment - Would you like the opportunity to buy tools and kits so you can get practising at home?

I would like to run a range of workshops in jewellery making for beginners mainly and would like to start children's jewellery parties and hen parties too.

Have you ever been on a jewellery (or any craft) workshop/course? What were your experiences, what would you like to see again and what were you not so keen on?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

So why do I want funding?

Some (most) of you will have seen me pestering you over the last few days and this is why.

Since I started my business back in 2009 everything has been done on a shoe string, I would sell something I no longer need on Ebay in order to buy a new tool for the business!

I have applied for numerous funding methods but for various reasons including location, 'proper' job and owning a home it was just all stacked against me. So for the past 3 years I have been plodding along really, but it is very difficult as I know it is what I want to do.

Something I would really love to do would be to run jewellery making workshops and this is why I have applied for funding of £450, there are no boxes that need ticking in terms of my or my businesses circumstances. I did however need to prove what it would be used for.
So how do I get hold of this money?
Well I am relying heavily on you lovely folk. All it takes is a quick registration which takes your name and email, a couple of tick boxes and your done!
You will get a couple of emails as soon as you do that but you will NOT be spammed.
The whole process takes about 1 minute.

Each vote that I get counts as £1 so I need 450 votes and unless I get the full amount I will not get anything.

I recently attended a jewellery course in London, the course started at 10am yet I had to be up at 3am. I didn't get home til gone 9pm. It was such a long day and that is partly why I would like to run some classes.

Ideally I would love to secure some kind of premises in Leamington/Warwick where I can permanently house all my equipment.
When I am not running my own class other crafts people or small groups could use the space and I could even allow individuals to use the space and tools as they can be an expensive investment.
Please please take a minute out of your day to help me, if you leave a comment on the page you will also receive a discount code for use on my website.

Please vote here HERE!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Warwick - Portas Pilots

Hello everyone,

As a lot you you will know Mary Portas has been involved in bringing some life back into our high streets and it all kicked off for Warwick when the lovely chaps of Hatton and Harding made it through to the finals of The Telegraphs Best Small Shops in Britain headed down to the big smoke and were schmoozing with Mary herself,  and came SECOND! Woohoo well done lads!

Now Warwick is to put in a bid to get Mary's help. There is a blog set up here where they welcome any suggestions on what is needed to improve the town. So are you a business that would love to be part of the Warwick buzz but there is something holding you back or are you a Warwick resident that would like to see a change to make to visit more often?

So if Warwick were to win how would they benefit?
Well 12 towns and cities will get the chance to implement some of the recommendations from Mary. They will receive a share of £1million between them as well as the support of the Minister, Whitehall and Mary.

Don't you think that this could be an amazing opportunity for Warwick?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Learn Something New - January

I have set myself lots of little things to do throughout the year, one of them being design a new piece each month and the second is learn something new each month.

Well I had intended on a spot of wax carving but I have misplaced my saw blades so I tried a bit of reticulation instead.

Reticulation involved heating the metal several times to bring a layer of oxidised copper to the surface. when this is polished it leaves fine silver behind! 

I have seen the results and they can look absolutely beautiful, I however have a way to go yet until I am controlling the flow of silver!

This is what can be achieved

and this is what I achieved (no laughing)

It does still need cleaning up. whilst I don't normally do very organic styled silver jewellery I think this style once perfected would look great against crisp polished silver.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


I will try and find something other than the business to talk about before long. It just seems like the past couple of months have helped me find the direction I want to head into.

I attended a Meet the Buyers event at Argos today, it was a very good day. I wore by gold Gaia necklace but showed my simpler more 'Gifty' items that I thought would be more in keeping with the Argos pricing.
The one piece that the buyer was interested in though was my Gaia necklace!

This has led me to a descision about my business.

When I started making jewellery I wanted to please everyone. I made lots of what I call 'gifty' jewellery which was relatively cheap to make and proved very popular. 

The kind of thing was my Amor Swarovski Crystal heart pendants. Silver was a lot cheaper back then, the chains I use have gone up £2 each and the bails have doubled in price since them.
If I was to re calculate the prices they would actually work out quite expensive, I don't want this and customers certainly don't.
They were great earners for me at events but they don't really say anything about my making skills do they? I also got fed up of people prepared to spend £20 on one of these pendants but would complain that £20 on a hand made silver linked bracelet was far too expensive! This is why these and other items will be discontinued. I want to concentrate on MY pieces.

When I attended a trade fair last year the main items that got visitors attention were my Gaia range. This is what I got sales on. 
They always get attention and are the pieces I am most proud about, and the one piece of jewellery I always wear when I am making an effort.
This is also the piece that Beverley Knight owns and the piece that won me a competition.

So, I will be working on new silver pieces and these will be the things that I will focus on selling from now on. Whilst I will be discontinuing a few ranges, I will still be able to make them should people want.

I have also been labelled as a 'Wedding' jeweller designer, whilst I realise some of my pieces do lend myself to weddings I will probably be using pearls in a much different way from now on! 
Again I will be able to make up any style of jewellery and I will probably enjoy it a lot more when it isn't the main focus of my business.
I have fallen out of love with a number of different products that I use so this year I intend to make things that make me happy, try not to please all markets my making a whole range of items and styles and prices and mix matching them on one stall. I think this confuses everyone.

I want to use the skills I have learnt as a jeweller more and to become known for my silver pieces.

I would love to hear your opinions on this and whether your business has moved in a different direction?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Full Steam Ahead - 2012

I have set myself and my business a few challenges over the next year. (A lot actually!)

One thing has already been crossed off the list though - Exhibit at a wedding fayre. Its all booked for March!

I have also set myself a challenge to get new stockists this year and I have already managed two in January which isn't a bad start!

I really want to get the house sorted too and I have started by re carpeting my bedroom (yes myself!). I'm trying to have a clear out too so whilst moving bits out of the room I had the opportunity to chuck a lot of things.

Part of my clear out involves me selling the fashion jewellery I used to sell before making my own. It is all brand new and for sale here in turn it will help me pay off my credit card.

And last but not least I have a BIG meeting next week, a bit nervous and I'm not getting my hopes up but I will keep you updated.