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.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Looking back on 2011

I cannot believe 2012 is here already!

I just wanted to share a few of my highlights of 2011, lots has been happening that you may not be aware of 

So in February I was featured in a 2 page spread of a local glossy magazine

In March I became part of the Warwick Tweetup where I have made some amazing friends

In April I exhibited at the BCTF trade fair

In July I pitched to Liberty in London and then was featured in a Spanish publication

In August I launched my new greeting card range. A lovely member of Warwick Tweetup helped with all my photo's to make my products come to life!

In November I had the privilege of making a necklace for Beverley Knight, I went to see her gig in Leamington Spa and met her afterwards. She is very, very down to earth and has inspired me a lot.

In December I won The London Jewellery School's competition for best design. I won a voucher to go towards a course and shall be learning how to make a wooden ring.

I have lots of plans for 2012, I'm very excited but nervous too as I am determined to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more.