❤ What made you decide to become a jewellery designer?
I wasn’t able to find unique, quirky jewellery I liked on the high street. The only websites selling the unusual vintage style jewellery I wanted were in the US and I noticed there was a need for a UK based shop to fill that niche in the market. I did some research and bought some vintage charms and bits and pieces and began making jewellery for myself and friends and family. After a good response, I thought I’d try my hand at selling it online. I had a background in e-commerce so I was able to set up my website myself for next to nothing – lucky because at that time BigCartel didn’t exist and hardly anyone had heard of Etsy!
❤ Where do you find your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from lots of places – old costume jewellery, romance, music (I’ll often use song titles to name jewellery pieces), fairytales, nature – I love animal jewellery, for example at the moment I stock jewellery featuring birds, snakes, horses, dogs, bears, bees, peacocks and octopus – to name but a few! Also flowers and leaves, peapods, branches, watering cans and feathers. I’m also a big fan of lockets, the more unusual the better – I have lockets in the shape of love letters, books, purses and treasure chests as well as oversized cameo lockets. Anything goes really.
❤ What is your favourite outfit?
Skinny jeans, skyscraper heels and a sequin blazer – although I’m cheating a bit, cos I don’t have the blazer yet… but soon!
❤ Who are your top 5 dream boys?
I’ve mostly been living in my cropped jeans, checked boyfriend blazer and cream studded gladiator sandals from River Island.
❤ What will you be wearing this Winter?
Hopefully the perfect leather jacket (for autumn anyway) as I’m still on the hunt for it, although I’ve got my eye on one in All Saints. I’ve also got a bit of an obsession with princess coats so I’m hoping to find a good one this winter!
❤ Can you tell me about your daily routine?
I usually get up around 9am (one of the best perks of being self employed, choosing when to get up!) and answer emails while I have breakfast. Then if the postman brings me any new stock I’ll update the website alongside Twitter and Facebook. Usually I’ll begin processing orders just before lunchtime, unless I’ve done them all the previous night – sometimes I’m a night owl and prefer to stay up till 2am packing stuff! I’ll have lunch and sometimes meet a friend for a chat. Then it’s off to the post office in the afternoon with my huge bag of packages, but the staff don’t mind so much now as they know me and luckily they’re used to it! The rest of the time is spent researching new suppliers, doing website maintenance, ordering stock, designing new pieces, sorting out advertising, promoting, doing my accounts (groan!), going to the cash & carry for packaging… there’s always something to do! I wouldn’t have it any other way though.
❤ How do you cope with all the copies of your work cropping up everywhere?
The trend for vintage jewellery has really exploded over the past few years and as a result a lot of designers end up using the same suppliers, so naturally there will be a lot of similarities. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but constantly copying someone else’s work is going to get you nowhere in the long run. I’ve been building up a loyal customer base since 2006 who appreciate the thought that goes into my designs so as long as they still like my work I’m happy!
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GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!