When did you set up your business and why?
I started about seven years ago, just blogging and sharing craft ideas. My son, as a baby, had some difficulties and was later diagnosed as autistic. I decided to stay at home so I could be there for him.
I was always a bit creative, so I started doing little projects at home and in between appointments with my son. It evolved from there.
I opened an Etsy shop and joined Instagram. I mostly did embroidery work, some bespoke pieces, patterns and kits and eventually workshops.
Jewellery always featured then too, mostly fabric jewellery, embroidery and wood. I was doing well with both, but could not keep both running, as it was too much.
At this stage, I was selling the jewellery into shops, so I went full-time doing the jewellery.
I thought in Ireland there was a gap in the style of jewellery I was making. There was only one other small business that was making wood jewellery at the time I started out, that I could see.
Plus, I wanted to make colourful, affordable jewellery that you could wear every day, not something to be hidden away in a drawer and definitely not something you could find in Penneys.
Can you explain your process?
I like to play around with shapes and colours - I am always testing things out! Once I am happy with the shapes, they are digitally drawn and from there they are laser cut.
The wood I use is laser cut from FSC certified European plywood and each piece is then hand-painted and assembled by me, from start to finish. I try to use eco-friendly materials where possible, from the resin to the glitter to my packaging.
I use a combination of modern techniques, like UV printing and old traditional craft methods like decoupage in my pieces.
Brass, glitter and acrylic are featured in my work, just giving my pieces that extra touch and making them unique. You won't see these in Penneys hun!
I design, make and photograph all these pieces myself, in my home studio in Tipp.
What is your best seller?
This can change, as I like to mix things up and keep my pieces evolving.
Currently, my colour pop drop earrings are my best sellers. They’re bright, happy earrings and have some glitter. What’s not to love?!
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
I am my own boss, so I can do things on my own terms. There’s a certain amount of freedom in that.
Also, knowing that people out there in Ireland and further afield are wearing something that I made with my hands. I have great customers.
What are your hopes for 2022?
Just to keep on building my business as best I can.
What advice would you give to another start-up business?
Have a plan, sit down and do some research on your product, your market, etc. Look at the business side, not just the creative side. This is an area that sometimes us creatives can cover our ears to.
Also, try and connect with other small businesses and build on this connection. I have two buddies that I can always rely on for feedback or just to have a chat to. It can be lonely working on your own at times.
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