I was very excited last Saturday to host my first ever open house! I have been making jewellery for a couple of years now and have built up quite a good collection of pieces so I thought I would take the opportunity to showcase them to my family and friends so they could see what I have been up to.
It was quite a nerve-wracking experience to open up my home, especially as I encouraged guests to invite their own family and friends along as well. Once we got into the swing of it though the afternoon was a massive success! Almost 50 people attended to view my work and join me for champagne and canapés (prepared by my lovely friend Jane, who is just in the process of setting up her own catering business). I opened up my workshop so that the guests could view where the jewellery is made, although it was far cleaner than usual!
I think the most exciting thing was the orders I received for custom pieces. It was great to have people view my work and my style and request either different colours for existing pieces or completely new designs, which I can then incorporate into my main collection. I also loved hearing about the people my jewellery would be going to, whether it was a treat for themselves or a gift for a loved one, it really brought the jewellery to life for me. The knowledge that real people would be wearing something I made and had put time and energy and love into made me really happy!
The beautiful weather was on my side as well and I thoroughly enjoyed the sunny, busy afternoon. I hope all the guests did too. And of course, we didn’t let anyone leave without a goody bag!
I can’t wait for the next one…
For the best part of a year I have been designing, experimenting, testing and going back to the drawing board in order to produce a collection I love and am excited to present to the outside world. A lot of my friends and family have been asking me when it will be ready but I’m glad that I have taken my time over this phase of launching my own collection. Designs that I thought looked great on paper turned out to be harder to create in real life, or didn’t hang correctly or were too heavy, but now I have spent time practising and experimenting I have a good feeling for what will work and I’m really proud of the jewellery I have in my very first collection.
So then, to launch it! Having completed my collection I then had to take on some jobs that I am a lot less familiar with… photography, website design, the inner workings of e-commerce to name a few. For the last couple of weeks I have been working on this admin, which I have to admit I have found very confusing and quite daunting at times. But I eventually muddled through it and have now achieved a website showcasing my collection. I’m pretty pleased with my website and glad I persevered with it. I’m sure I will find things I want to change and update as I go along, but as with everything, knowledge will come with experience.
One of my tutors on my diploma told the class that it’s far better to put yourself out there and adjust and adapt as you go along instead of putting it off until you achieve perfection, otherwise you will be waiting forever and never achieve your dream. My dream is to design and make jewellery and share it with others, so hopefully I’m close to that now. Jewellery is such a joyful thing! It’s wonderful to receive as a present, but also nice to buy as a present for yourself! It adds a bit of glitz and glamour to any outfit and can also hold a lot of sentimental value and feelings, more so than most other clothes and accessories you wear. I really enjoy wearing the jewellery I have created and I hope other people will enjoy it too.
My first collection is themed around autumn. The inspiration comes from nature and a strong leaf motif is present throughout. The colours I have chosen to work with are autumnal too; ochre, brown and red violet. These colours remind me of falling leaves. I have also included a rain cloud and a lightning cloud necklace. These are my favourite pieces in the collection. They are fun and, as we know, thunderstorms are a part of autumn just as much as soft sunlight through beautiful coloured leaves.
Now, I’d better get working on collection number two!
Jewellery enthusiast embarking on an exciting new adventure to set up my own business.