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…
This weekend I attended a brilliant conference called Blogtacular, which funnily enough has inspired me to write a blog post! The event is for bloggers and small businesses with an online presence. As I fit into the second category and would like to get back into the first I thought I would go along and see what it was all about.
The conference has been running for five years now and it was really exciting to be involved. I felt really welcome as a creative person and it was a great feeling to be in a room with so many other creative and inspiring people.
We kicked off with a photo walk around London. There were several walks happening at the same time and my group headed down to Peckham Rye in south London to take a look at all the crazy colourful venues they have there. I felt like we walked up and down a lot of stairs but it was totally worth it because even the staircases were vibrant and full of colour ranging from pink to turquoise and every colour in between. We found artwork on rooftops, explored graffiti murals down back alleys where there are all kinds of studios for all kinds of crafts, and enjoyed the social spaces of Peckham Levels. I felt like I experienced a whole new side of London which I normally just pass through on the train. Plus, during our stair climbs it was a good opportunity to start making connections with other attendees, finding out what they are passionate about and why they were there. I was worried before I went that I would be the only one to not know anybody as it is such an established event and everyone on the forums seemed to already be friends, so I was relieved to find that there were plenty of other first-timers who were alone and just as nervous as me!
Following the photo walk the organisers had arranged dinners for smaller groups of attendees to sit down and have a longer chat to get to know each other better. In my group there was a diverse range of skills and interests including sewing, illustration, cooking, lifestyle and of course jewellery. We had such a varied and lively chat over dinner and it definitely gave me more confidence ahead of the conference the next day, knowing that I would see some friendly faces when I arrived.
The conference day itself was an overwhelming blur of even more new faces and an information overload…in a good way! The talks I attended were insightful and gave me a lot to think about. I didn’t feel that I was just hearing things I already knew. The whole day was a learning experience and I came away with so many new ideas and actions that I spent all of Sunday writing to do lists!
The team who put the whole event together did such a fab job. Thank you to them for creating this amazing space for like-minded people to come together and share their knowledge. Blogtacular really was spectacular!
Jewellery enthusiast embarking on an exciting new adventure to set up my own business.