This is the third week of my creative corner interviews with Rebecca Handy featuring. I can’t believe it’s going so well. I am so pleased with how many of the great crafters I have met through social media are willing to take part
This week I am pleased to introduce you to Rebeca, her work is so creative and beautiful I just had to share it with you.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hello! I’m Rebecca, a designer maker creating jewellery for those who love nature and the coast.
2. Tell us a bit about your business.
I’ve been a full-time jeweller for the past 9 years and make designs influenced by my love of the countryside. I’m inspired by the idea that an object, whether that be a treasured necklace, a small pebble or a wild flower, can be a reminder of a special memory or moment. I make my jewellery by hand primarily using copper, sterling silver, gold and polymer clay. My designs are crafted in my studio just a stone’s throw away from nearby fields and woodland and sold via my website, galleries and gift shops across the UK.
3. What made you start your own business?
In my early 20s there were two things I was very certain of: 1. I wanted to make jewellery and 2. I wanted a place to do it in. It sounds very simple and if I had overly thought about the ins and outs of a working business back then I may not have ventured into the world I’m in today! There were of course other factors! I had been making jewellery for several years prior and after gaining my first stockist TLWS based in Wales, it gave me a huge boost in confidence. A good friend had her own studio working as a glass artist and it showed a glimpse of what life could be like if I were to do the same. My family also believed it was a great idea and that lovely combination led me to make my first steps as a business owner, the rest as they say is history!
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I studied both Art and Design and Textile Design before I started making jewellery. I became really interested in constructed pieces using metals, plastics and fabrics and it included a lot background knowledge in materials, the use of colour and texture, as well as design. I am otherwise a self-taught jeweller and have been experimenting and making jewellery from a very young age. I’ve developed a wealth of experience having worked in the creative industry for the past 14 years and I was lucky enough to have my first studio based in the heart of the glass making industry, gaining numerous skills along the way.
5. Explain your creative process.
My process can vary. An idea will pop into my mind and I’ll know it’s going to be a good one if I can already see potential for a collection. I tend to start by sketching out the ideas and plan how they will work/ look like in real life. I will then make an initial sample and the collection will develop from there. Other times designs can be created from happy accidents! When I’m mid -way through making other pieces I’ll often start to play with the materials at hand, creativity flies and I can end up with the start of something new by the end of it!
6. Describe your typical day.
I don’t have a typical day as such as I dedicate a specific day each week to different tasks. I’ve found this is the best way for me to get all the tasks related to the business done and gives me a much-needed routine. I tend to check emails and social media activity first thing in the morning, I’ll grab a cup of tea and then get back to anything that needs to be sorted straight away such as completing orders and getting them ready for the post office. In the afternoon’s, I tend to either work on new designs, plan social media posts, do a little photography or any admin tasks. In the evening (when I should be relaxing!) I am most likely researching or catching up with other creatives on Instagram or Twitter!
7. What’s your biggest seller?
I am going to be cheeky and say that I have two biggest sellers! My dragonfly jewellery has always been a huge seller. So many of us have attachments to dragonflies and I think they can symbolise someone you treasure and bring back childhood memories. My dragonfly collection has evolved and grown over the years and the birthstones offer that little something extra special. My dandelion collection has earnt a lot of attention since their first exhibition showcase! They were designed to capture keepsake ‘moments’ and are a reminder of the simple things in life. The Dandelion range are always a firm favourite when sold in galleries and they sum up my style as a jeweller to a tee!
Use code BLOG15 to receive 15% off until August 31st
8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?
There’s been so many high points over the years. I’ve won a few jewellery awards and have had the opportunity to design and write tutorials for jewellery making magazines. I’ve also been featured in Worcestershire Life Magazine as well as other blogs such as Just A Card. I’ve met some great friends and talented designer makers along the way and it enabled me to also grow a second career as a social media manager for other small creatives which I truly love.
Although the hours can be long they can also be flexible. I find managing every aspect of a business to sometimes be quite time consuming. I personally can’t think of an occasion when I’ve got to the end of the day and thought I’d got everything done! It can be tricky to turn off but I guess that’s how creative minds works! The other down side is being a small fish in a big pond of much larger fish or this case businesses! And by that I mostly mean in terms of marketing. Facebook and other social media platforms have changed so much over the past year and now encourage paid for ads and posts. It just means you need to work that little bit harder to get your designs (or voice) heard, but it is possible!
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
Invest as much time into marketing as you do making. Marketing doesn’t need to cost a fortune and there are many ways of doing it for free. Interacting with people on your favourite social media platforms each day is a great start. It’s important to know your niche and who your ideal customer is and to make sure you have a style for your business (or a brand). Most importantly share your story and have fun!
10. What are your aspirations?
Short term I hope to launch a new Coastal themed collection inspired by my love of the Cornish Coast later this year, my birthstone dragonflies are to have yet another transformation and will be re-launched at the end of summer. Long term I hope to grow the businesses further and have my work sold in several new stockists.
11. Where can we find you Rebecca?
Use code BLOG15 to receive 15% off until August 31st
Rebecca has also kindly offered the chance to win one of her beautiful Dragonfly birthstone pendants worth £30.00
You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown. The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter and contacted by Rebecca Handy to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.
One Dragonfly birthstone pendant – no monetary exchange available
Contest is open until Midnight Saturday 2nd September
Creative corner interviews – Maisy Plum
Creative corner interviews – Rich Banks