I first came across Quiddity Gifts in craft based twitter chats. I loved her style and the range of pieces made. So when drafting my New year schedule of Creative Corner posts I knew I had to ask her to take part and I’m happy to share her story here today.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hiya, I’m Anisa – born in England, raised around the world, and now back in Cheshire creating gorgeous jewellery with the help of my miniature dachshund, Maya. My goal for 2018 is to pursue happiness, which generally means I’m going to be making time for my other passions: experimenting in the kitchen, blending essential oils, and improving my photography skills.
2. Tell us a bit about Quiddity Gifts.
Quiddity’ is defined as the essence of what makes someone or something unique. I’m proud to offer options to customise and personalise jewellery, making each piece special. Special doesn’t have to mean expensive, but meaningful. Many items come with motivational messages, so they’re not just perfect gifts for others, but sweet little mini treats for yourself too. I offer friendly customer service that even includes the option of gift wrapping your order with a handwritten note if it’s going to be sent directly to a special someone.
3. What made you start Quiddity Gifts?
In 2015, stress and anxiety attacks forced me to take a long hard look at my hectic work life. With the support of family, I planned the next chapter of my life.
As I child, I enjoyed all crafts from knitting to quilling, cross-stich to rug-making. But, my true passion has always been jewellery. Whenever I travel, I treat myself to a new piece, whether it’s a hand carved wooden pendant from Cuba, glass earrings from Venice, or a hieroglyphic cartouche from Egypt. Each piece holds memories, and I’d like to think that the jewellery I create does the same for those who wear it.
My decision to start Quiddity Gifts was born out of the desire to motivate myself, and I quickly realised that others could benefit from motivational jewellery as well. It’s not been an easy couple of years, but the positive message that my jewellery contains and the wonderful feedback that I’ve received from customers has made it all worthwhile.
3. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
There has been a lot of trial and error in trying to bring some of my creations to life! I love reading books and watching how-to videos online but, like a lot of people, I learn best by doing. I was a teacher in my previous life, so I value the importance of learning from those who are experts in their field. I’ve been on a few workshops to develop my silversmithing and jewellery design skills, and am currently working on improving my photography.
4. Explain your creative process.
My collections are very varied but all based on what I like and what I think others will like as well. I never make anything that I wouldn’t wear myself!
My creative process starts with how I want the person to feel when they wear my jewellery: strong, positive, loved, hopeful, etc. Usually a motivational quote will come first, before I have any idea of what my final design will be! Then I research what colours and materials are trending and decide whether it’s going to be made of clay, sustainable wood, or metal. I sketch out a few ideas and always look for options to be able to personalise the item, like with birthstones or initials. Once I’m happy with it, I’ll wear it myself for a few days to see if it needs any tweaking. And there you have it: from an idea to a finished product in a couple of weeks.
5. Describe your typical day.
Working from home means no two days are quite the same! Sometimes I’m up at 6am taking photos of new products in the early morning light, on other days I’m still awake at 3am updating SEO on my websites. I get very focused when I’m designing new pieces, so I often end up skipping lunch and sipping cold cups of coffee. Thursday seems to be a rather boring TV night lately, so I generally get caught up on the ‘boring’ side of things like accounting and filing. I usually try to have a tidy up on Sundays so I can start each week off with a fresh start. One thing is for sure: my to-do list is a mile long and for every item I tick off, I seem to add three new must dos!
6. What’s your biggest seller?
They can be customised with your choice of accent beads and personalised with a secret message, like a name or nickname, or even an important date. Motivational words like strength, believe, and joy are also really popular. They are super fun to give as a gift, as they come with a copy of the Morse Code alphabet to help the recipient decode the secret message in their new piece of jewellery. I’ve made bridesmaids’ necklaces to match the colour of the dresses, anti-anxiety messages for stressed students, matching necklaces for best friends, and even one with Marry Me for a very unique proposal! Did you know there’s a version of Morse Code in practically every language? I’ve had orders in Polish, French, and Spanish! New styles are being added all the time and 2018 will feature the addition of bracelets and earrings…stay tuned!
All readers can get 15% off any Morse Code necklace in my website shop (not Etsy) with coupon code: CREATIVECORNER. Offer expires on the 14th Feb 2018.
7. What have been the high and low points of running Quiddity Gifts?
There’s undoubtedly a lot of stress involved in running a business, but I love that my 17-hour days are spent doing what I love…ok, maybe not all the paperwork! I get to indulge my creative side and provide people with jewellery they are genuinely excited to give and thrilled to receive. Knowing that my designs are being worn by people all around the world is such a rewarding feeling. While it can all seem rather overwhelming, the possibilities for the future are very exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing my little business grow.
8. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
While running a business definitely requires a lot of hard work. There is a really supportive network of other creative entrepreneurs who are genuinely happy to help. So my main top tip would be to join online and local groups so you can bounce ideas off people who aren’t friends or family. Share opinions of suppliers, organise sales events, and just basically learn about all the stuff you need to know….and there’s a lot you need to know! Don’t forget to contribute as well and help those you can.
You know what they say about first impressions. Well, the same can be said about the first impression of your business. It’s really important that you take the time to plan before opening your virtual doors for the first time. Think about the fun things like styling your logo, but also about what your brand will stand for. Plan your pricing strategy, line up craft fairs or other points of sale. Get to know local businesses to find potential collaborators, set up your accounting system. Basically, don’t just leap in….like I did!
My final top tip would be to never stop believing in your dream. There will undoubtedly be days when you’ll feel like giving up. If you remember why you started on this adventure in the first place and focus on the passion you have for your craft, you’ll be able to succeed.
9. What are your aspirations for Quiddity Gifts?
2018 is going to see lots of collaboration with other creatives. Which is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’ve got some plans to develop the motivational aspect of my business. With a book planned for next year to help those suffering from stress and anxiety through the use of essential oils. That’s been on my bucket list for ages, so I’ve very excited.
10. Where can we find you?