I could easily describe myself as a Magpie when it comes to Jewellery and along with many other crafts I have had a go at making my own. Yet my efforts have not been entirely successful. Someone who has had much more success and produced lovely work is this weeks Creative Corner interviewee The beaded magpie.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hello! I’m Kerry, the face behind the beaded magpie online jewellery shop. I live in Bedfordshire with my 2 kitties and have a huge bead addiction! In my day job I work in Human Resources and design and make boho style jewellery in my spare time.
2. Tell us a bit about The beaded magpie.
The beaded magpie is all about beautiful boho inspired jewels, handmade by me from silver, gemstones and beads. I took the plunge and opened up my Etsy shop in 2016 and work on my jewellery either in the evenings or at weekends.
3. What made you start The beaded magpie?
Probably peer pressure if I’m totally honest (in the nicest possible way!) I’ve always been quite crafty, from knotting friendship bracelets to making beads from fimo when I was young. Then a jewellery making class for a team building exercise made me think about it again as I enjoyed it so much so started making pieces for friends and family. I’d looked into Etsy and set up my store about a year before I actually went for it and encouragement from friends and family encouraged me to go for it and start adding pieces. My first sale from someone I didn’t know was such a great feeling to know other people appreciate my creations.
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I have attended a few courses at London Jewellery school which set me up with a great foundation for metal clay which helped me to make my fine silver pieces, as well as wire wrapping and enamel courses too. From there, experimentation and practice has helped me to develop these skills and I’m still learning. You tube videos are also great, and can be a bit addictive!
5. Explain your creative process.
I’m not sure I really have a ‘process’ as such as it can vary so much. I’m not normally someone who makes sketches before starting a make and prefer much more to get all my materials in front of me and then just see what happens. Sometimes I will see something when I’m out and about, reading a magazine or even watching TV which sparks a thought, but I don’t always know where it might take me until I get my hands on the beads and tools.
6. Describe your typical day.
Outside of my day job, I normally work on jewellery at weekends so that normally starts with breakfast and checking Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I try to schedule all my posts for the week ahead and then I’ll get to making! This normally means setting up camp at the dining table and either rolling out some metal clay to create fine silver pieces, or working on some gemstone bead pieces with Radio X keeping me company.
7. What’s your biggest seller?
Definitely my chain rings which I make in sterling silver and 9 ct gold.
They make great friendship gifts and go with absolutely everything – I never take mine off!
8. What have been the high and low points of running The beaded magpie?
For me, I think as I’m doing this in my spare time as well as working full time in my day job, it can be hard to get some downtime as if I’m not at my desk in my normal job I’m thinking about social media posts or the fact that I haven’t added anything new to the shop for a while. But then you get a sale, from someone you don’t know, and it’s just amazing and makes it all worthwhile.
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
Here are my three top tips:
1. If you’re on the fence about whether to set up your own creative business, just go for it. Yes it can be a bit daunting, but you can work on things and learn as you go. Don’t let fear hold you back!
2. Network like crazy. It can be quite lonely working on your own creative business but there are lots of other great people out there like you who you can chat to. I’ve made some great friends this way.
3. Enjoy it!
10. What are your aspirations for The beaded magpie?
I would love for my little business to develop and grow. A lot has happened in the last 18 months, but I’ve still got a long way to go. I’d also love to work on more commission pieces, working with someone who has something specific in mind, or maybe even just a vague idea, and helping them to create a special one-off piece.
11. Where can we find you?