What sort of jewellery do you make?
I make hand and fingerprint keepsake jewellery, which includes paw prints, drawings etc. the range includes pendants, cufflinks, rings, earrings, bracelets, key rings and charms to be attached to other items, for example photo frames.
How do you fit your jewellery business round other commitments?
I have two children and another on the way, so time is precious but silver clay really lends itself to small snippets of time and I do the polishing whilst watching TV. Everything is done when the children are at school/nursery or are asleep. I have a cupboard workspace that means I can leave works in progress on the table and shut the door to prevent little fingers touching things.
Why did you decide to focus on working with metal clay, as opposed to other sorts of jewellery?
I did the mini prints course at London Jewellery School and was immediately hooked, the orders came in by themselves and suddenly I was very busy, so it chose me really.
Where do you sell your pieces?
I sell mainly through my Facebook page and last year I set up a website www.mariamadeit.co.uk which does the invoicing for me, which saves a lot of time so I can spend more time making. I also attend a few local craft/Christmas fairs as I enjoy talking to people about what I do and to get feedback on my pieces.
Did you try other ways of selling when you started out?
Not really, I looked at Etsy type websites but was put off by the commission, I have been busy from the start so didn’t really feel the need to try anything else.
How do you choose where to sell and how do you target your customers?
I choose craft fairs carefully, I prefer the smaller ones organised by local schools as they are careful to have a small number of stalls of each discipline, many customers there will have children and I like to support schools. I also prefer indoor stalls as you never know what the weather will do.
Maybe I should be thinking more about targeting customers but I don’t really do that as I haven’t felt the need.
Have you any advice for other people wanting to make and sell jewellery?
Just do it. Ensure your pieces are high quality and that your customer service is top notch, word of mouth is very important and was key for me in building my business.
Always wear one of your pieces, you never know when you might end up talking to someone who is interested in your work.
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