Creative Crafters- Ellysian Jewellery

Image: Ellysian Jewellery

Tell me more about your craft?

Handmade jewellery of all kinds! From simply cord bracelets to semi-precious gemstones and more recently I’ve been learning silversmithing so that I can broaden my range and ability to create interesting and unusual jewellery. I love learning new skills.

What is it? When did you find out you were good at it?

I’ve always loved making things and drawing, from drawing animals when I was really young to making clothes for my dolls then moving onto jewellery from that. I was really interested in working with an art clay called ‘Fimo’ which comes in all sorts of colours and is ‘baked’ in the oven to harden. In middle school, I used to make little figures and earrings of well-known cartoon characters which teachers and parents would buy.

As I got older I moved onto working with glass beads then the love for semi-precious gemstones took hold! I don’t know that I ever thought I was good at it, it’s just something I’ve always loved doing.

Why did you decide to turn into a business?

I had always thought about working for myself but like many people were too afraid to take the plunge! At the height of the recession, I was a retail manager working around 70 hours per week and it got to a point where I just thought I could be putting that time and effort into doing something for myself.

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Image: Ellysian Jewellery

Tell us more about the process, the step by step process of your craft- From the concept to the final product.

I’m always inspired by colours and how they can lift your mood. I enjoy looking through magazines and visiting shops to see the new season colours as well as looking at trade magazines for upcoming trends. Once I’ve decided on the colours I’d like to use I then select the beads. I hand pick every strand which involves visits gem fairs as well as suppliers. It takes time and effort but I make sure I get the quality I want and I’m able to match colours and sizes. Usually, as I’m choosing the beads the designs start to form in my head so by the time I sit at my desk I already have a good idea of how something is going to look.

Working with silver is a little different as I’m currently designing a couple of ranges which are taking quite a bit of practice to get just right!

Where do you sell your product?

The Quayside Market is my regular outlet but I also trade online as well as occasional seasonal fairs.

Have you noticed a rise in crafters and people buying creations?

After the recession, I think there was a real surge in crafters but that seems to have subsided a little as street food has taken off in the last few years.

I definitely meet more people who are looking for unusual or handmade items. More and more I hear people say that they see the same thing everywhere they go on the high street so it’s extremely satisfying to be able to offer something different. I think in general there is more appreciation for handmade items.

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Image: Ellysian Jewellery

What is the crafting industry like?

Whilst it’s very hard work it’s also extremely rewarding.

Do you recommend people starting up their own crafting creations and turning it into a business?

I think anyone who has a passion for their craft could start small by using social media but I think nothing can beat getting out there and meeting potential customers face to face. Getting immediate feedback good or bad is priceless.

Ultimately be prepared for hard work, very long hours and a lot of ups and downs. You need a thick skin to work for yourself but whether or not your venture is a success always be proud of what you do.

 

Click HERE for Ellysian website

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