Having fun, while learning a new skill, in my business!
If you are new here, let me introduce myself, my name is Michelle and I am the owner, creator, designer, photographer, marketer and coffee maker at Michelle's Handcrafted Jewellery and I live on the east coast of England. As a solo business owner, you do get use to multitasking in your business and wearing the all the hats, but you do sometimes dream of one day, having an assistant to help you do some of the work.
It seems ages since I last wrote a blog post, well actually the last one was in November, which is not great, but I am now turning over a new leaf and going to be doing regular posts. I did have the intention of writing a post on a more frequent basis, but I have been super busy making orders, working on adding new products and all the many elements, that involve running your own business.
But also having a personal life to throw into the mix and for me, that is my husband, twin sons, who are going off to university this year, so the worry and stress of doing A' level exams, which all adds up.
Then there is our adorable 2-year-old Black labrador, called Margot who wants my undivided attention all the time and last but not forgotten the 2 cats, who treat the house as a hotel, as you we only see them when they are hungry, or they want a bed for the night, lol.
So, what have I been doing?
As I mainly design jewellery for the wedding market, that has kept me occupied, as now wedding season seems to be all year round. I have noticed an upsurge in enquiries from brides, about colours and designs for wedding jewellery and accessories for themselves and their bridal party.
One of the areas of my products I expanded on, was to add more personalised items and this is an area I will be expanding on in 2019. I have made lots of wine charms and wedding jewellery, some days my work table can get super untidy, but I always put everything away at the end of the day.
Since I started making jewellery, my jewellery making skills have slowly evolved and being a creative person, you just want to try to make all the things, I have dabbled in wire wrapped jewellery, did a bit with resin and other types of jewellery making.
Trying Metal Stamping for the first time
Now I came across this unique jewellery making skill back in 2014 and my husband saw how excited I was about it and bought me my first kit. It was a metal stamping kit and not only did he buy me my first set, he bought me a range of hammers. If you don't know what metal stamping jewellery is, it is striking a thin piece of metal, that has an impression on the end, with a hammer, that will leave an imprint on a shaped flat sheet of metal. The shape could be any shape, there is no limits at the shapes that can be used, for your designs.
So me being impatient and not doing my research, I tried metal stamping on some blanks I bought off eBay, not knowing that they were stainless steel blanks, which are super hard to stamp. I was really annoyed that I could not stamp them properly, there was barely an impression and what I had stamped, looked nothing like the images that I had seen on Pinterest. So I just gave up and put my little stamping kit away and never picked them up again.
But early this year I just wanted to try again and this time I have made sure to seek tutorials and websites that teach me how to metal stamp and I have learnt so much, but the more I learn, the more I became excited about all the things I wanted to make.
I have learnt if you want to learn how to do something, you need to put the work in and surround yourself with those who have done it before you. I have joined several groups online, full of amazing talented metal stamper's whose work is stunning to look at and they all say the same thing, that you need to practice, practice and practice!
I am still practising, learning and trying every day and I absolutely love it. It is a bit of a learning curve, but it does not put me off. I have already made some cuff bracelets, necklaces and keying.
What I have made so far...
This is one of the necklace that I have made, I made it for my son. I think I did an ok job, if I must say so, what do you think? Please excuse the grubby hands, sanding and polishing the blanks can sometimes really messy, but that does not bother me at all.
I do think it is good to try new things and try to improve your skills. I am always willing to give anything a go, one new skill in jewellery making that I am hoping to try in the future is Silversmithing. I would love to make a ring and be able to add a gorgeous diamond into it!
I don't know about you, but every day have so many ideas bouncing around in your head, so what I try to do, is write them down into a notebook, or write it down on a sticky note, so that I don’t lose the idea.
I have made lots of new metal stamped jewellery and accessories and have been slowly adding to my website. Click the link here to take a closer look, at some of my pieces http://bit.ly/2MhJ9tT
This is one of the cuff bracelets that I have made. I think it is my favourite of what I have made so far. The first cuff bracelets I made were not so great, I have kept them as a reminder, of how I am progressing. One thing I know, practice does makes perfect and I feel I am getting better, every time I make one of them.
I have also tried my hand at making personalised hand stamped cufflinks, wine charms, key rings, bottle openers and even guitar pick, for my son’s 18th birthday, which he loved.
Father's Day Gifts
Once Father's Day has passed, I will be adding these new products to my website and working on making Teacher's Gift, as the end of the summer term is not far away. Once they have been made, I will be sharing the new additions in future blog posts.
At the moment, I am making and adding new products for Father’s Day, which is around the corner on Sunday 16th June. Sometimes it's hard buying gift for someone, but buying a personalised gift, might make it easier, because you can make it personal to them, which makes the gift really thoughtful and special.
Customers have already started placing orders with me, so if you have your eye on something that you have seen, best to order it early so that it can be made for you and arrive on time.
I have created Father’s Day section on my website, please feel free to head over there and have a look. Just click the link to my website at www.michelleshandcraftedjewellery.com you might see something that would be just right for your dad, or the father figure in your life.
Have you tried to learn a new skill in your business or personal life and are you enjoying it?
Leave a comment below, I would love to hear about it.
Now I am going to get back to work and wrap up some Father’s Day orders, if you have any questions, about anything you have seen, contact me at [email protected]
And if you want to save 15% on your first order and find out about new products, secret discount codes and much more, then sign up to my email list http://eepurl.com/duEA01
Bye for now.