I have been making lampwork glass beads for almost eleven years, and was lucky enough to go from hobbyist to full-time just over two years ago. This coincided with being afforded the opportunity to open a bricks-and-mortar shop in my local town with a friend.
As a glass artist, there are several streams to my business; the sale of beads to jewellery makers, predominantly online via a mass market site. The second is obviously the shop, where I sell finished jewellery. This has been a dream come true for my friend and I, as we make everything in the shop ourselves; she is a graphic designer and ceramicist and hugely talented. Believe me, when I say I REALLY look forward to Christmas and Birthdays as we only ever give each other handmade items! We have a fantastic local following of loyal customers, which is supplemented by the many tourists that visit the town primarily to see the birthplace of Henry VI, followed by a wander through the shops. We know what our customers like, and what sells well to the tourists.
I also wanted to try and reach a wider audience though, and in particular for my more ‘special’ and unique pieces, which are always made with sterling silver. After extensive research, (have you any idea how many selling sites there are out there? I hadn’t and it was a real eye-opener I can tell you!) I arrived at The British Craft House.
My decision was pretty simple in the end, and boiled down to one thing. Quality. Put simply, Dottie’s careful selection process means that you won’t find mass produced things, or cheap makes. Everything is crafted with love and attention to detail. I strive to make my jewellery the best that it can be, to be worn and cherished, and I want my brand to be associated with that level of care and quality.
So, here I am. Slowly and carefully adding my glass jewellery piece by piece. Trying not to spend too much time drooling over everybody else’s work. I hope to share my creative processes with you in future blog posts, but for now this explains why I am here in the first place.