Handmade Products

Sterling Silver 925

Please tell us about your business.

I was initially designing jewelry for myself after completing a silversmithing course back in 2003; I was bored with mainstream jewelry and was craving something different. I now plan and make my range of Sterling Silver bracelets, earrings, rings, and pendants – including Australian penny coin pendants.

How did you begin your business, and why?

It began with the Silversmithing course and making jewelry initially for myself. This then led to making jewelry for friends/birthdays/gifts, and I received lots of compliments along with a few sales and orders from friends and friends of friends.

Fast forward a few years, I had quite a little jewelry collection, and I can only wear so much, so I booked my first little stall (back in 2007) at Red Hill Craft Market! I was so nervous the night before I barely slept.

My unique designs were well received, and I got so many compliments- I was chuffed!! This encouraged me to keep going so much that I have been doing the markets ever since!

What started as a hobby is now my small home-based business.

Where does the inspiration for each piece come from?

I take inspiration from abstract, simple, and minimal designs. I love freeform abstract – the natural flow of the molten wax and the shapes that result.

My rings are carved and shaped from wax, and the final design is cast using an old process called lost wax casting. The carved, finished piece is cast in sterling silver.

The silver ring is then filed and polished to the final finish. Once complete, I have a master mold made, which allows me to make the same ring in different sizes without having to start from scratch each time.

What sets your designs apart from other stalls?

I enjoy making many one-of-a-kind pieces, and my other designs are not mass-produced.

I change the designs regularly to keep them fresh and interesting.

My earrings are light in weight, so they do not drag and pull your earlobes down.

I test all the styles on myself before production. If it pulls, I modify it until it feels nice to wear.

What do you love most about being a stallholder at CMA?

I love the market atmosphere as it’s such a buzz, and the camaraderie of the other stallholders is just so nice. The stallholders I have gotten to know over the years are like an extension of family – they are my market family.

Describe your experience of being a small business owner in Australia.

Being a small business owner is tough, especially when you are making the products and doing all the marketing, admin, social media, and photographing online.

It can get overwhelming trying to be seen in a crowded industry and competing with cheap, mass-produced imports.

I love what I do, and I will continue doing it until I no longer enjoy it.

What are the challenges and rewards of being your boss?

I love being my boss – it affords me the flexibility to work from home and be present for my daughter.

In 2020, just before Covid slammed the world, I showcased some jewelry in a Fitzroy Gallery -Incube8r, and I have a small collection featured there. This was very rewarding!

Describe your perfect weekend!

My perfect weekend would be sleeping a full 8 hours, all my meals made, and all the washing up done- by someone else!

What do you see for the future for you and your business?

I hope to becontinueesigning and making jewelry well into the future andhavereturning customers appreciate my designs.

What do you love about Melbourne and Victoria?

Everything but the inconsistent weather!

What other stalls are you looking forward to checking out at our next CMA market day?

I am going to get there earlier, check it all out, and chow down on some Zeppoles – Delicious Italian donuts!!!

What advice would you give to someone interested in setting up their own small business or stall?

If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If not now, then when?

How did you adapt and overcome the challenges of the past year?

It has been hard juggling home-schooling and working during the Covid lockdown, although I must say grade 4 school work is easier the second time around!


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