How did you get into it?
Back in 2014, I was looking for a beaded necklace in mustard but was not 100% happy with what I found when shopping. So I bought the materials and made one the way I wanted it. My friends complimented me, and encouraged me to make more and start selling them. I then wondered if I could make the same necklace using African fabrics. They are vibrant and bright, sometimes with very quirky patterns and shopping for them in Brixton Market in is an experience itself.
I had the same situation happen to me when I bought a pair of geometric wooden earrings from Oliver Bonas and wondered if I could hand paint a necklace to match the earrings. I found some hexagonal beads which were a similar shape, got some paint and made my own necklace. I started imagining the necklace painted with different colours, so I bought a few materials and they started to take off!
What inspired you to make this into a business?
It all started as a small hobby, and I still feel like it is because I really enjoy it. I love having the freedom of making jewellery in my own style. I don’t have to design for a particular brand, which is a great advantage to having your own business.
I have always been a computer/digital person, since very young age and never a crafter. I tried to learn knitting from my mum and auntie, but never really enjoyed it. I am too accustomed to the instant feedback you get from digital devices and less familiar with the steep, endless learning curve found with crafts, so when I started my accessories business, my husband said I would only go as far as making one or two items. Well, look at me now — I have made hundreds!
I think my job has helped me to acquire the patience and perseverance that I need for this. At work, we often have to try again and again to find the right solution and fix various bugs. That’s not to mention that fact that I’m a self-taught web developer. I’m not afraid to put in a lot of study time, effort and research to achieve what I want. I think I’ve transferred these skills over to my side hustle and I’ve grown so much as a brand. I’ve learnt a lot too… from photography, to branding, to marketing and PR. It’s a journey through the creative gardens of my mind. I feel like I’m able to pull out my own ideas and put them into practice, but following rules which would usually be applied to business. It’s quite fun when you get to do it for yourself and in your own time.