We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Makers of OHC specials, please say hello to Mary of Gemstone Boutique….
How did you become a designer/maker?
I have been a crafter all my life, and moved from fabric based (dressmaking, sewing, cross stitch, embroidery) to beads and jewellery making about fifteen years ago. Over time the beads grew into an online bead shop, and the jewellery grew an extra kit branch! I found I enjoy teaching, so combining my love of beads and jewellery with showing people how to make pretty things to wear seemed just perfect for me. Now I sell beads, jewellery and kits, and love to encourage others to find their own creative ability.
How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?
In the early days of my crafting business I had four different web sites, each with a slightly different theme, but it became too difficult to manage so many. I had been selling semi-precious gemstones and related jewellery on Gemstone Boutique, so it was there that I started to add my glass beads, and it snowballed from there…..
Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?
About 6 years ago I was made redundant – I used to work for an international computer company in their internal IT department – and decided that I had had enough of being Corporate Girl. The obvious choice was to try to turn my love of crafting into my full time job. I have never been happier and although it is not always easy, I do not regret my choice for one moment. My business now pretty much takes most of my time.
What’s your favourite thing about running your business?
I love being able to sit down at my work table, with piles of colourful, sparkly, yummy beads, and playing around until I have made a new piece of jewellery that I would be proud to give my name to. Unfortunately life and business admin get in the way rather too much for my liking (!) but this is my idea of bliss.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?
The favourite thing I’ve made quite often tends to be the most recent one, but the photo shows some of the things I’ve made that I have been most proud of. The silver is silver clay (I am also an Accredited PMC Training Centre), and other jewellery in the photo shows some bead stringing and bead weaving.
Describe your business in three words
Beady creative fun!
You will also sometimes find Mary in store helping us out, and running a series of Creative Craft Classes for us! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Gemstone Boutique Jewellery Kits collection in store now.
See you at the shop x