This week we’re talking to jewellery designer, Emma Witwicki from Folksy shop Spots and Stripes
Could you describe your shop?
I make personalised jewellery using silver and fabrics with hand stamped text.
Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?
I try to make jewellery with everyone in mind! The nice thing about message jewellery is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Your message could be something funny, personal, slushy, your favourite song lyrics, names or just something really silly. Fabric pieces can be made in any colour too. I am also always up for making something new so If a customer has an idea in mind i will try my best to make it in silver for them.
Is this your day job?
I have a day job too. I also work as a stylist for Topshop and Topman internet team. I dress and style mannequins everyday…so all of the clothes you see on the website have been styled by me or my friend Anna! I make my jewellery every evening now and most of the weekends which can be tiring but it is what I love to do.
Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?
I have always been crafty, when I was little my twin sister and I would sit for hours colouring in, cross stitching, etching, hama beading, shrinking crisp packets in the oven… We always had something crafty on the go. I always studied art and design at school and eventually studied jewellery and silversmithing at uni in Birmingham, in the jewellery quarter which was great. I couldn’t be without crafts.
Where do you promote your shop?
I don’t advertise a great deal as I can’t really afford to. I have had a few little ads in Making magazine and in more local magazines like the four shires who have been very generous with me. Other than that It’s mainly word of mouth and I always pop a few business cards in with my orders in the hope that they will get passed on. I have had stalls at craft fairs too which is a great way to get to know your customers and potential customers.
Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?
I would love to continue to build my jewellery business and maybe one day quit the day job although it might be a little way off yet. At the moment I am quite happy getting a few orders a week. I dream of one day being able to live off of my jewellery alone. Maybe get a nice little workshop by the sea! My sisters and I have always dreamed of opening a tea and cake shop where my jewellery is displayed in glass tables. My twin sister specialised in printed textiles at university so the place would look amazing and my younger sister makes the most yummy cakes!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?
Do it! I have never looked back and you have nothing to lose (apart from 20p for listing an item!) At first I didn’t get much interest but you work out what people are looking for as you go. If what you are making isn’t selling at first, try something else. Read a few crafts magazines for inspiration, take some nice photos, just have fun with it really. It is the best feeling when someone writes you a little message telling you that they love your work. It makes all the hard work worth while.
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