Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hosting a Jewellery Party at Home

The week I launched the blog, I created so many blank posts, hopeful that I would find the time to fill them with wonderful words and pictures, then share them with the world over the forthcoming weeks.

As I'm sure many a blogger/entrepreneur will understand, this dream does not very often come true.

Reality took over.  We are currently doing up a house in need of vast amounts of love and attention.  I have another job that can sometimes take over.  I've been ill.  I've had orders and enquiries to deal with.  It's a list that could go on forever.  So I apologise (mostly to myself) for not being pro-active with the blog.  Let's hope I can get it sorted!

Here's what I've been up to of late...

Our first Open House Jewellery Party

On top of the above, I've been busy organising an Open House Jewellery Party at my home.  Previously I've held a jewellery party evening and invited friends and family.  This time I went for a whole day, with guests invited to turn up and have a browse whenever it suited.  This is a grand task to undertake at the best of times, but when you have only just finished decorating the room where you wish to hold the event, the new sofa arrives days before and half your house is still upside down, it only adds to the pressure.  The pressure of course, was self-created.  I know nobody minds a bit of dust and piles of tools in the hallway, but wanting to present a clean, tidy, welcoming space for those you've invited into your home is only natural.  I was behind with making stock for the event (to the point that some of my supplies arrived the day before) and I had the added worry of having strangers coming too.  Yes, I had decided to invite some of my local customers who had expressed an interest.  Some of these I had met before, others I had only spoken to online.  This makes for a daunting experience.  Having friends and family over for coffee and some cake, plus a little browse of my everyday ranges, that's fine. Friends and family are forgiving (or at least they should be).  Customers/clients who you've never met, who have come to look and expect to see a professional business operation?  That's quite scary!

Luckily, we pulled it off!  Mr. Morgan did a great job providing our lovely visitors with tea, coffee and mulled punch.  We offered them an array of cake and mince pies.  Our visitors browsed, chatted, purchased and made orders for Christmas.   They all arrived and departed smiling and happy.  Not only this, but we had a chance to catch up with some of our nearest and dearest (sisters, nephews, friends, aunties, uncles, mums and dads - all in one day).

In all of the excitement (panic) I forgot to take pictures of the jewellery items set up.  I do however, have few images from the day before that, if you excuse the camera phone quality, I'd like to share.

The first is of my studio on the eve of the event.  I really want to tell you all about the creation of the studio, and have some rather polished, tidy pictures.  In reality, this is how my studio looks quite a lot of the time.  I think it's better to show you this.  A messy desk is a sign of  a creative mind after all!

And then of course, you can't invite people over without offering refreshments.  The cakes:

If you run a small craft business from your home, I can thoroughly recommend having an Open House, especially at this time of year.   People love to by from local craftspeople and enjoy knowing they are supporting small businesses.  Yes, it's terrifying at 10am when you're expecting your first visitors and are still untangling necklaces and adding earring backs, but at 4.15pm when the last group leave, you feel tremendous.   It's another step forward in your route to success and gives a wonderful confidence boost.  Thank you to all of those who came and supported our venture.  It really does mean so much.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Product of the Week - Foxy Little Things

Fox Mad!

If you've not noticed the recent invasion of British woodland creatures, then the question has to be asked, where have you been?

Owls have graced us with their quirky-but-wise-chic for a year or two now, but Autumn/Winter 2013 is all about a furry kind of critter - leave your feathers behind!  Squirrels, badgers, deer, foxes and many more... it seems they are here to stay for a while!  Whether you're looking for a badger bag, antlers for your mantle piece, squirrel mugs or fox cushions, you're pretty much guaranteed to find something to suit on the high street right now.

With my new collections I've embraced the woodland wonderland trend and if you'd like to see, just visit my Not on the High Street Storefront.  For today, we are focusing on my favourite furry creature, the fox...

Sometimes they get a bad rep, but really, I can't resist a cute red fox.  They're so elegant, so handsome and such a beautiful colour.  Childhood memories of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' and the thoughtfully named 'Fox' from 'The Animals of Farthing Wood' really make me believe that if animals could talk, a fox would be the kind you'd want to know!

A few of my favourite foxes

And so I've spent the last six months lusting after any and every fox accessory I can find!  My first foxy discovery were these gorgeous sterling silver earrings from Caroline Cowen Jewellery.  I asked for these for my birthday earlier this year, and I can honestly say that I've lost count of the number of compliments I've had whilst wearing them!  So easy to wear and yet so unusual. 

This red scarf from Lisa Angel has recently been added to my wish list.  I love the vibrant red, and the way it clashes with the ginger foxes!  I've already got a cat version in cream/navy but these warming colours would be perfect for the changing season!

Our foxy creations

For Melissa Makes, my first fox creation was this bronze charm necklace.  Easily put together, the basic fox silhouette sits on a simple chain.  I've had customers buying several at a time, and telling me they are getting so many compliments on their bronze foxes, that I think I've got to get even more!  There's clearly something about this one! 

Personally, our 'snoozing fox' is my favourite, and so he takes the title of 'Product of the Week'.  These foxes are made from wood that has been laser cut to add delightful detail.  I loved the bushy tale and peaceful sleeping eyes on this one, and just knew he had to be turned into a pretty necklace.  

I hope you love him too!