For this week’s Meet the Maker blog, we chatted to makers who have created their own product ranges. In this Q&A, we spoke to Nikki of Lemon Drop Design and Alex of Jewellery by Alex who has created her own range of jewellery. Read on to find out how they both creates and launched their businesses, the process to creating their products and the journey’s they have gone on throughout.
Pedddle: Tell us a bit about your business and how it started – e.g. where did you first become interested in producing your products/learn the skills it takes to produce them?
Lemon Drops Design: Lemon Drops Design is run by me, Nikki, from my small home studio in East Sussex. I’m a mum of three children and avid young adult reader. Lemon Drops Design was born after a dark period of post natal depression in 2019. Having used creativity as a form of therapy before, I turned to polymer clay for a healthy dose of mindfulness. Feeling lost and with a lack of identity that, I think, many women struggle with after childbirth, I wanted to create beautiful accessories that would bring me joy and help redefine me.
Jewellery by Alex: My business started in 2019, but way back before then is where my jewellery journey started. In the early 90’s my aunt showed me a necklace of an elephant she had bought back from India where she use to live and told me all about her travels and experiences, from there on in I was hooked and use to ask people about their jewellery and where it was from. Fast forward to 2004 and I moved to London and completed my degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Going back to jewellery making in 2019 was the best decision I ever made, and now I get to be the one who makes jewellery which becomes part of someone’s life story, and I love it!
Pedddle: Following on from the first question, we’d love to know more about your process, the materials you use and what you’re inspired by.
Lemon Drops Design: Now, I make each collection by hand, in small batches, ensuring that each piece is made with care to be something truly beautiful. My designs are colourful and creative and made in limited quantities, making every piece more unique, like a piece of art. I love to explore colours and textures and I frequently experiment with new techniques. One of my favourites at the moment is experimenting with translucent clays and the different effects this can create.
Jewellery by Alex: My jewellery is made from precious metals, mainly silver and use traditional silversmithing techniques to create my jewellery. I like repetitive shapes and take inspiration from patterns occurring in urban and organic structures, I make a lot of pieces using circles, overlapped, solo and connected. You’ll see more of this in my new collection later in the year.
Pedddle: Do you remember your first selling experience?
Jewellery by Alex: My first selling experience was online and through my first Christmas period selling jewellery, I can remember driving home to my parents house on Christmas Eve, I said to partner, someone’s going to unwrap jewellery I made on Christmas day…. How amazing is that, it was my ultimate happy dance moment!
Pedddle: What challenges did you face when you first launched your business?
Jewellery by Alex: I like to see the challenges I’ve faced as opportunity’s as I’ve been able to learn from them all, including selling online. It was 5 months after I decided to go for it and start Jewellery by Alex, the first lockdown happened and changed everything for so many people. It was great to part of such a supportive and creative community on Instagram and get to know other makers.
Pedddle: What’s next for your business this year – anything you’re planning, looking forward to, are there any new products/ranges etc.
Lemon Drops Design: I’m really looking forward to this final quarter of 2021; I’ve got some fun Halloween designs coming very soon and then before you know it it’ll be Christmas season. This is by far my favourite time of year. Buying gifts for others is something I really enjoy, and the whole festive period is so filled with joy and spreading the love. Being a part of that for other people is something really special.
Jewellery by Alex: There are so may exciting things left for 2021, the one I’m the most excited about is being able to share my new collection which will be launching in time for Christmas, its one of been working on for a while and incorporates more textures and colours into my work, using enamelling and I’m a little biased, but I think you’re going to love it!