We asked them about their products, how they are made, what’s coming next for each maker and their love of selling at local markets.
Check out our Q&A to find out more…
Pedddle: What’s new with your business?
Miroo: I’ve recently launched my ‘Shapes’ collection, which has lots of bright and colourful pieces, as you can see…
Stellar & Cloud: My large rainbow necklace and starburst necklace are both current bestsellers, which is exciting! I’m bringing out some new designs soon but don’t have them ready to go just yet. I’ve also been making badges and earrings out out polymer clay!
Jodie Fern Jewellery: Pre-Covid-19 I took a backpacking trip around Morocco, which inspired my Moroccan collection. I felt so inspired by the architecture, the different patterns and the places we visited that I started sketching some design ideas based on those experiences and used them when I returned.
I also find a lot of inspiration in nature. The botanical collection I am currently working on is made using impressions of dried poppy heads and drawings from various plants. Each piece is truly one of a kind, so you can find something totally unique. It’s coming out soon, so watch this space!
My best sellers are currently my hammered coin pendants. They are so simple, come in both sterling silver and gold plated, and look beautiful worn either on their own or layered with other necklaces.
Pedddle: Where did you first become interested in the skills it takes to produce your jewellery and how did you learn them?
Miroo: I had experimented with jewellery making for a while, making pieces just for myself and having fun trying out different materials and styles.
It didn’t take long before I realised that I wanted to work with acrylic as I’ve always loved bold and quirky jewellery, and I knew that I wanted to make pieces that would inject some fun and colour back into my wardrobe. I’d just finished a year’s maternity leave and jewellery felt like an affordable way of starting to wear colour again without the pressure of fitting in to my pre-baby clothes.
I’d played around with design software in the past but now spent some time teaching myself how to use it properly as I needed to turn my sketches into digital designs. I then went on to do a workshop run by a local business, which gave me a basic understanding of using a laser cutter, and I tried a few basic designs on their machine. I was completely hooked and I knew it was what I wanted to do as a business! I’ve very much learnt on the go from that point on, which was now over 3 years ago.
Stellar & Cloud: I’ve always enjoyed making things to wear, particularly clothing and necklaces. I have never trained to make jewellery, so a lot has been trial and error! I had the wrong pliers for a long time which made my life much harder! But I now have the right set of tools and am really happy with the supplier I use for my charms.
I started making jewellery to sell two years ago, which started with hand painted laser-cut wood, which I liked but just knew I wanted something slightly different, so I taught myself how to digitally design products using ProCreate initially, and now Illustrator. I found an amazing supplier who digitally prints my designs onto recycled acrylic or FSC certified sustainable birch ply. I now design everything on Illustrator, have it printed and cut in the UK, and then I hand make the charms into necklaces! One day I hope to have my own laser cutter… but we’ll see!
Jodie Fern Jewellery: I first became interesting in Silversmithing whilst studying Photography at Leeds College of Art. They taught beginners silver classes once a week, in the evening. It evolved from there and I have since taken part in many workshops and online classes to refine my skills.
I have always been creative but I love the process of physically making something. Jewellery particularly stood out to me, as although techniques have evolved, many of the tools and processes are still traditional and old fashioned.
On top of this, as jewellery is such a broad subject, it means that there are always new things to learn and different ways to be creative.
Pedddle: Clearly, we absolutely love markets. What first made you consider selling your products at markets?
Miroo: I’ve always loved visiting markets. I love the atmosphere and have picked up so many lovely, unique pieces from fairs over the years. I did my first market just a few months after starting my business. It felt like a good way to get my work seen by a new audience and I knew I’d have a lot of fun! As a very small business I don’t have much of a budget for marketing, so markets are the perfect way of making a business more visible and creating more sales opportunities.
Stellar & Cloud: I actually started at markets straight away, before I even had an online shop! My friend Nikki, who runs Rose and Guy, was setting up a new market called The Shop Small Event in August 2018 and I was so inspired to give it a go! I was super nervous too, but I’m so glad I did it and dived straight in. The Shop Small Event is an amazing market to be involved in and the buzz of being around others and actually getting to really talk to your customers face to face is irreplaceable. They are currently running online markets too! Click here to check out their Insta.
Jodie Fern Jewellery: Selling at markets seemed like a natural progression for me. For jewellery in particular, I think its nice to see a piece in person and try rings on. I find that selling online sometimes can be quite limited to your particular bubble; people who are the same age range or who have similar interests to you. But at a market I find that audience really broadens and allows you to form connections with people of different ages and backgrounds.
Pedddle: We agree! What makes selling at markets so special for you?
Miroo: Selling at markets is definitely my favourite part of running my business. I always find them so much fun, especially the busier ones which have such a great atmosphere! It’s so lovely to get the opportunity to meet customers in real life, and to chat in a more natural way than is possible online.
It’s interesting to see how people react to my jewellery and the feedback that you get on products is so helpful. It’s definitely given me ideas for new products or variations of existing products!
It’s also great to get the opportunity to meet other stallholders. There is such a lovely community feeling between sellers at markets and I think it’s a great opportunity to learn from each other too.
Stellar & Cloud: So many things! It’s great having your own little shop where you can display the beautiful creations that you’ve worked so hard on, meeting other business owners is wonderful; I’ve made so many friends with so many lovely people through attending markets. And of course meeting customers! Getting their feedback, being able to talk about products and share passions – it’s just brilliant!
Jodie Fern Jewellery: One of the biggest things I love about selling at markets is getting to meet my customers. I am so grateful to be able to sell online, but I love speaking to people about my different collections too. It’s nice for them to be able to see all of the pieces and choose which they like.
I also love how people naturally connect with your work. When selling online, I find people sometimes form opinions based on the numbers of followers you have or the likes you get. You don’t have that at a market; people either love your work or they don’t. I find it’s a much more natural experience and about the work itself, rather than any online following bias.
Personally, I love the process of going to a market and getting a feel of what the seller/product is about, so I like to provide the same experience for my customers.
Pedddle: Markets are a great way to shop from small, local, independent businesses. Why do you think it’s so important to shop small?
Miroo: When you shop with a small business like mine, every single sale means so much to that maker or business owner. That money allows us to carry on pursuing our dreams to make a living from what we love to do. At the end of last year I was able to leave my part-time ‘day job’ to pursue my dream of running my business full time, and I couldn’t have done that without the support of all those customers who have seen the value in shopping small. I think now more than ever it is important to support the small businesses in our local communities, that would be so greatly missed if they don’t make it through this difficult time.
I truly believe that by shopping small and local you will get a better level of service from business owners who really care and add a more personal touch than you will get in a high street shop. You’ll certainly get a more unique, and likely better quality, product too!
Stellar & Cloud: As a consumer, you gain so much by shopping small, independent and local. You’re buying something that a huge amount of thought, care and attention has gone into and the quality very often far exceeds mass production.
I love shopping with certain big retailers where everything has its place, but I feel that there is room for everything and the important thing as a consumer is to look beyond the obvious and try something a bit different.
Since consciously shopping small, I can genuinely say I buy quality items that I appreciate for ages. Investing in real people that brighten your high street and contribute to your community is so important.
Jodie Fern Jewellery: I am a huge advocate for shopping small and supporting local businesses too, and I think that shopping at local markets is a great way to do this. From selling at markets, you get to meet other great local businesses and form a community, and local markets are the ideal way to see the kind of businesses in your local area.