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March Meet the Maker 2024

Updated: Apr 3

It’s that time again for @joannehawker #marchmeetthemaker !

Day 1- Story Time

I started Abby’s Art Atelier when I finished uni and was looking for full-time work. Then I realised finding a full-time job in my field was going to be impossible. I really enjoyed running this business in my free time. I loved website design, making products and everything in between. The pandemic hit and I had a lot of time while on furlough to really dive into it and focus on what I wanted to achieve and how. Now I do this full time I am stocked in 9 stores, I am taking classes to expand my skills and enjoying the journey. The story continues… I would love for you to join me!

A picture of me, for day 1 of March Meet the Maker story time. I am wearing a sequin fress with my handmade polymer clay earrings and polymer clay necklace to match.

 Day 2- The Human Touch

#marchmeetthemaker ! Day 2- The Human Touch

Making jewellery is very hands-on. From the start to the end. From making and shaping the clay to sanding, drilling and assembling until the end of the process of boxing and packing my products with care. I’m careful and considerate at every stage. Take this clip for example it’s about a minute long but in reality, this took me 45mins just the cutting-out stage. I’m considering the best way to get the most pieces out of the clay but also making sure each piece has a nice pattern. That’s my day 2 a human touch.

 Day 3- Evolution

Evolution for me comes from my jewellery. At the beginning of last year, I swapped out my findings for sterling silver. At the end of last year, I introduced making handmade sterling silver elements for my designs and this year and my latest collection I introduced fine silver elements and taking lessons to take it even further as the year goes on. So that’s the evolution of my jewellery and business.

 Day 4- Tasks

As a one-woman band, I have lots of tasks and jobs. As much as I would love to just make jewellery every day, I have other tasks. Some I like more than others but it’s all part of the fun of running a small business. Most of the areas I have taught myself and I am forever learning and adding more job titles as I go.

Day 5- Combination

Combination for me is the materials I use for my jewellery. I combine polymer clay with fine silver to create my pieces. It is a new combination that I hope to expand and use more often. In this piece, I have combined a swirl polymer clay stud drop with swirly a swirly embossed fine silver butterfly drop.

Day 6- Brand

These are a few words that I would describe and strive for in my business. 

Playfully Elegant: This is how I would describe my design's aesthetic, fun and playful colours and styles, in a toned down and elegant way generally not oversized. 

Sustainable: A very important one for me, I want my brand to be sustainable and have a low impact on the world and environment. I am always trying to improve too. I use recyclable, plant-based and biodegradable packaging. All my fine silver is recycled silver and lots of my sterling silver too.  

colourful: I love using different colour pallets for each collection,  I tend to favour pastel colours but I love trying lots of fun colour combinations

Evolving: My brand is always growing and evolving and I love to see where it will take me next.

Caring: I care so much about every piece I make, every package I send and every customer, making sure the whole experience of shopping with me is a positive one. 

Fun: I want the pieces I make to be fun, and the experience of shopping with me is fun as well. I also think it’s important that I have fun and that shows through in my pieces. I have a lot of fun running my business. 

Friendly and Kind: Lastly if you see me at a market (though I may be shy) or contact me online I always want to be friendly and kind. So feel free to message me with questions or even just to say hi and for a chat!

 Day 7- Today I am Working

Today I am having a fun day, I am currently making more of my Beautifully Bright collection and today I am making the fine silver elements which is something I really enjoy doing so a fun Monday!

Me making fine silver jewellery and the a embossed fine silver piece I have finished making

Day 8- Focus and Priorities

This year my focus and priorities are learning and growing. I want to expand my knowledge of my craft and gain more skill with silver which I am doing by taking classes and loving. And growing, I want to grow my business in different ways and grow as a person and get a little more confident and putting myself out there a bit more. So that is what I am focusing on and prioritising!

Day 9- Signature Style

So I think I am still trying to find my signature style. But think through the last two collections All You Need is Love and Starry Night I realised what it was I was trying to achieve and with Beautifully Bright I think I have gotten really close to my signature style. Fun and playfully elegant, and a mixture of medium so polymer clay and fine silver. Pieces not being too big but more dangly, in fun colours or maybe patterns or textures. Being a statement piece but still subtle in some ways too. That is what the pieces in the picture show.

My double drop polymer clay earrings with sterling silver chain and sterling silver studs. A polymer clay necklace with a fine silver drop embossed. And butterfly drop polymer clay earrings with butterfly drop embossed fine silver.

Day10- Collection

My latest collection is Beautiful Bright. Full of fun bright colours and patterns so happy and playful perfect for spring and summer. All pieces are made with sterling silver studs and chains for earrings and necklaces. And this collection includes some fine silver elements too to complement the polymer clay.

My polymer clay earrings and my polymer clay necklaces with fine silver elements as part of my new collection Beautifully Bright. All finished with sterling silver studs, hooks and sterling silver chains.

Day 11- Challange

The biggest challenge for me is confidence. I am always trying to push past it and put myself out there more.

The biggest part of this is markets. Don’t get me wrong I love a market and seeing you guys and other makers and it makes my day when someone says something kind about my work. But it does take me a lot of social effort as an introvert and not being very confident. So I try and balance doing markets and taking breaks from them too. It’s a challenge but I am working on it and improving every year!

Me standing behind my market table at various markets. Selling my handmade jewellery

Day 12- Process

This flow chart show the process of making my collections.

It starts with research using Pinterest to find colour schemes and patterns I like to get inspired and fine a theme.

Then I design I use Procreate and sketch book to get down ideas.

Then making I make the slabs and cut and bake them and I make the fine silver elements too. Then I sand the polymer clay three times and assemble the pieces using sterling silver findings and then it’s done final piece ready for photography!

Polymer Clay Earrings and Necklaces, making the process

Day 13- Gifting Idea

I think my jewellery can make sure a lovely gift idea. Lots of my pieces come in a gift box and for the ones that don’t can be added.

This piece is a necklace on a sterling silver chain with a embossed fine silver drop and a bright polymer clay drop. It’s fun and summery but also a touch of luxury.

I also offer letterbox gift option in my website for no extra charge. Send it straight to the persons door with a personalised gift note.

Polymer clay necklace and fine silver necklace with sterling silver chain

Day 14- A Day in the Life

This is a rough day in my life it changes slightly most days.

It starts after breakfast me and the dog go back up to bed and I do my social media post and analytics.

I go to my desk and worked today was spreadsheets and emails. Fun fact since starting a business I quite like a spreadsheet.

Then lunch at 1 pm.

Then usually I will go back to work or walk the dog but I had a driving lesson today so that’s what happens it that gap. The walkies with Freddie.

Then back to the desk to unpack an order of findings and clay. Then I had a little play and experiment with the clay for my new collection. Then playtime with Freddie. After dinner, I work from the sofa while watching telly. So that’s a pretty regular day for me.

Day 15- Details

The details of this necklace is the fine silver drop with an embossed swirly pattern to compliment the swirls on the clay. It’s also on a sterling silver chain and comes in a box.

Polymer clay necklace and fine silver necklace with sterling silver chain

Day 16- Positive

For the prompt Positive, I have used a review I got from Margaret the other day.

The only other thing than getting an order that makes me do the happy small business dance is getting a positive review on Trustpilot. I put everything into this business and it makes my day to know someone was happy with their order and took the time to tell me and help my business a second time. I love reading them and it’s so appreciated!

A positive 5 star review left by a customer on trust pilot.

Day 17- Product Story

So the story behind this collection is I wanted to be bright and happy colours for summer. I struggled the most I have with this collection because things didn’t go right and kept changing my mind but in the end I was so happy with how it came together and is my favourite collection yet. The colours make me happy!

My Beautifully Bright Collection Polymer Clay Earrings and Polymer Clay Necklaces with Fine Silver

Day 18- Call to Action

So I thought I would let you know if you sign up to my newsletter you can get exclusive discounts and updates and when you first sign up you can’t get 15% off your order.

Sign Up to my Newsletter and get 15% off your order!

Day 18- Moment of Calm

I find when I make that is very calming for me but on days where it’s more admin or non-making day and I need a moment of calm I find that spending time with my dog. Either on a walk playing inside or outside or sitting with him 5/10 minutes or an hour it’s time that calms me and enjoy and takes away the stress, worry or anxiety at least for that time.

Day 19- Package

This is how I package an order. I try and make it as aesthetic and fun to open as I can. Line with tissue paper. I then add the pieces and then I add a little voucher, a free hand-drawn and made sticker and a little thank you not to finish. I put a lot of care and time into ever order I package because I appreciate them all.

Day 20- Vision

My vision for my business is to continue my journey with fine silver and developing third skills and have fun working it into my polymer clay and resin pieces. I want to grow my business and I think that looks like expanding my stockist I have 10 right now which is amazing as this time last year I had 0 and I’m very grateful and proud so I want to build on this. So that’s my vision.

My vision board- Me making silver jewellery, me at my desk making me and my dog one of my stockist shelves.

So that's March Meet the Maker Done!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as me and learned a bit more about me and my business. Feel free to comment with any questions or comments or even to say hi and introduce yourself to me!

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