If you run a business, you know the joy it brings, each time you receive a new order. Actually, forget that. You don’t need to own a business – I know when I was an employee, I would almost always check my account at midnight on pay day. Being rewarded for my effort was always something to look forward to. It didn’t matter that most of my wage would soon be gone on bills, bills, bills…

Fast forward a few years and the same excitement abounds… except when it doesn’t. Take two weeks ago for example. In one evening, I got two orders and three messages about custom requests at about 11pm.

It was exciting for about half a second and then I felt dismay. It had been a long day and I was just beginning to wind down. Now, I had to get back into work mode, thinking up new ways to solve my customers’ problems, and manage to sound helpful and excited about it.

Truth is, I was excited. Only, I was exhausted too, and that got me thinking about the ways in which consumers now shop. We are all so busy in long day jobs that many of us – myself included, can only manage our personal responsibilities in the dead of night. With this change in dynamics and the proliferation of online market platforms, it really is no wonder that midnight sales have seen year on year increases.

I could have waited until morning to respond to the messages but I was awake, aware of them, and would drive myself crazy, knowing that I had left customers waiting.

So there I was, crafting responses, doing some math and cursing my rude vibro-alert on my phone. Thankfully, two of the messages resulted in further sales within 24 hours. A 66.6% conversion rate at 11pm? More of that, please!

Anyway, the point of this post really, is to simultaneously have a moan about some of the slight negatives of being in business, and on the other hand, profess my gratefulness for all of my customers; the good and the bad. Because of you, I feel grateful and happy that my creations have enriched lives in a small (or big) way. Because of you, I am able to make a living. And because of you, I am growing into just the kind of artist that I want to be.

Finally, I would love to thank the Etsy developers. My fellow etsy sellers know what I mean when I talk about the ecstasy that flows when we get a notification of a sale – that joyous sound of a till ringing up a sale: KERCHING!!!

So, be it morning, afternoon, evening, or dead of night, long may the Kerching’s reign.

Until next time…

😉 xx


No longer an Ostrich…

A few months ago, someone asked me what kind of jewellery I make.

To my utter horror, I began to babble about how my journey started with wire wrap, progressed to wire crochet, morphed into sheet work and miraculously ended up with base metal stamp engraving…

I mean, if I had confused myself, surely, I had confused them too?

In the aftermath of that abysmal performance, I went back to my facebook page and decided to look at my work critically. It didn’t take long to see where things had begun to go wrong.

You see, as creative minds, the ideas just never stop coming. We are inspired by nature, architecture, people, found objects, and other artists. There is so much we want to do and so little time to do it in. While it may seem like the best thing spiritually, it is the worst possible thing that can happen to a business – to lose focus. And that’s what happened to me!

I had transitioned through so many styles that my customers no longer knew what to expect from me. That meant engagement was down, sales suffered and life was generally a confused mess. And just like an ostrich, I had buried my head in the sand.

So, the real question was: How to fix it?

There was no easy answer to that. It was back to the drawing board.

I took a long hard look at the work I had done over the last three years, and in spite of the many faces of Vijoux, there was a core idea I had always stuck to.

For me, jewellery is much more than adornment. It is an integral part of the being. It is an expression of one’s self and style, an intrinsic part of our identity, and by jove, it’s the way in which we tell our story and celebrate life!

So, I got my books out, scoured the internet, visited museums and walked everywhere, in the hope of regaining the vision I had lost. There is no doubt that I love many different styles of jewellery. From the more structured, classical pieces found on every high street, to the out of the way genius of young fresh designers working with new alloys and materials that traditionally would have been frowned upon, I love them all.

But while I love the intricacies of fine, gem encrusted jewellery and will no doubt build my repertoire to include them one day, my soul is truly that of an introvert. This is reflected in a lot of the work I do. There probably isn’t a name for it – sitting as it does, somewhere between geometric, bohemian, and the classic fluidity of pearl jewellery; inspired by stories in nature, and intertwined with ethnic symbolism. Whatever it is, that is where I have returned and will hopefully remain, with the stubbornness of a Leo.

As I thought about writing this post, I imagined telling a story that would build to such an explosive climax, as to leave you clamouring for more. Rather, I find my words woefully inadequate to describe what truly lies in my heart. What I will do, is leave a bit of my soul in each piece, in the hope that it inspires you to be the best version of you.

See you on the next few posts, one of which will introduce the Spring Summer 2016 collection: Renaissance

Until then… 😉 xx