Guest Post by Hannah
I thought I’d start at the start, so you can get a full picture of HANNAH Jewellery, why I started, my inspirations, struggles and vision for the future! When I say the start, I don’t mean birth, so this won’t be a super long story, don’t worry!
So, I’m Hannah! I’m 27, a Scorpio (not sure if that’s relevant, but now you know!) and I am obsessed with making jewellery. I’ve always been a creative person, from making my own clothes as a teenager, to actually trying my hand at nail art (not a patch on Leanne though!). However, sport was my other love. Growing up, all of my best friends played sport, we did it together, so as I moved through school, it became my life. I had things all planned out, I wanted to be a Secondary School PE Teacher, which I knew would be awesome! So I got decent A-Levels and a 2:1 at Uni in Leeds and got my first job in Buckinghamshire, where I still live (originally from Norfolk, missed that bit out!). About a year into my job, I started to get a little bogged down. Things had moved so quickly from home, to uni to now real life, that I hadn’t stopped and thought about whether taking a job away from home, where I knew no one, was a good idea. All my best friends, still lived (and some still do) in Norfolk. I was spending weekends travelling there and back, which if you know anything about the A47 or A17, is soul-destroyingly boring and long. I needed something that was going to occupy my time, get me to be more social and perhaps bring in a few extra pennies. So I bought some silver plate wire, a few silver beads and some pliers, all from hobby craft and things started happening.
Instagram was a massive help and Facebook actually, but Instagram was really starting to get cool, so I would post my photos of the pieces I had made on there and it gave me a little boost to see some likes (remember when you got over 11 or 12 likes and it went to numbers, not names *actual god-like status reached*). I only made simple things, but it occupied my time and I actually made a few pieces that I still wear, or have adapted, as they remind me of a time when I needed something to call my own and to connect with.
As the years went by, I was selling a few pieces a month, usually at an arranged party or to friends and family, but it was lovely. However, the fire was growing. I was really enjoying this and felt like it was something I could do well. The teaching was amazing, please don’t get me wrong, I loved it (still do), but if you know anything about the education system, or watch/listen to the news every now or then, or have a teacher relative or friend, then you know that the pressure on teachers is at an all time high. The work load is unbearable, as are the expectations and don’t get me started on the ever changing policies and practices! But that’s boring. I left the job I was at, with a heavy heart and went self-employed. I now go into lots of different Primary schools and deliver PE sessions as well as other subject lessons, but I don’t have the same love for it, as I do for the jewellery.
In the last year or so, I have really tried to establish myself as a brand. Delving deep into my personal reasons why I made and continue to make each piece, working on my website, my images, my blog and all the things that make me different. The process has really got me driven to want to do this full time. I would love to pack in the teaching (again, with a heavy heart, but it just cannot offer me what the jewellery can), and craft and create beautiful pieces of jewellery for my amazing customers. I’ve come to the conclusion that my pieces are blank canvases. Although I have a personal justification for making each one, which I have included in the product description, every time I make a piece, I have the owner in mind. I listen to their specific requirements and I craft their piece with them in mind. Each piece comes out differently, completely unique, ready for the customer to imprint their own emotions, feelings, memories or occasions onto. I absolutely love this. I adore sending off a piece, all packaged up, ready to be worn, loved and shared.
At present, my jewellery is a ‘one woman band’. It’s me and that’s it. I get the occasional help from my boyfriend, with packaging or passing comments about my imagery, but on the whole, the entire thing is controlled by me. This is amazing, but it’s also stressful. In the future I would absolutely love to be able to delegate out some of the jobs to people, who basically know what they’re doing. Website designers, social media marketers, photographers etc, the list is endless. Not to say that I wouldn’t want an input, but at this moment in time, I don’t have the finances or the status to be able to do that. That doesn’t stop me having amazing relationships with my super loyal customers! I love nothing more than receiving an email with a special request to do something bespoke, or reading the little notes that people put on the bottom of order forms, telling me their vision for the piece they’ve chosen. I like it when people want to have a say in how I make something. It makes it even more special for me. It challenges me, especially when I send them a preview of it to check I’m on the right lines and they send me packing with more instructions, it focuses me and makes me work hard!
Despite all of my dreams of a super cute studio, my own physical shop as well as my online space and having loads of coolio staff, I LOVE MAKING JEWELLERY. Some of my favourite pieces are featured in the pictures in this blog and I’ve written another post on my own space that goes into detail about my favourite 3 pieces and why they’re so important to me.
I would love to hear what you guys think to my jewellery, the brand or anything else I’ve mentioned here or on my other blogs. Definitely get in touch and don’t forget to follow me on social media and sign up to the newsletter on the website, for loads of special offers and treats!
Thank you so much, Leanne, for having me!