I wasfirst introduced to Oberon Jewellery by fellow blogger, Sarah of Sarahs-Scribbles. She was tweeting her excitement and delight upon receiving a bespokehand-crafted rabbit necklace she’d ordered and I loved the look of it sodecided to check out the rest of the collection.
Havingviewed the OberonJewelleryFacebook page and Etsyonline shop, I loved what I saw!
Thebrains behind Oberon is a lovely lady by the name of Sarah. As a busywife and mum-of-one, every piece of jewellery is created from a craft table inher living room and you can really see how much love and attention goes intoeach item when you see the final product.
Self-taught,unique and passionate, I spoke to Sarah to find out what Oberon Jewellery meansto her.
WHEN DID YOU START MAKINGJEWELLERY?
I first made jewellery when I was ateenager after a trip to Liberty’s(a long time ago now!) I bought some beads in their Bazaar Hall and madesome earrings, then took them apart again and remade them into variousthings. I still have the beads now! A few years ago I dabbledbriefly and sold a few pieces, but then life took over.
After undergoing IVF to have mybeautiful son, he had some health issues which took over, so my jewellerymaking was put on hold. Thankfully, my son improved enormously, I left mypart-time job and a couple of years ago was asked by a friend to make herwedding jewellery.
Although I started off creatingwith beads, the use of silver clay came about when a good friend of minetrusted me with a fair amount of her money to make her a silver bracelet. This lit the fire in me and I from then on I wanted to continue working withsilver. It took me another 6-months to build up both the supplies andfunds to make another silver clay piece (the silver print bird) but now I usethe silver more than I use beads! I love using the silver clay as it hasan eco twist with so much of it being recycled silver. I also think it’sreally adaptable for making different designs.
WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED, WAS ITFOR A HOBBY OR DID YOU START IT WITH A BUSINESS IN MIND?
It was definitely just a hobby whenI first started, but I began to believe it could be a business when myneighbour marched me to a local boutique with a piece of my work that she lovedand they showed an interest!
HOW DO YOU FIT YOURJEWELLERY-MAKING AROUND YOUR LIFE AS A BUSY MUM?
My son is at school so I fit myjewellery making around him, plus my mum helps out when I have a lot ofcommissions to work on, which is great. I also have a lot of very latenights as I love working when my husband and son are asleep as it’s so quiet!
IS MAKING JEWELLERY DIFFICULT?
It can be, but I love it! Ittook me until I reached the age of 40 to be able to say I was doing something Iloved. I’ve had lots of jobs in my life – from bars and shops, to lookingafter plants, being a dental technician and, lastly, being a school sciencetechnician! I work longer hours making my jewellery than I have in any ofthese other jobs, but I enjoy it so much more than anything else I’ve everdone.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULARPIECES YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
The work I do with silver isgetting better all the time – the more pieces I do, the more I can see animprovement, so I guess, in many ways, every piece becomes my newfavourite! I’ve been lucky enough to have had my jewellery featured inCosmopolitan magazine and I was commissioned to create a piece for thetelevision show Hollyoaks – I love spotting it on screen! But, aside fromthat, I love making pieces that are special gifts – the feeling of creating anitem that could become a family heirloom makes me very happy. I loveproducing bespoke items and turning people’s ideas into a reality.
DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR DESIGNTHAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO MAKE BUT HAVEN’T DONE SO YET?
Lots! I constantly have ideasrattling around inside my head – I have to write them all down so I don’tforget them and then I spend time sketching them all out. The biggestproblem with this is cashflow – I have to get a few sales or commission to beable to fund an ‘indulgent’ piece (ie one that I’m making “justbecause”). I love my customers to set me challenges and test my skills,in fact, I have a blogger at the moment who has asked me to create a piecewhich means learning new skills and buying new equipment, so that’s veryexciting! I’m also in the process of designing some pieces to celebratethe Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so that’s pretty special.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOURBUSINESS IN 5-YEARS TIME?
To be honest, I very rarely thinkbeyond the next few months. I had a wish-list of three things: to see oneof my pieces in a major magazine, to have a piece on television and to see acelebrity wearing one of my items – I’ve achieved two out of three so far,which is great! My hope is that in 5-years time I will still be makingjewellery and still enjoying it as much as I am now. It would also benice to be able to pay off my credit card as I’m always funding new materialsand equipment!
My son was very ill again last yearand his condition became life-threatening. He is really well again now,although there are some ongoing issues which can be challenging, but I feelvery lucky to be able to be at home with my son when he needs me and still havemy jewellery as a creative outlet allowing me to be ‘me’.
WHO IS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN ITCOMES TO BUSINESS/LIFE?
Life-wise, my mum. She was asingle parent with a successful career as a Head Teacher and she brought me upsurrounded by fun – I had a very happy childhood.
Work-wise, it’s hard to say who myinspiration is. It may sound a bit namby-pamby, but I take each day as itcomes and I’m terribly disorganised – I still can’t quite believe I run my ownbusiness!