This week we caught up with the lovely Rachel from the award-winning Beauelle.
Knitted Clay Powder Blue Pendant
Established in January 2010, Rachel creates wonderful intricate knitted jewellery designs using advanced clay techniques.
An inspiration to aspiring creative entrepreneurs, Rachel’s passion shines through as she takes time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her design process, inspirations and plans for the future.
Where did it all begin for Beauelle?
I started making jewellery as a hobby when I was off work recovering from getting my tonsils removed, still the two best things I’ve ever done, no more tonsillitis and I have a brilliant Jewellery business 6 years later!!
Were you always a creative person?
I have been described as a ‘creative’ person for as long as I can remember. As a child I loved a ‘craft day’. Everything from painting, hama beads, making dolls beds, paper mache, sewing…the lot!! There is no better feeling than someone saying they like your necklace and asking where you bought it, and for you to reply ‘Actually, I made it’
Describe a normal day.
Up very early to lovingly make my other half his lunch and wave him goodbye, then start the day with a coffee and toast with peanut butter of course! Check emails, and edit yesterday’s TO-DO list. I am list daft, every day I make a list, I used to make beautiful lists with different coloured pens and little doodles…now they are scribbled on the back of envelopes or scraps of paper, but never the less they are a list and I love the satisfaction of crossing things off. In a normal day, I make customer orders, pack up trade orders, make new designs, photograph different pieces and get very messy with clay. I also have to do the not so fun parts of running a business, invoicing, filing, paperwork (yawn) and filling out show forms.
Who or what inspires you?
A block of plain white clay could be described as very uninspiring but I look at it and see a huge amount of different designs, textures, colours and collections. Over the years I have tried everything from Silver, wire, gemstones, even electroforming. I have stuck with clay because it’s so versatile and I love that each design starts of the same but can look completely different in the end.
Knitted Clay Turquoise Pendant
What is your design process?
It took me months to get the colours perfect. The clay starts off as a white block and I have to add a little colour in at a time before it’s the right shade. I have 9 colours at the moment, 4 original and 5 pastel. Our tag line ‘All you knit is love’ Would make you think we knit the clay, but unfortunately I can’t knit with wool let alone with clay. I hand-roll out every stand and weave them together to get the knitted effect, they are cut and shaped into the gun-metal backings. They are then baked and glazed twice. The process is completely handmade and I adore seeing the different steps coming together.
What is your favourite piece from the Knitted Clay collection?
I have a soft spot for the Burgundy colour in the knitted clay, I adore the colour and haven’t found an outfit that doesn’t go with it.
Burgundy Knitted Earrings
Describe your workspace.
A very organised mess that does my head in!!! We are buying a house at the end of the year, so in the back of my mind I keep telling myself there is no point in having a clear out yet!! I know exactly what I would like my office/workshop to look like and I can’t wait to get started on it, it’s going to be so beautiful I won’t want to leave!
If you could give advice to someone who is just starting out what would it be?
Don’t rush the name of your business or your logo. I described it like ‘naming a child’ It’s so important, and you don’t want to choose a name and build a good following then decide to change it after a few years. With jewellery making, I started 6 years ago and spent a lot of money on all the fancy tools and equipment, some I do use today but a lot of my tools are household items that cost nothing.
Lovely Lilac Knitted Earrings
Lilac Knitted Pendant
What is your favourite and least favourite part about your job?
Favourite – Making jewellery of course and seeing strangers walking down the street with one of my pieces on, it really does makes my day.
Least Favourite – Unpacking the car after a big show…Kris is brilliant at helping even if he puts things back in the wrong place (Don’t tell him I said that!)
What’s next for Beauelle?
In the last 9 months I have increased my stockists by over 500%, I hope to continue this and stock lots more lovely shops all over the UK, maybe even overseas…..
We have also launched our new Tartan Clay collection which has been very popular, I can’t wait to take this to Trade in September.
Thank you so much to Rachel for taking part in this weeks Meet the Maker feature. We love the passion and creative drive behind the designs and cannot wait to see the new Tartan Clay collection launching this September.
For those who love the Knitted Collection you can shop Beauelle in store at our Glasgow West End store next to Kelvinbridge Subway or Shop online at http://www.liquoricetree.com/?searchStr=knitted