I started making jewellery after being fed up with trying to find colours, styles and materials that I liked and that were different from "the norm".
I did a bit of research into where to buy materials and supplies and started making little bits here and there for myself. I then started making pieces for friends and family, which then expanded into work colleagues and school fairs, and finally LittleGems Jewellery was born!
I also opened an Ebay shop, mainly just to get a presence on the web without going to the extent of getting my own website, and when I got my first sale to a "stranger" (well, someone that I didn't know personally!) it was really encouraging. I also supply a couple of local gift shops which has also really helped build my confidence into taking this step of having a proper website!
I source my materials, mainly from the internet - as far afield as Australia and the US, but mainly from some great suppliers in the UK. I also pick things up on my travels and have discovered bead supply shops in wonderful places such as Paris and Barcelona, to name but a few. I think I drive my husband up the wall, dragging him around these shops when we're on holiday!
I also occasionally use beads and pendants made by UK glass artists. Where these have been used, the glass artist is credited in my descriptions.
I am a member of the SRAJD roster (Self Representing Artist in Jewellery Design). This is a list of designers who only sell their own handcrafted designs, with no mass-produced items allowed. We have to submit an application to join and our items are checked before membership is granted. For more details, please visit Artisimportant.com