Gill Oglesby a lovely and successful jewellery designer has very kindly agreed to be our first featured seller on our Blog. We hope you will find this feature interesting as we are hoping Gill will be the first of many people we will be featuring.
Q. What is your Business Name, your name and where are you based?
A. My name is Gill Oglesby and I live near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. I sell handmade Sterling Silver Gemstone and Pearl Jewellery through my business Gill Oglesby Jewellery.
Q. How did you come up with your business name?
A. That’s a difficult one 😉 In the world of fashion, designers go by their own name. They are the brand and the creative thought behind their products. It is the same for me and my business and so I chose to use my own name.
Q. What do you make and why?
A. I make pretty, dainty jewellery using Sterling Silver combined with semi-precious gemstone beads and pearls. I use wire wrapping techniques to combine the gemstones and pearls with Sterling Silver chain and beads.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
A. I’m married to Steven, who runs his own website and app development company and we have 2 beautiful sons, Duncan and Lucas. I work 3 days a week as a Software Developer alongside running my jewellery business and looking after the boys. I recently started a blog www.AndByNightIMakeJewellery.blogspot.com. I feel the title says it all! It’s a constant juggling act but I love making and selling my jewellery and like to keep busy!
I started making jewellery shortly after I became engaged in 2006 with the idea of creating my own wedding jewellery. I took to it quite quickly and successfully made all my wedding jewellery along with jewellery for my bridesmaid and mum. After bombarding my mum with jewellery gifts every birthday, Christmas and mother’s day I decided it was time to branch out and start selling. My husband had recently set up his company and so he kindly built my website. It launched in May 2010.
Q. Where do you sell your items?
A. I sell my jewellery through my website www.GillOglesbyJewellery.co.uk,
via Swanky Maison (www.SwankyMaison.com/about/Gill-Oglesby-jewellery.html)
and on Folksy (www.Folksy.com/shops/GillOglesbyJewellery)
I’ve found most success through my own website but it takes a lot of promotion. I’ve had some wonderful reviews from customers who have praised my customer service (which is something very important to me) and I recently received a lovely review on folksy from a customer who said she would ‘never shop for jewellery on the high street again’. It’s this feedback that makes all the hard work worthwhile!
To increase exposure, I’ve recently set up a cross promotional campaign with fellow crafters called Hello Handmade! The group consists of 10 UK small businesses, who all produce high quality handmade goods. The idea is that we all promote each other to our customers, online and through a printed offer leaflet, and hopefully all increase our sales. You can find out more at www.HelloHandmade.co.uk.
In 2012 I plan to continue with my Hello Handmade! campaigns, take part in exhibitions (I’ve just secured my first gallery exhibition for April) and attend some craft fairs. I’ve been pregnant or had a young baby since I started my business and so craft fairs have not been an option before.
Q. Which are your 3 favourite pieces you are selling at the moment?
I love my Aphrodite bracelet. Currently available in 2 variations, Amethyst and Fire (featuring Garnet, Carnelian, Citrine and Beer Quartz), all the gemstones are AA grade quality making it a really beautiful piece. I’m also planning on introducing a Rose Quartz version soon.
Another of my favourites is my Ananke collection. I love the unusual oval chain which I feature between the gemstones and along the length of the necklace and bracelet. It is currently available with 4 gemstone
variations: Pyrite, Angelite, Lemon Chrysoprase and Peace Jade and consists of a matching necklace, bracelet and earrings.
Finally, there’s my Asteria collection. It features rice pearls attached to a short section of long hammered trace chain to create a leaf-like structure that hangs effortlessly from either the earring studs or the beautifully smooth snake chain. Perfect for a bride or bridesmaid gift!
Q. What inspires your creativity?
A. I’m addicted to symmetry and this features heavily in my designs. I love flowing lines and curves and therefore nature is a great source of inspiration to me.
Q. What is your favourite tool and why?
A. I love all my Lindstrom tools. The wire cutters are fantastic and produce such a clean cut.
Q Do you want to learn anything new or are you learning anything at the moment?
A. There is so much I’d love to learn. Lampwork glass beads, silversmithing and enamelling are the top three on my wishlist!
Q. When you first started if you could have been given one piece of advice what would it have been?
A. Promote, promote, promote. It’s easy to think that all you need to do is create some lovely products and a website, and the sales will come flooding in. In practice it usually doesn’t happen that easily. The internet is so big these days you really have to get out there and promote all you can.
Q. Lastly, what piece of advice would you like to pass on to anybody starting out?
A. Think about what makes you different, build on it and promote it. Don’t expect instant success, so set realistic goals for your business.
You can also find Gill on Facebook by following this link, https://www.facebook.com/TheCraftyNetwork#!/GillOglesbyJewellery
Thank you so much Gill.
If you are interested in being featured as a crafter, supplier or event organiser, please get in touch via our Facebook page, email or by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. Thanks x