A month or so ago, Chasing Beads was our 2000 Facebook Fan and as a reward we offered them the chance to be featured on our Blog. We are very pleased to say Suzanne was very happy to take us up on this offer and tell us her story.
My name is Suzanne, I am the owner of Chasing Beads and we’re based in Reigate, Surrey. I’m in my mid thirties (just) who lives with her husband in our cosy little cottage. We don’t have a family yet but hope to one day. This is my full time job and I have previously worked in other creative industries such as music, travel and fashion.
2. What do you do/make?
We create unique jewellery to suit most budgets – our style generally involves wire or something we can weave in some shape or form. We make a variety of chain maille jewellery, charm bracelets as well as the latest jewellery trend, macramé. I love making jewellery as I find it very therapeutic.
3. How did you come up with your business name, when did you set it up and why?
I set up the company in September 2009, it came at a time when I wasn’t particularly happy in my job. I’d always wanted to run my own jewellery business and I’d already done my research. Life is too short so I bit the bullet and went for it.
My husband actually came up with the name Chasing Beads. I’d had a number of names short listed but after further research I realised they were already being used. It was when our wedding song, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, came on the radio that my husband said why don’t you call it Chasing Beads, so not only did it have a link to our big day but it was also something I was always doing…chasing beads.
4. Do you have qualifications in your craft, what training have you had and how long have you been making jewellery for?
I have been making jewellery for 4/5 years now; I am mainly self taught but have studied silversmithing and am about to embark on a course in silver clay. We’re hoping to use these skills to make our own charms and make our pieces even more unique. Next stop will be a lampwork bead course.
5. Tell us all about where you sell your items?
I initially started selling beads on Ebay, which I still do, but it’s not my core business. I then started selling on other third party market places such as Folksy and Wow Thankyou to help me gain more exposure. Then in April 2011 I launched my own own website, Chasing Beads.
We also sell at a number of events as well as local shops Heaven in Nutfield and Rocket & Fairydust in Merstham.
6. What are your 3 favourite items you are selling at the moment and why?
Quite hard to narrow it down to 3 but I guess the 3 that spring to mind is the ‘Orbit’ Collection which can be made in various colours and the ‘Shaggy’ collection, both come in matching sets and our dragonfly and birdcage pendants.
7. Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
I guess from landscapes, dream destinations that kind of thing – seeing various colours and textures’ sitting together is always inspiring.
8. What is your best/favourite tool and why?
Well, because I use wire a lot I couldn’t live without my snipe nose pliers as I need them for pretty much every project I make but saying that my wire cutters pay a pretty important role in my jewellery too.
9. What are your plans for the future?
We’ve recently launched our home parties service, so we really want to expand on that. The first type of party is a jewellery party where we come to your home and you and your friends can try on our range and buy on the night. The other type of party is a jewellery making party. We’ll bring a large selection of beads and charms to your house or chosen venue and teach you how to make jewellery. It’s a great excuse for a girls night in!
Also, we obviously want to expand our jewellery range – so watch this space!
10. Lastly, what piece of advice would you like to pass on to anybody starting out?
Have patience and confidence in your product – it takes time to build a customer base and it won’t happen overnight. Keep trying and most importantly enjoy it!