Welcome to our latest featured article on Darshna Desai, her business name Darshe. Darshna makes beautiful beaded jewellery and particularly likes working with swarovski crystals. Please read on.
Tell us a bit about your background and your business?
I had always loved arts and crafts at school but never really got hooked until 6 years ago. I was wondering around Marks and Spencer’s around Christmas time and I bought a book on bead weaving. From there I spent many hours trying to follow the patterns. I eventually signed up to bead weaving classes at the Adult Education Centre. I attended these for about 2 years. This gave me knowledge of the basic stitches. I showed a friend of mine at work my designs and she said she would display them for me. It started from there really.
Tell us about what you make and what training and qualifications you have or needed?
I have no formal qualifications. Initially I learned out of books but then enrolled on a bead weaving class at the local Adult education Centre. My love is bead weaving although I do some wire wrapping. I make a variety of things. I enjoy making up my own designs. I like my designs to be simple and to be wearable for everyday wear. I also wanted to keep my prices affordable.
Where do you sell/exhibit your work?
At the moment I am mainly selling through friends and family and have set up a couple of shops on folksy and Groovy cart. My goal is to sell mainly through my own website. Selling online is totally different to selling face to face. I have to try to remember that people cannot touch the product so good pictures and information is very important.
Tell us about some of your favourite or most challenging pieces and what inspired you to make them, is there a story behind each piece?
My most challenging pieces have been bezelling around Swarovski rivoli crystals. When I was at the adult learning centre my teacher would show us these amazing pieces that she had made using Swarovski crystals. I never really mastered that. It wasn’t until recently that I was confident enough to try. You can see some of my latest work involves this method.
I am hooked on making Jewellery using Swarovski Rivoli’s
I have also been using beaded beads. This technique involves beading one bead at a time around a wooden core bead. I love the way you can make them in any colour you wish. This has been quite a challenge trying to get a good fit.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
I find my inspiration from lots of different places. Etsy is a great source of inspiration. American bead work is amazing and they have some very talented designers. Also books and magazines are great to see what colours and trends are in.
What motivates you?
I doesn’t really take much to motivate me. My love of bead weaving keeps me going. Sometimes it’s all I think about. I will look at a picture in a magazine and think I could do that, but then put my own spin on it.
What piece of equipment could you not live without or which is your favourite and why?
My favourite piece of equipment is Fireline. It’s a thread which is very strong and clear so easier to hide within your work. I don’t think I could live without my beading needle either!
What are your goals/plans for the future?
My main goal for the future is to sort my website out. I have done a lot of work on it recently but am still not 100% happy with it. I would love to one day make it my day job.
When you first started if you could have been given one piece of advice what would it have been and what advice would you pass on?
My main piece of advice is to find a local course and learn the basics. I struggled a long time trying to work out of a book. Once you know the basics the books are a great source of information.
Where can we find you? (Contact details etc)
You can find me at the following places