The Art of Living by Making Art

Jewellery inspired by nature and made by hand.
How I make it, why I make it, the challenges I face and the successes that come my way.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finding customers

Hello new followers, thanks for joining. I was wondering whether anyone has any interesting stories about how they stumbled onto customers?

I have a story of my own. A few years ago I was in the UK visiting my family. My Mum and I were at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London for the day, trekking around trying to take it all in. We stopped at the stand of a woman selling her nursery plants and copies of her book. Her name was Carol Klein and she was just starting to become known in the gardening world in England. She complemented me on my earrings. I said thank you I made them, as you do. She asked me to make her a pair (and I bought her book).

I duly made the earrings and shipped them off. The following year I got a phone call from her husband saying that Carol wore them everyday and wanted something new. By this time my Mum had sent me photos of Carol from her newspaper column, wearing the earrings. I sent over some sketches of ideas but I never heard anything back, despite a follow up email.

Two years later her husband phoned me again saying Carol must have new earrings - she was presenting BBC Gardener's World by this time. Thinking that sketches and design decisions weren't going to cut it, I offered to send three pairs of earrings to them, they could choose what they wanted and return the others. They bought all three pairs and I was thrilled the first time I saw Carol wearing a pair on the tele.
The design has been a best seller for me and I wear my own pair often. Today I decided to update them, so I made them as I always do but enamelled them with shades of transparent green enamels. I am blowing my own trumpet today but would love to hear your stories too...


  1. What a fun story! I've had a lot of folks find me in very unusual ways... and even stranger... me finding my own work years later.

    My family owns and operates a jewelry component company called, Green Girl Studios. Years ago I did a show for them in Tucson where I met a lovely couple who were in their late sixties and traveling around the Southwest in a camper. The lovely woman, Rosie, had to have a necklace I had whipped up as a sample. It wasn't anything that I thought was spectacular, but something I had made while I was taking to her. Sadly I even chipped one of the stones with a pair of the pliers. Rosie said not to worry and that she still loved the piece and she would think of me when she wore it.

    Flash forward several years when I was in New York managing a posh gourmet restaurant. Our catering manager had booked an event in the restaurant and it went off swimmingly! The woman who was running the event wanted to thank us personally for our efforts. I didn't recognize this woman in her mid-twenties sporting designer clothes... BUT I did recognize the necklace she was wearing! Apparently Rosie had given it to her daughter as a present, who in turn gave it to her daughter in New York... the same one who had planned the event! Small world! Since then, I've had commissions from all three generations and I can't wait to work on pieces for a fourth generation.

  2. That's an amazing coincidence, Andrew. I guess you are the 'personal' jewellery designer/maker for that family now!

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  4. Anna, I've just found your blog and this post made me smile as I have just bought Carol Klein's book! I don't have any stories to share about finding customers as I am new to this game - may be in the future. I love your work.