Louise Farrow of Nanuk creates unique hand crafted silver jewellery. She’s just one of the sellers joining us on the 11th of June at St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church for our summer fair. In the run up to the fair we’ll be interviewing our sellers, but you can always come in person on the day to chat with sellers and view their beautiful goods. Here Louise gives us a little more insight as to what goes into running a jewellery business.
Why have you started your own business?
I love to make things, especially jewellery although I enjoy many types of craft, and I wanted to set up my own business so that I can keep doing them; I can’t think of any better job to have than making something I love and sharing it with people who enjoy and appreciate it just as much as I do.
Why do you make what you make?
What does making mean to you?
To be honest I don’t quite know what I would do with myself if I wasn’t making something! If it isn’t jewellery I always have some kind of creative project on the go, and I like to keep myself busy. I enjoy being able to take something plain – a piece of metal, some clay, fabric and thread – and make it into something special. It helps when coming up with ideas to think that five people given the same materials would make five completely different objects, it gives the sense that anything is possible.
How did you get started?
I have always been creative and made things, including jewellery, and after I left school I studied jewellery making and design for my degree. I worked for a time in a local jewellers, before deciding I wanted to dedicate my time to making and selling my own work, and I set up Nanuk Jewellery.
Who or What is your inspiration?
I take most of my inspiration from things I have read, especially illustrated books of fairy tales and legends, but I am also inspired by nature and wildlife, which has led to a range of silver animals. Sometimes I take inspiration from the materials themselves – some new findings or materials, or an unusual stone or feature that I can create something around.
What have you had to overcome in order to set up a business?
Mainly, my lack of business skills. I have found all sorts of helpful groups and advice from other Etsy sellers and online, but I have had to figure out on my own how to develop my business and continue to make it grow so that I can continue making jewellery.
Any advice to those who are just starting out setting up a business?
You have to be prepared for the fact that you won’t be able to spend all your time just making/doing the thing you love; if you are starting out on your own especially, at least half your time will be involved with things like promotion, sourcing supplies, photographing and listing items – it all takes much more time than you think, but it has to be done!
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Ideally, I would be able to work on Nanuk full-time, creating jewellery and other crafts. I have recently started doing some bookbinding, and I love illustration, so I would ideally like to be able to extend the Nanuk range beyond jewellery and hopefully find something that people can really love which will keep my busy.