night time holiday
The Jewellery Designer
When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career as a jewellery designer? Why jewellery?
I started making earrings as a hobby and started selling them very casually on Etsy. I fell in love with polymer clay and the versatility of it, using it to explore my love for colour and shapes at the same time as making wearable art works. The business grew really organically whilst I was at university studying Fine Art. When it came to graduating it made sense to pursue it as a serious career. It was never intentional but its only now looking back that I realise I have always had a huge love for jewellery and making.
How did you find your style and has it changed since you started?
I try really hard to make totally unique pieces that are based on what I genuinely love, and that has always stuck with me. It has helped me to create what I know is my own style that I love and am really proud of. I try not to make for trends so that designs stay relevant for years rather than a few months, there are pieces from my first ever collection 2 years ago that are still the biggest sellers today – I love that they’re timeless. I never really realised I had a ‘style’ until I worked on the branding with Han Valentine. The first thing she did was take colours that appeared in my designs, put them in a palette and I identified with it instantly as Night Time Holiday.
What's your design process?
It’s very chaotic – as is my natural working style. With clay, I usually design a small amount of seasonal pieces twice a year. Sometimes I paint designs first, sometimes I go straight in with the clay and start making. A lot of my design process is based around colour; I’ll play with materials, create still life sets, take photos, charity/antique shop, and gather inspiration that way, rather than looking at existing work. These are things I adore doing so I think it makes for a more natural design process. With the silver pieces I sketch and sketch and sketch.
How do you decide what you want to create?
I pay attention to my customers, what they want and if it aligns with something I love then I’ll try to create it. I try to stay as honest as I can and not just make what I know will sell, it has to feel right for the brand. Mostly I listen to my instincts.
When is enough enough? How do you know when the piece is complete? Or overdone or underdone? How do you edit?
I’m a big maximalist, so I probably regularly go overboard with designs, but I think that’s part of the fun. I try to create a couple versions of a design, one with all of the details, one a bit more stripped back and one in-between and then make a decision. Again, I don’t overthink things too much and listen to my instincts.
How do you keep yourself motivated being self employed?
I find it relatively easy to work. I learnt studying Fine Art about how to self motivate as a lot of the course relied on you getting on and doing it yourself, with nobody behind you telling you to get it done or weekly deadlines. I also just love my own company, but stick to a normal work routine such as 8-5 mon-fri (when possible) which I think helps.
What challenges did you overcome when starting up your business?
I had to learn so much mundane stuff. I’ve studied and prioritised art and creative subjects my whole life, I’m not interested in the slightest by academic subjects. When it came to registering a business, learning to keep books and taxes I had to really focus to understand the jargon. I also had to confront a lot of doubts from others at first when I decided to go full time. Every time I had to justify my choices it was soul crushing but a year down the line I think I’ve proved it was the right choice – not that you should have to.
What advice would you give someone just starting out creating a business?
Just go with it, I very nearly didn’t. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or the business to grow. You don’t have to say yes to absolutely everything, but if it feels right, do! Ask for help with the parts that don’t come naturally to you, and find some friends who are supportive cheerleaders.
Who inspires you?
My friends and family, the Insta-friends I’ve made who are pursuing their passions in so many different ways. My boyfriend who is the most ginormous support.
Do you have any projects you're working on that we should look out for?
A few things that are unconfirmed but mostly I’m focusing on organically growing the silver range and designing for Autumn/Winter!
Now onto more fun questions! What's your dream Sunday?
Laying in, going out for a really good brunch, a walk and a chilled afternoon beer.
Where is your favourite place to eat in … Grimsby! (but we'll like to extend this to Hull because we’re limited in Grimsby)
Atom Bar Hull. I like to have small plates of picky things that I can mix and match, they have the best most varied menu to match their huge selection of craft beer. And free pool! Just the best place to kill a few hours.
What three items would you take to a desert island other than food and water?
A sketchbook, a pencil and Lush – Let the Good Times Roll exfoliator.
Favourite places in the world to visit?
I just love anywhere with fresh air and inspiration. I love Yorkshire Sculpture park and Brimham Rocks will always have such a strange allure to me. Anywhere by the sea. I’m sure that’s boring to lots of people but there are so many beautiful places I’d love to visit that are just in the UK.