I’m Abby, the designer, maker and owner of Abigail’s Bead Company. I design, source, and handcraft unique Semi-Precious Gemstone & Sterling Silver jewellery. Each piece of jewellery I make is a one-off design, never to be repeated. Ensuring that all of my jewellery collections are totally unique, giving the customer something precious and the only piece of it’s kind. I only use ethically and sustainably sourced Gemstones, and the finest eco-friendly precious Sterling Silver to craft my work, ensuring I’m creating jewellery that will last and not harm the planet.
My journey to being a jeweller began at a young age, I had a fascination of rifling through my mothers and grandmothers jewellery boxes, fascinated but what I found. This sparked the start of collecting my own jewellery through my teens. I studied fashion at London College of Fashion, but when faced with specialising further, I fell in love with the possibilities and processes of a jewellery workshop. I then studied silversmithing and jewellery making at Central St. Martins in London, and then taught jewellery making courses at the UK’s biggest jewellery school. I then decided I wanted to design, make and sell my own jewellery, so I started Abigail’s Bead Company in 2013.
Since then I have sold over 500 pieces of unique jewellery, and now sell online, at craft markets, and through a handful of fabulous independent gift shops/boutiques.
Do you have a favourite product from your collection?
I can’t think of anything I don’t like making! My favourite would be my range of Gemstone stacking bracelets. I just love the possibilities, colour and design combinations, and shapes I can create with each bracelet individually, and then adapting the ‘look’ when stacked with other Gemstone stackers.
What inspires you?
Almost everything inspires me. The colour of a blossom tree, shapes in the clouds, the geometry of architecture, costumes on TV or film. The fluidity of a stream, to the colour palette of animals. I see inspiration in everything around me, and from other jewellers who’ve succeeded in establishing themselves. So I’m lucky that I’m rarely short of a shot of inspiration!
What challenges have you had and how have you overcome them?
I’ve had challenges finding the right direction for my jewellery designs, learning to be true to my own design vision, and not impacted on and intimidated by what other jewellers are creating. I’ve also had challenges with finding the right suppliers of Gemstones and Silver, to ensure that everything I make is eco-friendly and sustainable. I made mistakes early on with not researching enough into suppliers that shared the same values as me. I’ve come to realise that research is key for my development as a jeweller, and for the development of my business. I found out early on that social media is also something you have to invest time and effort into these days, I do have room to improve with this, I’m learning every day. It’s true that the more effort you put in, the more you are rewarded.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making things and selling?
My advice would be develop and believe in your signature design style before you begin selling through shops etc. Get to know your target market, ask them for feedback, this will help you finesse your style and marketing strategies. Make sure you keep your passion alive, dot be afraid to play around and experiment. Finally, try not to don’t burn yourself out, it’s easy to do!
If a friend or relative could describe you in one word what would it be?
What are your future plans? Any new products, branding, selling platforms?
I would love to develop my brand further by selling through new outlets, refreshing my website and social media accounts, add a new Birthstone product range, develop a wider customer base, and sell at craft fairs more often. I also dream of one day having my own Abigail’s Bead Company shop too!
I would say The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I just love the 1920’s era, and the storytelling
Elephant (closely followed by cats!)