Pouss Jewellery Design

Pretty gift jewellery and workshops, Bristol UK

Creativity

Designing the new charm collection - behind the scenes

CreativityAmanda TaylorComment
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September has always been like New Year for me, even long after I left school and University. In fact I enjoy it more than New Year (new stationery, warmer weather, my Birthday). I am back to my desk still working on a new collection of jewellery, one which has been many years in the making.

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I’ll be making a limited and seasonal collection of precious silver and gold charms, cast from original designs based on vintage pieces from my (significant) charm collection. This is something I dreamed of doing when I started to make jewellery, from my love of my Grandmother’s charm bracelet. Years ago I would sell the vintage charms that I found and sourced, but part of me couldn’t bear to let the really special ones go. These are the basis for my new designs, which are being beautifully cast for me in the UK by a fantastic maker.

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Casting in metal and designing the jewellery takes time, and I’m not rushing to get anything out until i’m 100% happy with it. I’ve taken the past few weeks over the summer to get back into designer mode, drawing, sketching and making, photographing everything I can, reading and sourcing colour inspiration everywhere. I’m still honing this down to a cohesive collection but once I’m there you will be the first to know. You can subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to hear about the limited collection launch when all of the pieces are ready.

I will still have my range of personalised jewellery too, in fact I hope that the new collection will be able to incorporate some personalised initial elements also.

-Amanda x

Top 5 books for small creative business - my recommended reads

CreativityAmanda TaylorComment
Pouss Design recommended small business books Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert

Pouss Design small creative business books

I could easily choose 50 books to add to this list, such is the expanse on my bookshelf. I love reading in general, choosing my top five books for small creative businesses was hard. I’ve gone for five books that will inspire, educate, uplift and challenge your thoughts on the creative process. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have:

  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    It took me a few attempts to start to read this book, I couldn’t get into for some reason. I persevered as so many people had told me how brilliant this book is, and it is! This is my go to when my creative flow is low and I’m feeling a bit unstuck or unsure. Each chapter is short and digestible, full of wisdom, common sense and motivation. If you are seeking inspiration or a lift to action then this is the book to pick up. If you love it also check out the accompanying podcast of the same name.

  2. The Element - How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson
    After his watching his super TED talk I knew I had to read Ken Robinson’s book. Inspiring and humorous, I love the real life relatable stories of famous people and what they were like at school. The essence of the book explores how delving back into our passions in childhood can help us to reimagine paths for our adult lives now. Fun fact, he’s also a fellow Liverpudlian!

  3. Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone
    This is the follow up to the hugely popular Style Your Brand by Fiona (which I equally love and if you don’t have it then do try to get hold of a copy). A beautiful, tactile, glossy and gorgeous read with stunning photographs this is a real visual feast for creative inspiration. Practical advice and lessons make this a complete guide you can’t be without if you are serious about your brand reflecting your values and ethos coherently. Fiona is the master of this for small creative businesses and she imparts so much knowledge in her own flair in this book.

  4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
    If you are stuck, feeling anxious or nervous about decisions or feeling you are unsure what direction to take I highly recommend this practical book. Filled with anecdotes and real life relatable examples it’s a motivational and common sense read to give you the kick up the bum that you are looking for.

  5. The Psychopath Test by John Ronson
    Scary, and a bit of an unconventional addition to my top five, but honestly this book if superb. If you are interesting in the psychology behind what makes people who they are then you will love this. I’ve included it as sometimes it’s nice to read something slightly off kilter when you are looking for a creative reboot. This book made me realise how many things I have that I take for granted in the context of the strangeness that is the world that we live in. A bit deep, but a life affirming and eye opening read underneath the darkness of the subject matter.

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Pouss Design creative small business books Ken Robinson Your Passion Changes Everything

Kit list for beginners metal stamping

Creativity, Events, WorkshopsAmanda TaylorComment
Jewellery workshop hand stamped bracelets pouss design
pouss design metal stamped bracelets jewellery workshop

I’ve been running hand stamping workshops over the past 2 years now (wow time flies!) and love being able to teach and pass on jewellery knowledge. I know not everyone can make it to a workshop so if you want to give stamping onto metal a try here is my beginners kit list.

I will be selling starter metal stamping kits at my future workshops - if you’re interested in these do sign up to my newsletter and I will let you know when they’re available.

-Amanda x

Kit list for hand stamped jewellery by Pouss Design


*My Amazon links are affiliated which means that I receive a small commission if you purchase any of my recommended products.

Style your craft market stall - my top 5 tips

Creativity, EventsAmanda TaylorComment
Photo by  Ellie Longhurst of Little Paisley Designs . Etsy Made Local in City Hall, College Green Bristol in December 2018

Photo by Ellie Longhurst of Little Paisley Designs. Etsy Made Local in City Hall, College Green Bristol in December 2018

You’ve chosen a craft market to attend, your fees are paid, your items are ready(ish) - but how will you set up a beautiful enticing display for potential customers? With a million and one other things to do the answer may be ‘who knows?’ - so here are some handy tips to help with your next market display.

Interior of  Anthropologie , Orlando, Florida, USA taken in April 2019

Interior of Anthropologie, Orlando, Florida, USA taken in April 2019

Anthropologie  is my favourite shop, each store has its own unique style but is still distinctly part of the brand

Anthropologie is my favourite shop, each store has its own unique style but is still distinctly part of the brand

These are a few tips and tricks that I have used over my years displaying at markets, designing displays for shops and styling inside of shops too.

Height - Most stalls, regardless of what you sell, will look better with varying heights to help display your items rather than all being on a flat surface. You don’t have to have anything fancy to do this, I used to use old cardboard boxes wrapped in lovely wrapping paper (see the 2016 Etsy in Bristol pop up shop window display for evidence!). This is a really inexpensive way to add depth and interest to the basic layout of your market table. You can also invest in acrylic stands (I have used these from Morplan) or a larger sturdy wooden stand if your budget allows for this.

Bird Can Fox  at Etsy Made Local Market

Bird Can Fox at Etsy Made Local Market

Alignment - symmetry is your friend. In a sea of amazing and overwhelming choice at markets I always think that an ordered and considered display really stands out. Even if each of your items is unique, you can still create balance and symmetry by having similar shaped items or coloured items together, laid out evenly. I don’t think this needs to be rigid, I just find that my eye is drawn to order when I am in surrounded by lots of choice. I wonder if there’s some psychology behind this? Answers on a postcard!

A gorgeous stall by  Annah of Girl and Bird  at Etsy Made Local December 2018. Photo by  Ellie Longhurst of Little Paisley Designs

A gorgeous stall by Annah of Girl and Bird at Etsy Made Local December 2018. Photo by Ellie Longhurst of Little Paisley Designs

Signage - beautiful on brand signs will really elevate your aesthetic and create a professional impression to customers. There are so many options to choose from, banners from Vistaprint, A4 signs you can print yourself, lasercut wooden signs or even small acrylic frames to display your business cards. I love Ellie from Little Paisley Designs market stalls, they look so warm, interesting and professional, like a little pop up Anthropologie store which appeals to me on so many levels!

Make sure that any signage fits cohesively with your brand identity, including colours and the choice of materials. For instance as much as I love green glitter it wouldn’t be the right choice for my market stall display.

My Pouss Design display at Etsy Made Local Bristol, December 2018

My Pouss Design display at Etsy Made Local Bristol, December 2018

Props - chosen carefully and without dominating a display, carefully curated props can really enhance your craft stall. I always like to use fresh or dried flowers in little posy arrangements to complement the delicate and pretty nature of my jewellery in my signature pastel colours (like the ones pictured below made for me by the gorgeous Lucy Coco Floristy for Etsy Made Local). Using dried flowers will give you more longevity and you could use them in product photos too. I’ve also styled pop up shops using small succulents on glass and ceramic white tiles (sourced from Ikea and B&Q!). Props don’t need to be expensive, usually you can find items at home or items that you use to style your photographs. I love to hunt for potential props at DIY stores (wallpaper samples to wrap on boxes, paint samples to paint offcuts of wood, tile samples for displaying things). If you’re selling jewellery then don’t forget to take a mirror so that customers can try on your designs and see them (also don’t forget to take cleaning things like a duster and some Mr Sheen for the mirror, I speak from experience!).

Have you seen any amazing market stalls or shops lately? Let me know, I always love to discover new designer and makers.

-Amanda x

Make your jewellery - my workshop at Creative Space, North Street, Bedminster, Bristol

Workshops, Events, CreativityAmanda TaylorComment
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Another month, another workshop, but this time in the lovely light of Creative Space on North Street, Bedminster, Bristol. My workshop studio for the evening was set up to welcome eight makers to create their own hand stamped jewellery, this time a set of four bracelets.

I love teaching people to make their own jewellery, it’s so satisfying to see the different pieces that people design and make. Metal stamped jewellery is particularly satisfying as the more practice you have, the easier it becomes.

A co-ordinate bracelet made by Kayleigh in my workshop

A co-ordinate bracelet made by Kayleigh in my workshop

The trend for stamped jewellery is still strong this year, the ability to personalise jewellery yourself so easily is what drew me to this style. I’ve noticed that co-ordinates and dates are my most popular request for personalised bracelets this year so far, with lots of brides giving them as gifts for their bridesmaids which is lovely.

Pinterest boards provide inspiration for making finished hand stamped bracelets

Pinterest boards provide inspiration for making finished hand stamped bracelets

I opened up the inspiration station for this workshop, featuring Pinterest boards and creative magazines such as Frankie and Mollie Makes to give ideas for finished bracelet designs. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what designs to choose to stamp to make your bracelets when the choice is limitless! I loved seeing the range of designs that everyone made, co-ordinates of hometowns, names, birthdays and even some Beyonce quotes (because why not!).

Creative Space on North Street set up for my Pouss Design jewellery stamping workshop

Creative Space on North Street set up for my Pouss Design jewellery stamping workshop

I love this light workspace in the heart of some brilliant independent businesses in BS3. I lived in this neighbourhood for many years as a student, it was a bit different back then (it was a long time ago!). It’s now thriving with a mix of small businesses, Creative Space included, plus the gorgeous Albatross Cafe, The Old Bookshop, Rhubarb Jumble, Toyville, Mon Pote and so many more, definitely worth a visit when you’re next in the area.

If you’re interested in DIY’s, crafting or learning some new skills there are a heap of workshops on at Creative Space. I’ve spied a lampshade workshop by Hannah Redden that I’m going to book onto shortly. Emma, who owns the studio, is a talented upholsterer and hosts a short evening course throughout the year, if you walk past the window you’ll see some of her refurbished pieces. I hope to be back in BS3 soon for another workshop, in the meantime let me know what you would fancy making if I run some more workshops by leaving a comment below.

-Amanda x

Bristol Etsy Made Local Market 2nd December 2017

shopping, CreativityAmanda TaylorComment

A one stop shop for all of your Christmas gifts - sounds too good to be true? Bristol's finest independent artisan shops and businesses will be together for one day only to help you solve your Christmas gift list. Head down to the M Shed this Saturday to discover presents and treats from over 50 independent local designers and makers as part of Etsy Made Local 2017. Ranging from ceramics, jewellery, stationery, cards and fashion, this will be a treasure trove of local talent and thoughtfully made pieces that will be sure to delight this Christmas. 

Bristol Etsy Made Local 2016

Bristol Etsy Made Local 2016

I've picked out my favourites that you will be able to find at the market this weekend, if you're there quick (I'm sure these will sell out). 

 

Bird Can Fox - Recent collaborations with Anthropologie have made her treasures in porcelain and ceramic even more sought after. Be quick to get your paws on one of these beautiful handmade pieces, definitely one you won't want to gift away, keep this for yourself!

Bird Can Fox ceramic cat figurines 

Bird Can Fox ceramic cat figurines 

Little Paisley Designs - Attempt to not buy the whole stall, I dare you. I love Ellie's 2018 calendar and fridge magnets, but to be honest I could easily swipe up everything. 

Sunshine for Breakfast - Cheerful motivation can be lacking in these winter months. Pep yourself up with some feel good inspirational prints and cards for your work desk. Or gift to someone who needs a little sunshine in their life. 

Sunshine for Breakfast

Sunshine for Breakfast

Pipistrelle Design - My thing for ceramics runs deep, I can't resist these beautiful porcelain mushrooms. So tactile and even more stunning in real life, the feel of porcelain in your hands really is wonderful. 

Hello Harriet - Cat and dog lovers rejoice, hand illustrated goodies for your furry pals or pet fans in general. Go crazy for the prettiest pastels, hand lettering and illustrations from Bath based Harriet Gray. 

Hello Harriett

Hello Harriett

Bristol Etsy Team are hosting Etsy Made Local on 2nd December from 10am to 4pm at M Shed, Wapping Wharf, Bristol. 

Amanda x 

Macrame workshop at The Forge and meeting Insta friends in real life

CreativityAmanda TaylorComment
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I find the best solution for a lack of creativity is to try something completely different. When my Insta friend, Susana of Tent Living, told me that she would be in Bristol to host a workshop at the beautiful Forge, Bristol it was the perfect tonic to a frustrating period of writers and makers block. 

Macrame is the delicate art of knotting cord and/or string together to form patterns that come together to make wall hangings, plant pot holders, hammocks, room dividers, there are so many options. 

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Friendship bracelets were one of my teenage loves so I assumed macrame would be like a larger version of that. And I found that it was. Only my brain is not teenage anymore and riddled with 3 years of sleepless nights from a toddler. I had a real problem with left and right (who knew!). 

Regardless of this, Susana was such a fantastic, patient teacher. And I loved how even with the same set of instructions each student came out with a completely different type of macrame wall hanging. 

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When you concentrate on a series of knots it can get quite intense, concentration is definitely required. But stepping back to see the little knots become patterns and finally something quite satisfying and complete was wonderful. I'm not sure I've ever given myself 3 hours to just solely concentrate on tying knots, but it was a very calming experience. Some related it to knitting, the same momentum and relaxing rhythm of repetitive motion. 

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Have you ever met any online friends in real life? Susana and I met on Instagram through a follow Friday feature earlier this year, I loved her feed (minimal, pastels, beautifully telling the story of her making journey). In real life her creativity is infectious and she is bursting with wonderful ideas and talents (such as antique treasure hunting). We related over the creative frustrations of a the corporate world, realities of earning enough, being a good enough mother, having time to do it all, should we even be doing it all, insta mums, marketing - we packed a lot in to such a short time. And the wonderful thing about meeting people from online, you already feel like you know them. Conversations start off as if they are a continuation of something you started before. 

Isn't social media great? I bloody love Twitter. I'm not so sure about Instagram right now. But I should be more grateful to it as it has given me what I would now consider a real life and online friend. And a love of tying knots. 

-Amanda x