Designer Spotlight: Carolyn Chandler
A brief story of what you do and why you do it:
I make jewellery from grosgrain ribbon and a variety of beads which I source in the local Hong kong market. I love creating, I make my own clothes and home accessories so making jewellery was the next step.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I started to make jewellery for myself and as gifts for friends who encouraged me to sell at the local handmade markets. On finding a market for my designs I opened an Etsy shop in 2010.
What makes your collection unique?
The intricate folds of my grosgrain ribbon necklaces display the beautiful beads I use. I use a unique technique for stitching my designs.
What are your inspirations?
I was initially inspired by the materials themselves as I have to source trims for my day job and started experimenting with what I had collected. I love colour and the rainbow rows of ribbons and boxes of beads in the stores never fail to
inspire new styles and colour combinations.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I love having something outside of my regular day job that brings me into contact with different people in the creative industries. I like making something with my hands and the sense of achievement when I finish each piece. Selling to people and knowing they will enjoy wearing what I've enjoyed making is really special to me.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I believe everyone is unique and therefore unusual! I was very influenced by my Grandmother who was a dresser at the opera, she encouraged me from a young age to create, giving me a sewing basket for Christmas when I was
7. I have been sewing since then and draw on the heritage I have from my family and my own travels and experiences.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
Actually getting my head around the business side of things is very hard for me as a creative person. I've had to learn how to sell as well, to tell people that my product is amazing and unique – because it is- doesn't come naturally! But thanks to an excellent mentor I've learnt how to interact with my customers and provide them with a great service. I guess this personal growth is my biggest success.