10 tips to re-branding

Change & Transformation

In today’s blog I am going to give you a look  behind the scenes of how I am re-branding my business plus give you 10 useful tips to help you do the same with your own business. Plus I’m going to be sharing a new product release.

I’m almost ready to celebrate the anniversary of The Earth Faeries jewellery business. In June it will be a whole year since I set up my little baby. Time certainly flies when you are having fun.

In the past year I have made my products and packaging greener. My business cards are 100% recylced paper from sustainable forests.

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No bubble wrap here. I’m using shredded and upcycled cardboard to protect products in transit and which you can use to package your own goods.

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I have stopped using fimo modelling clay due to it being a type of plastic and have converted to cold porcelain and the brand I use is 70% natural ingredients and gives a more porcelain like finish. It’s fairly strong so wont break if dropped it but still needs to be treated with tender loving care.

No plastic bags here. I have invested in jute bags which is made from the jute plant and one of the most eco friendly materials available. You can use these to store things in or use to put your own gifts in for others.

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I sourced out eco friendly bio degradable and compostable glitters in a range of lovely colours so you can still have glitzy without compromising the planet. Each year … plastic ends up in our land fills and works its way into the sea having a major effect on our wild life. I decided that I didn’t want to be a part of the problem but wanted to be a part of the solution. You also get two products in one. They are cosmetic grade so you can utilize the glitter found in the faerie jars that are keepsakes or used as ornaments and can also add them to your eye shadows or nail varnishes to glitter like a faerie. I also offer gold glitter which is not featured here.

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My new logo which I just recently designed is staying as I feel she will still represent my new brand.

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Big Positive Changes coming

One the biggest changes I have recently made and I mean very recently – last night in fact was to seise using real authentic pearls in my wedding jewellery. The change was brought about by a friend showing me how they collect the pearls and what they do to the mollusks to retrieve them. Being a vegetarian it didn’t fit in with my ethics or my brand. I understand there will always be people who love and wear authentic pearls and I appreciate that. However I have decided to go vegan friendly and make Swarovski pearl jewellery for brides looking for an eco friendly alternative without compromising on the quality or look of the items. Swarovski Pearls that are made of glass.   They are high luster, sweat proof so you don’t have to clean them like authentic pearls and are more durable so they last longer. Plus they come in an even greater selection of colours.

The events that have transpired over the past day has really made me rethink my branding so my products appeal to the audience I want to reach.  There was a lot of effort that went into getting the pictures and videos of my pearl jewellery on my part and on the part of the people who collaborated with me to do the wedding shoots. And I am very grateful for all of their help! For now I will keep some of the pictures featured in my wedding jewellery shop until I can get some new ones featuring the Swarovski pearls. The designs are still the same and the items will still look the same but they will be Swarovski pearls which are great for vegans and no longer authentic pearls.

How my re-branding is affecting me?

Re-branding is serious business but when your brand no longer reflects the message you want it to its time to consider having a re-brand.  When making changes to our branding it obviously has a knock on effect in other areas too. One of them being my earth faeries characters which are featured in my faerie stories on my website. Pearl luster who also has a pet pearl called Loomie and which I’m currently having drawn up at the moment by an artist. I’m deep in thought at the moment as to how to get round this and as soon as I know you will be the first to know as I’ll write a blog on it. But it is better to get it right at this stage rather than another year down the line.  If anyone has any ideas on how I could resolve this I would really appreciate it.

My New Product Announcement

When I first started my business I was making little customized faerie charms that I made into necklaces. Each one was hand painted and made of fimo polymer clay which I am no longer using as it is technically a plastic. I stopped making them as I have been on the search for a more eco friendly product so I can start making them again.  Enter cold porcelain. After ordering a batch which crumbled and cracked I was dubious. But I had read great reviews from other professional artists that were using it with great success. Obviously I hadn’t found the right brand but I kept looking. And finally I found a fantastic brand that does what it says on the box. It’s mostly made of flour and 70% of the ingredients is natural and it gives you a good quality product with a beautiful porcelain like finish. Whilst not 100% natural it is a step in the right direction.

Here is a look at the faerie charm made out of cold clay that I have made. She isn’t finished yet it has to be sanded, hand painted and a gem put in her hand. I will put the finished item up for you to see when I have finished her. She takes 24 hours to dry and about two hours to paint. I have to build the colour up in stages and wait for each coat to dry.

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Now to start sanding her and painting her. She will put on a cord necklace with 925 silver claps. She will be available in my shop on here to buy.

6 Tips For Re-branding

So if you are thinking of re-branding your own business here some useful tips that are helping me at the moment:

  • Look at who your customers are and ask yourself do my items appeal to them.
  • Ask yourself does my brand fit in with my and my customers ethics? You have to be comfortable with what your selling and if it doesn’t feel right then ask yourself how can I make my products more sustainable & ethical. Some times you may have to have a whole new re-brand like me which means going back to basics. But it’s better to get it right than having a business where no-one is buying anything because your not providing items that your audience are interested in. Or you are making money from it but your not happy with the effect your products are having on the environment. I identify with the latter.
  • Give serious thought as to why your re-branding. It is a lot more than just getting your logo redesigned so strategies and strong vision are needed.
  • Think about hiring an expert or read as many articles that have created by branding experts.
  • Develop a strategy for announcing it to the world and explain how its going to positively effect their experience with your business. I have tried to do this in this article by showing you the benefits you will receive from choosing my products.
“With so much weight on the actual rebrand, it’s easy to forget about the strategy for announcing it to the world. When developing the strategy, it’s crucial to remember people don’t care about names or logos — they care about how the re-brand is going to positively change their experience with your company. At the same time, most people fight change. Make sure you’re not leaving behind the things people love about your company. You must articulate why this is better — explain they’ll still get the parts they already love plus new, exciting benefits.” – Shannon Fitzgerald, brand strategist
So with that quote in mind you will still get the parts you love such as custom made products, great service and good quality products plus a greater range of colours to choose from. But the items you’ll use in your home or wear will be making the planet & animals smile too.
Do you have any re-branding tips that have worked for you? Please share as I would love to hear.

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5 Tips To Gain Energy & Momentum To Achieve Your Goals.

In this blog I thought I’d give you an inside look at my new product line and how I’m getting the balance between business and life. I’m also going to give you some tips that have worked for me to energize me so I have the motivation and momentum to achieve all of my other goals.

Sunny Wales!

The sun is shining here in Wales and I’ve been in my garden taking some pictures of some hand crafted rose hair slides that I have made. Each petal is hand crafted to form the rose and I have had many happy hours making them. They are a new product line. I’m not a professional photographer but its a skill I have had to learn and am learning which I’m enjoying thoroughly. Getting the lighting right can be quite tricky as my garden is mostly full of sunshine but I was up early today and found a lovely shaded spot that didn’t reflect any shadows.

My new product line. Hand made sculptured roses on hair slides.

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Finding That Business/Life Balance

It’s easy as a business owner to focus on just one part of my life which is my business and forget about other parts. But this year has been all about getting more of that biz life balance which is crucial for a happy life. I have been making more time for things that are important to me for example spending more time with loved ones , my friends, and walking in the countryside with our dog.

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Our dog just being!

I’ve also been learning how to be. As the Italians would say ‘l’arte di non fare nulle.’ which translates into the art of doing nothing.

Here is me just being or as some would say doing nothing.

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It is moments like this just sat on my swing in my garden with the stunning views of the rockery, roses and panoramic views of countryside that I reconnect to my own inner power source and gain powerful insights to move me forward. It also helps me feel more creative and energizes me.

One of the things I have noticed since starting my business is that apart from writing my blog I haven’t been writing any poetry which is my other passion. My excuse is I have no time or no energy. So I made a conscious decision to make more time and make more energy! And that was done through going out in my garden.

As I sat in my garden today just admiring the new rose buds on the bushes, the poppies and the lilacs in full bloom in all of their glory I had an urge to write my poetry. Nature certainly is great at inspiring me and she aligns me and gets me back in flow.

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Yellow poppy

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Lilacs

It really uplifted me to be sat next to the flowers, watching the bees collect their pollen and hear the sounds of the cows and sheep in neighboring fields. I finally created a poem that I feel captures the beauty of my favorite flower..the rose. I thought that I would share it with you to brighten your day too or if your day is already bright to make it brighter.

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White rose

The gift

Beautiful beautiful roses
In abundance everywhere
So delicate & strong
They are indeed lovely to share

Satin soft petals perfectly formed
Jagged strong green leaves
Such delightful fragrances
It’s magic it weaves

It engages our senses
It’s such a beautiful sight
A gift from the universe
That’s sure to delight.

By Melanie J Molloy

My poetry is important to me so its surprising to see that this is the first poem that I’ve created in the last six months. Finding the time for things that are important to me is crucial not only for a more successful life but also a happier and more fulfilling one. If we focus on just one aspect which sometimes I do and it’s normally my business then I find it impacts on other areas. Too many hours on your business affects well being and relationships. Alternatively if I spend too many hours on relationships and not enough on my business then it would effect my income an so on.  It really is about getting the balance. And I’ve discovered it’s a continuous process. But to get that balance we have to replenish and fill our own cup up to the brim otherwise it’s a catch 22. I much prefer to go forward rather than in circles.

If you are a bride to be who needs your energy to organize your wedding or you are a business owner striving for the energy to get that biz life balance then here are 4 tips to help you do this that have worked for me:

  • Keep a diary of days of events for the week – from getting up to going to bed. Note everything you do even down to the TV programs you watch. Omit three unnecessary things your doing (it could be TV programs) and either replace with actions to achieve important goals or replace with time just doing nothing. The latter will give you the energy and momentum to get you started on your goals.
  • Go out in nature and find your favorite flower or one that attracts you and just focus on it for a couple of moments. Observe its beauty, its colour, it’s fragrance and maybe even gently touch it so you can feel its texture. Engaging all of your senses to experience nature is exhilarating and raises energy levels immediately. Breath deeply, close your eyes and then open them again continuing to be mindful (observant)  on the flower whilst breathing deeply. You will find that there is a mutual transference of energy between you and the plant. You will find yourself energized, connected and feeling more creative. It is such a wonderful way to feel.
  • Sit in a beautiful place for at least ten minutes. It could be in the countryside or in your garden but make sure it’s somewhere quiet. Just sit there or lay down and practice the art of doing nothing. Your focus should be totally on your breathing. You’ll feel that beautiful brain muscle breath a sigh of relief as it gets a much needed rest. You’ll be surprised how much clarity you will have after doing this.
  • Recite these words as many times as you can every day ‘I always have extra time, extra freedom and motivation for my goals, for the people and other things that are important to me.’  Your brain is listening to every word you say and your body responds accordingly to the messages you give it. This is what is meant by that mind body connection. Saying this on consistent basis every day will deliver amazing results.
  • Stick the above mantra on sticky notes and put it on your bathroom mirror and on your computer. In fact any where and everywhere you are most likely to spend a lot of time in so it imprints on your subconscious. This will help you manifest your ideal reality.

It’s still a beautiful sunny day today. It’s time to take a rest from my computer and go out in the garden. I’m off to practice the art of ‘doing nothing’. Have a magical Tuesday 🙂

What tips do you have to replenish and motivate yourself?

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10 Interesting Facts About Roses

In today’s blog I am going to show you where I get my inspiration from and also share ten facts about about my favorite flower that often creeps into my jewellery. I am also going to tell you where my obsession with them came from.

For those who know me you’ll know I’m obsessed with roses which often reflects in the type of jewellery I make. It started when I was about 10 and my nana bought me a rose for my garden which was named after me and called Melanie. It was a yellow rose with the edges all flecked with red. The fact someone had bought me a rose and it was named after me made 10 year old me feel really special. And I think that was were the bond was formed and hence why they have always been my favorite flower.

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This picture was taken of the roses in my garden. Photograph by Chelsea Louise Haden Loving Life In Wellies Blog

I was in love with the smell, the silky texture and in awe of its beauty and how delicate it was yet strong at the same time. And so it started my love affair with them. And that rose is still in my mum’s garden today flourishing and thriving and looking as beautiful as ever. It obviously knows the secret to eternal youth!

My mum has always had a garden full of them and I remember making perfume out of the leaves when I was a teenager. Over the years I have met others who have magnificent rose gardens and have made rose jam out of the petals which I have yet to try. Rose petals are very versatile and last year I made a rose face tonic from my own petals that worked wonders for my skin and made me smell beautiful as well.

In my early twenties my passion for them led me to learn how to start crafting roses out of polymer clays. I used to have a hand full of them around the house as ornaments. And now more than twenty years later I have decided to start making them again. What started as a hobby and putting them up on face book to show my friends what I’d made and the interest in them has led to me to add them to my shop. I normally make roses out of silicone moulds but since taking up the craft of sculpturing them again I’ve put my silicone moulds away and am now enjoying crafting each individual petal. Here are some I have made:

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I often get asked where I get my inspiration from and its often the garden, garden magazines or even the statuses that my face book friends post. I’ll study a rose and think to myself ‘I’d love to recreate you’ and off I go to my workshop. But it’s not just roses I love it’s all flowers and have been studying blue bells wondering if I could turn my hand at them too. That will be a future project.

Although I have always appreciated roses for their beauty I have to admit I have never known a lot about them. It is only since I got my house last year which has a huge garden that’s got quite its ample share of roses in it that I started to get really interested in how to look after them and find out more about them. I’d like to share with you some of the tips to looking after them that I have learned over the past year and some interesting facts about them.

Ten Interesting facts About Roses

  • Roses are woody perennials
  • They came from china
  • They thrive in sunny well drained soil
  • Plant them between November and February. If growing them in a pot you can plant them any time
  • It is estimated there is 100-150 species
  • Roses come from the Rosaceae family and bear the Latin name Rosa.
  • The prickles on stems are there to deter predators
  • The first hybrid rose was introduced in 1867 by Jean-Baptiste Guillot. All roses before that date are known as old garden roses. The roses that come after that date are called modern garden roses.
  • If you want your roses to grow big and strong pruning is necessary. You can do this mid February and mid March.
  • Many varieties are cultivated but there are still varieties that grow in the wild.

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This is another picture of another rose in my garden. Photograph taken by Chelsea Louise Haden Loving Life In Wellies Blog

Where do you get your inspiration from and do you have any favorite flowers? Have any of you been inspired to make jewellery out them?

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9 Interesting Facts About Jute

Here at the Earth Faeries in beautiful sunny Wales I am always working to make my products and packaging more eco friendly. I always say it is great wearing jewellery as it creates beautiful feelings and memories but we still have to have a planet to live on to be able to wear it. That’s why I’m always striving to use the most Eco friendly materials. I thought that I would use this blog to show you some of the new materials I have been working with and how they are good for the environment. Plus give you some interesting facts about Jute.

My New Packaging

I use acid free tissue paper, recycled and up cycled boxes and recycled business cards too.

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More recently I have been looking at eco friendly bags too. I finally decided to go with Jute bags as they seemed the most eco friendly option.

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Here are some interesting facts about Jute:

  • Jute is made from natural fibre from the outer stem of the jute plant
  • It has a wide range of applications and is used in cosmetics, paint and fabrics
  • Its entirely biodegradable
  • Jute fibre is recyclable
  • The bags are hard wearing and the large bags can replace carrier bags thus cutting down on plastic
  • It can be grown without pesticide and if grown with it it requires the minimum to flourish
  • Jute crops grow really quickly and reach adult hood in under six months which means it offers a greater crop yield. This means less land is used and therefore reduces the need to encroach upon wilderness and natural habitats
  • It absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere keeping our air nice and fresh
  • The woody core of jute plant has the potential to meet the majority of wood needs thus helping towards reduction of deforestation

I use glitter in my little faerie jars which not many people realize is made of plastics which didn’t sit right with me as they say. I have been on the hunt for some biodegradable ones and glitters that are compostable and have finally found them. These gorgeous glitters are 100% biodegradable. The colours are limited but the company said they will be adding to them. They have them in gold, silver, violet and pink so I bought all of the colours. They are cosmetic grade so they can also be used as nail glitter and eye shadow too.

pink glitter  purple glitter silver glitter

I also sent off for some cold porcelain which is more eco friendly than the polymer clay I currently work with however I am not happy with the brand I bought. It tends to crack so the search is still on. I will keep you posted when I find it!

If anyone has ever worked with cold porcelain before and have a great brand that you are using then I’d be grateful if you could point me in the right direction.

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14 Reasons To Buy Hand Made

I started making hand made items about twenty years ago for my friends but in the past year have turned my passion into a new venture. Apart from loving making things there are many other reasons why I make hand made and also buy others hand made stuff rather than buy mass produced. In this blog I’m going to look at the many benefits of  buying hand made goods.

  • You know you are supporting a small businesses live their dreams and be able to support themselves and their families from doing something they love.
  • Personal customer service. You create a direct relationship with the designer or artist and become part of their extended family.
  • Feel good factor. When someone makes something personally for you apart of them..their love..their essence goes into the item they make and that essence is passed onto you when you receive it. It is like a sprinkling of magic faerie dust that stays with you. You can feel that energy.
  • Great quality product. The love for what they do means they normally pay more attention to detail so you can assured of a great quality product.
  • Stand out from a crowd. Having something custom made means your not a slave to fashion. If the shops are full of a certain colour then you can guarantee you’ll get to be unique by having the colour or style you’d like to wear made up for you.
  • Helping others to flourish. 10% of all my profits go to charity so you know your purchase is helping a good cause.
  • Helping to abolish sweat shops. Hand made products are made by a real artisan and not by children in sweat shops nor adults who are paid pennies a day. You may pay a bit more for the hand made item but you know you are helping to abolish that trade, and support a small business with good ethics who are dedicated to sustainability and ethically sourced materials. You are also paying the artisan for their quality, experience and talent.
  • Hand made products help communities. Studies have shown that many business owners who make hand made products are more likely to spend their profits in local community based businesses in their area.
  • Hand made products can serve your needs better. Because your dealing with the artisan direct they may be open to tweaking the item of the product to specifically fit your needs.
  • Hand crafted products are unique. There are fewer of those products than the ones mass produced so you get to stand out and express your personality more.
  • Hand crafted products are good for the environment. They take less energy to make them than mass produced items made by machines and on a production line. They use less electricity, no machinery, less waste so it makes them more environmentally sustainable.
  • Smaller scale – higher quality. Hand makers take enormous pride in their work and you can be assured that if there is a defect in their work they will want to fix it for you.
  • It keeps the age old skills alive so we can pass them on to future generations.

Can you think of any other reasons why you buy handmade? Please share.

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7 Top Jewellery Quotes

In today’s blog I am going to look at the quotes that most inspire me. I have hundreds of quotes on sticky notes all put in various places in my house. They often give me ideas for jewellery, encourage me to keep doing what I am doing  and also make me smile. Words can center you, allow you to fly high and even help you get your focus back.  It’s surprising how a couple of words can really uplift my day.  Often just like a piece of jewellery that has been created a lot of thought has gone into a quote. And one could say a quote is piece of art! Here are seven jewellery quotes that I love.

 7 Top Jewellery Quotes That Inspire Me

“When you buy something made from a person, there is something special there, and you do feel it. The consciousness with which a thing is made is often more important than the thing itself.”

         J Donald Walters

     “Each day is a gem, different in kind, size, and color and yours to polish!
Carolanne Reynolds

      “I have enough jewellery.” said no one.

          Anonymous

   .  “Jewellery is a personal thing..it should tell a story about the person who is    wearing it.”

Gavance Dane

“Every piece of jewellery tells a story.”

Gem Hunt

“I’ve never thought of my jewellery as trophies. I’m here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty.”
Elizabeth Taylor

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I love collecting jewellery quotes so please feel free to share your favorite quote in the comment section.

Please find my hand made jewellery here

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4 Top Branding Tips for your Business

In today’s blog I am going to give you a look behind the scenes of The Earth Faeries. It has been a busy start to the month and apart from making jewellery for my customers I’ve been working on my branding, business cards, doing stock checks, and updating my business plan. Plus I have been learning lots!

Talking of stock checks it was time to do a big order from my suppliers. It’s always a good idea to do regular orders for your materials as when you receive an order from your customers there is no waiting round for it to come through. I love when the post man comes as I’ve been receiving lots of nice packages in the mail lately. And today is no exception as two large boxes greet me. Big boxes of craft supplies always puts a smile on my face.

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I have a craft stall in August in Whittington in  Shropshire so I’m preparing for it now. I have bought some crafting materials i.e polymer clays and  a variety of beautiful black velvet jewellery display stands for necklaces earrings and bracelets. I’m just waiting for some more polyer clays and jewellery display stands to display my choker necklaces that I have made.

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I have learned from my first stall where my jewellery was laid on the tables with no decorations or table cloth. And the second stall I did I had a table cloth that had so much detail on that it detracted from the jewellery. It’s a cringe moment now I know everything I do is part of my branding but it is a good learning experience.  You could say my business reflects my personality so its always a good idea to make a good impression. This year I’m also equipped with a beautiful table cloth for my stand plus some table decorations to uplift anyone who views my work. I think it also makes your craft stall look so much more appealing and welcoming  It certainly has been a year of learning but in a good way.

I have also been investing in myself and working on my self development. My daughter bought me a Leonie Dawson business work book that has been helping me make much progress. There is so much to do when you start a business and making the jewellery is only a small part of it. There is stock checks, book keeping, creative time looking for ideas, marketing, branding, packing, craft stalls, and networking. That’s not to mention all of the time I’ve spend researching all of the online shops so I choose the right one for me. It’s looking like I’m going with Folksy which is a British company. I will keep you posted when I open my online shop. I’ve also had to find the time or as I say make the time for other things that are important to me too such as hobbies, friends and other goals etc.  This book certainly has helped me and would thoroughly recommend to people who have businesses or are even planning on opening one.

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One of the things I have been working on this year is my logo. I think it was one of the hardest parts of the business so far. I had some ideas for example I knew I wanted a faerie and I knew I didn’t want it to be a cartoon tinker bell type one. But when it came to colors I was stumped. Choosing a logo is a lot more than going for your favorite color as it represents your whole brand and either attracts the right type of customers to you or not. So getting it right was crucial!

Here are some tips on having your logo designed:

  1. Know who your customers are. For example what they buy, what magazines they read, what’s important to them. This will help you create the right colours, image and words to appeal to your audience not only on your business cards but on your website, in your blogs and newsletters to name but a few.
  2. Look around the internet for examples of other logos in your field to give you ideas.
  3. Give your designer as much information as possible about your business colours, your target audience i.e women getting married who have children, are 35 years young and are business owners who care about the environment. The more you know who your customers are the more you can give them what they want. Which means being able to make jewellery they love and also write articles they are interested in reading.
  4. Create a pinterest account and make some boards under the secret option and pin them with examples of others logos. This gives your designer a feel for what you want. The secret board is where you can keep your own images to look at and where other people can’t view them without your permission.

 

I shouldn’t have worried about getting my perfect logo designed because my designer, a lovely lady by the name of  Charlotte Mike Cob from F & R Designs really worked her magic wand. And so the earth faeries logo was born. Here she is. I love her. What do you think?

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I have just ordered some business ca20170505_093333-1_resizedrds from Moo and they have arrived today! I chose to design them myself which was relatively easy as the lay out is all there and all you have to do is upload your pictures and logo as well as write your text. I went with Moo as they have something called printfinity which means that you can upload up to 50 product pictures on the back of your cards. Meaning I have a nice little portfolio to give to my prospective customers when I hand them my business card.

I ordered the green version of cards which are 100% recycled from sustainable forests and come in a lovely recycled pulp box to fit in with my ethics. They are also hand packed meaning no machinery so they are good for the environment.

Although I love all aspects of my business I think my most enjoyable parts of it apart from making the jewellery is photographing it in my own garden and doing wedding shoots. Doing the wedding shoots means I get to see behind the scenes actions on the photo shoot which is interesting and fun. Plus I meet lots of lovely business and creative people in the process.

I love being outside in nature and some of the professional wedding shoots I have collaborated in  have been in beautiful locations which have really helped raise my vibration.  I believe that a persons energy goes into the products they make so the more happier, creative and inspired I am the more my jewellery is beneficial to my customers. As I say it is nice to pass feel good energy onto others.

I even got to have a beautiful horse on one of wedding shoots courtesy of my friend and neighbor Sharon Roberts owner of http://www.penyfedwcottage.co.uk where we had the photography wedding shoot.

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Photography by Philip Antrobus

 

What’s the most enjoyable part of your business?

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7 Unusual Ways To Display Jewellery

Creative Items & Places To Display Your Jewellery

It has been quite a while since I wrote my last blog because I have had writers block & repetitive strain injury.  Not a nice words I know and something I’ve never been able to understand as have never had it until now.   Plus more recently I have also been nursing my little furry friend (my cat Mr D) back to full health so took a break from writing.  However I am back now feeling as creative as ever and note to self to slow down! Despite not updating my blog there has still  been a lot going on behind the scenes of The Earth Faeries from booking craft stalls to improving my photography skills, servicing my clients and having my new logo designed to name but a few.

I have been playing around with different types of back grounds to display my jewellery. I’m very close to opening my online shop ( it’s a choice between Folksy or The Craft Stall Collective) and regardless of which one I choose I need lots of pictures. That’s okay if you are a professional photographer but I’m not so its been a huge learning curve and I’m still learning. Nether the less it has been a fun & magical experience. I thought I would use this blog to show you some of the unusual places or things I’ve used to photograph my jewellery. Some of them I have tried and some I still have to try.

Wicker basket

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I used a fruit wicker basket to photograph this. It’s surprising what you can find around the house!

Wood

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I found a piece of cut off wood in garden shed for this picture. My other house mate always uses them to photograph his art work so I thought I’d give it a try.

Back of glitter felt

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I ordered some silver glitter craft felt to make another product and used the back of it to photograph this. I loved the way there was little pieces of glitter in the felt but not many so it didn’t detract from the jewellery.

Tea cup on wood with tree bark behind

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A tea cup or china cup! I found this in our cupboard!

The grass

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This shot of my jewellery was taken on the grass by Philip Antrobus who is a professional photographer. I’ve collaborated with Philip on several projects and he has a  wealth of ideas for great places to display items. Here’s a another photograph he did for a wedding shoot I was show casing my collection in. The wellies featured Ann Dibs beautiful handmade bridal bouquet. We wanted a Welsh countryside theme as that’s where my handmade jewellery is created hence the garden and the wellies.

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Photograph by Philip Antrobus

Other ideas I haven’t tried so far are hanging earrings on painted milk bottles, tree branches, insides of books and even displaying other items of my jewellery on table coasters made out of sliced logs. You can get as creative as your imagination allows you too. When I was in school all those moons ago my teacher used to say to me Melanie stop your imagination running away with you! I say now to anyone ‘if you want to build a business or in fact do anything that requires you to step out of  comfort zone let it run and let it run very far!’

If you are avid photography fan or have a business yourself what have you used to display your jewellery or other products on?

To have a look at my range of products please click here

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8 product development tips!

Behind the scenes of the development of The Earth Faeries company

I love product development and it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my business.  It means I get to sit there with my pencil and paper doodling ideas and sketching the finished product. I use coloured pencils to play around with colours so I can get the contrast right.

I’m not an artist and my drawings may look as if a five year old has done them but they help me create the vision of what the finished product will look like. In my minds eye they don’t look like a five year old has done them thankfully and it’s that vision that helps me create beautiful pieces that I know my customers and family will love. It was my daughter who persuaded me to start to draw my ideas down on paper as she said it would really help me create them and bring them to life in my mind. And she was right and I’m so glad I didn’t let not being up to artist standard hold me back from giving it a go.

Being a crafter means I am always looking for the best materials to work with that are not only good quality but enjoyable to use too. I make a wide range of products from pearl collections, silk clay jewellery, fimo fridge magnets to hanging mobiles for babies. In this blog I’m going to look at product development which includes the type of materials I am using and at present sourcing. I am also going to give you some product development tips in-case you want to have a go at making your own.

Here are some of the items that I design and hand make:

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Pearl & clear Swarovski set

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Ivory pearl & clear/pink Swarovski set

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Blue heart shaped Swarovski crystals with silver wires

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Pink rose silk clay earrings

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Faerie jar with customized poem & a faerie necklace.(gifts from the tooth faeries)

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Wedding favors with pearl and hand made scroll and customized poem.

The beginning of a new product

I’m just in the middle of making my baby hanging mobiles however they are also great for adults too. I’m making my grown up daughter one for her bedroom. They take about 10 hours or more to make as they are hand made and hand painted but they are very relaxing to do. And the one below is a work in progress. I originally made four horses (all baked in my oven) and realized that it would look more balanced with another four so I am just in the middle of making them.

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Here’s me painting my figurines for my hanging mobile.

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These are still being painted but I’m nearly there.

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I originally sanded and painted the wooden hoop I am hanging the figurines from. I wrapped a beautiful gold shimmer ribbon around the centre of the hoop so the pink paint would still be visible either side. However although it looked beautiful it didn’t match the vision in my head. I knew I wanted this product to be very eye catching for little ones to bring them a source of pleasure and entertainment when they are lay in their cots or beds. And having had my own child I knew babies loved anything sparkly and it would capture her attention for a long time.

I envisioned  beautiful glitter flags around the hoop that would give a canopy effect so the hunt was on for the material that I could use.

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I came across glitter felt and it felt like being a child again in candy land. Felt on one side and a beautiful glitter on the other side. The felt is really easy to work with and great to trace around my hand made template triangle (for the flag canopy). It is easy to cut and  my scissors glide through it.

I currently work with Fimo which is a polymer clay but I am always always sourcing out different materials. I recently sent away for some air dry clay but I didn’t enjoy working with it.  It cracked very easily so I had to keep using lots of water on it which I enjoyed. However it didn’t do very well in the moulds and because some of my silicone moulds are very deep it didn’t dry properly. I am just looking at porcelain clay now and if I like it then there are plans to make the figurines on the hanging mobiles out of it in future.

As soon as the project is complete I will write an article on it so you can see my finished creation.

Perhaps your thinking about starting your own project but not sure how to get started. I thought I would give you some product development tips that have helped me enormously.

7 product development tips

  1. Look round on the internet or in magazines to help generate ideas. Don’t copy though. It is nice if your work is original. It can be similar but have fun adding your own twist to it.
  2. Sketch your ideas. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw as only you is going to see it. You will find it helps construct the vision of the product in your mind.
  3. If your planning on selling your product decide how your going to price yourself? For example work out how much something costs you and then selling it a price that you make a profit on. Or alternatively charge an hourly rate if the project takes a couple of hours to make.
  4. If your planning on selling what you make ensure you do your market research and find out who your target audience is and also whether there really is a need for your product.
  5. Take lots of walks in nature. All of that fresh air increases energy and adds oxygen to the brain cells which means more thinking power. With more thinking power you’re more likely to be able to use your imagination to come up with something beautiful.
  6. If making jewellery think about using a bead design board. It allows you to play around with your designs before you string them. I have one of these and it makes the design stage so much easier.

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8. Learn how to do meditation and do it every day. It will clear you mind and without the sea of endless thoughts ideas will come more readily. It will replenish you thus helping you be more productive.

And if making things isn’t for you then I offer a great selection of beautiful gift ideas for every day use and for special occasions for you to choose from. Please click the link to see them. https://theearthfaeries.com/portfolio-2/



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