After the response to my last 'A Taste of Lancashire' feature, where I showcase fabulous and local suppliers, I am so pleased to welcome Viv Smith to the blog today. Yet another perfect example of why we should shop locally and support Lancashire businesses when it comes to planning your Lancashire wedding. Here is Viv to tell us more about Poppy Sparkles.
"I’m Viv Smith, the designer maker and owner of Poppy Sparkles. I’ve been making jewellery since my early teens and selling it for nearly as long. Whilst on a career break from teaching to be a full time mum, I decided to take the opportunity to take my jewellery making and selling a step further, launching Poppy Sparkles in March 2010."
|Boho drop earrings|
How did your passion for making jewellery begin?
"Forbidden to have my ears pierced and not keen on the clip on earrings available, I began to make my own earrings. I quickly developed a passion for jewellery making and an obsession with beads, especially sparkly crystal. Mostly self-taught, I progressed to making necklace, bracelets and even hair accessories. I love making and crafting, but jewellery is my first and deepest love of all my hobbies and one that I have sought to take further."
"With a fondness for freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal making wedding jewellery comes naturally. I also love creating birthstone jewellery - it’s such a privileged to create personalised jewellery, especially my Mummy necklaces."
Can you provide bespoke pieces?
"Working with clients on bespoke orders provide a sense of satisfaction that is hard to beat. I love getting to know my clients, especially brides, through our emails or chats and working closely with them to nail the design and style they want. There is a certain amount of challenge involved as I try to hone in on exactly what a client is after, but it’s a challenge I love and I approach with enthusiasm. I also love bespoke jewellery commissions for the fresh injection of ideas they provide me."
What is your favourite piece from your collection?
"Such a tough question! I’m quite fickle and my favourite piece tends to be my latest or newest design! So currently this is my Cascade earrings. My mood also effects which jewellery I favour – feeling fun then it’s Polka, more whimsical and romantic it’s Boho, other times I prefer a classic, simple look with a single pearl earring. I’m wearing my Lustre earrings a lot lately – like classic pearl jewellery, they seem to go well with a multitude of outfits and make a change from simple pearl studs. I also love my Valentine bracelet – I just love how the bright red heart contrasts with the ivory freshwater pearls."
How much time goes into making the pieces?
"This really depends on the design! It’s a bit of a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question. Developing a design from scratch can be really time consuming until I’m totally happy with the overall look. I can take several weeks of ‘playing’ around with materials and making prototypes before I finally feel I’ve got a new design I’m happy with. Even when I think I’m there, I can find myself going back and tweaking things some more."
|Polka dot pink earrings|
|Polka dot red bracelet|
"Making up orders of existing designs varies quite a bit. My perfectionist nature and desire to have a neat finish can make it a more time-consuming process. I also love to giftwrap all my orders, including a little handwritten note to let my customers know I appreciate their support of my handmade jewellery business. I don’t like to rush things as that’s when things go wrong."
|Smoky jewel earrings|
If you had a dream client to make a piece for, who would it be and why?
"The obvious answer is some high profile celebrity, but the only reason for this for me would be for the celebrity endorsement and boost to my business. I’d love to have more local clients that I could meet for consultations in person, over a pot of tea and cupcakes perhaps, as most of my consultations are via email. My dream client would be someone who wants to chat sparkles and designs, who is enthusiastic about her jewellery and open to ideas, as well as having some of her own. My dream client would be someone who I feel I’m working in collaboration with, rather than just creating some jewellery for."
"Having said all that, I do have one celebrity on my client wish list. As well as beautiful jewellery suitable for Brides and Bridesmaids, I also create Mummy Birthstone necklaces. I would love to create one for Angelina Jolie. With her brood there would a lovely sparkling rainbow of birthstone crystals."
Can you give Lancashire Brides an idea of prices?
Prices start from around £10 up to about £60.
There is FREE UK delivery.
What does 2012 hold for you?
"I’m working on a few new collections for brides and bridesmaids. I’m at the materials strewn all over my work table stage and making prototypes! Poppy Sparkles is beginning to add bricks and mortar shops to the list of stockists. By the end of 2012, I hope that Poppy Sparkles will begin to be available from Bridal Shops, as well as from gift shops. Work is also underway on a new website."
Where can our readers find out more?
If you're as big as a fan of Viv's work as I am then please show your support by leaving Viv a little message below.