|Pearls and swallows necklace, £15|
This is my very first feature, and it's on none other than the beautiful Miss Jess Heath, the owner and creator of jewellery site Raffles Bizarre! Full of cutesy, modern, and wholly inspiring and sensational designs, RB really does have something for everyone. Everything is well made and decently priced and you can tell by the attention to detail and the thoroughness of the design that RB are passionate about what they do. Some of their most popular ranges are the Navajo collection, perfect for lazy summer days and festivals, with gleaming blue and green stones, feathers and charms, the Horror collection with it's deliciously kitsch Halloween-esque earrings and camp statement necklaces, and the Buttons range, which is a mix of colour and depth with buttons of all shapes and sizes.
I caught up with Jess to have a natter!
Hi Jess! So when did you start showing an interest in making your own jewellery? Have you always been pretty creative?
Jess: I began toying with the idea of jewellery making when I was in my second year of uni in 2007. I've always been very arts and crafts orientated and would always make little bits and pieces for myself to wear or as presents for family and friends. I've also always had an interest in mixed media and random objects I find, so jewellery is fun to experiment with!
When did you decide to open RB? Was it an easy decision, and did you have to make any sacrifices to keep the business running?
J: 2007 was also when I started up RB, and I began by putting it on Myspace, which was popular amongst my target age group at the time. Being a free platform, it was a good place to find out if people would actually want to spend money on what I was making. I didn't have to many any sacrifices thankfully, and because the business really took off over Myspace the decision to take it further and get a website was an easy one.
Your designs are so unique, where do you pull your inspiration from, for example for the Circus Freaks or Navajo collections?
J: I love to do a bit of everything really, whether it's my jewellery or making mini top hats and accessories...or drawing and painting, sculpting or photography! I have a degree in Model Design and Special Effects, and I'm a big film buff, and I also work as a freelance make up artists whenever I have the time.
You're clearly a creative person, judging by all the jewellery and the art on your site! Are there any other ways you express yourself?
J: Yeah, as you can probably tell by the sheer amount of products on RB I have trouble narrowing down what I make to just a few specific collections...! I get inspired by absolutely everything and just make whatever comes into my head. As small as they collection may be just now, the Circus Freaks range is probably one of my favourites - I love the weird and wonderful, things like creepy carnivals and freak shows have always interested me. As for the Navajo range, I've had family and been traveling to Canada since I was young and my mum is a big fan of Native American jewellery, so I naturally developed an interest. I had bits and pieces of turquoise or feather charms I'd collected over the years, so when the Navajo trend started up it was the perfect time to put them to use.
What advice would you have to anyone looking to start their own business, such as jewellery making or selling their art like yourself?
J: I'd just say be as creative as you can! There are a hell of a lot of us out there and it's really competitive, no one needs more of the same any more, so be original! In the current climate it can be hard to make money from small businesses, but if you love your craft, persevere, take a risk, and it may just pay off.
It's not only necklaces and bracelets that Raffles Bizarre has to offer, they also sell art, little mini top hats, brooches and pins, hair accessories and dream catchers, a really .
Pop onto the site today and use my exclusive discount code SCARLETPOUT and get 10% off any order until midnight on Sunday the 19th of June!
Thanks for reading, take care x
|Pastel Statement Button Necklace, £15|
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