How I got started

Customers often ask me: “how did you get started?”

So this is the story!

A few years ago, I needed a bracelet a certain colour to match a top I had bought and couldn’t find anything that appealed to me, taste wise or price wise. This is when I decided to make it myself!

I went to the craft shop, purchased a few beads and made my bracelet. Job done! Happy! But … and this is a big BUT, as if I hadn’t, things wouldn’t have turned up the way they did, so fate intervened, or should I call it my angels whispering in my ear?

Because I had a few remaining beads, I made another bracelet. I enjoyed it so much that before I knew it, I was back at the shop and bought a good few more beads, went home and started to make more bracelets. I started experimenting with different beads, different patterns, and completely let loose my creativity!

I made so many of them, that after a while, I was wondering, what am I going to do with all those bracelets? I found myself with literally a mountain of bracelets of every imaginable colour! I thought of giving them away to my sisters and my friends, and it never came to mind that I could try to sell them!

In the hotel I used to work as a beauty therapist, the day after, a few of the girls commented on my bracelet, so I said I had made a few more and would they like to see them? They said yes and asked what price they would be. I said to them that I wouldn’t charge for them but they insisted so forcefully and vehemently that I had to get something for it, that I decided on €5, which they found very reasonable. Well!! I brought them the day after and guess what? I sold 40 of them! Well, I did mention I had made a lot of them, didn’t I?

I sold them to the girls but also to my clients! I couldn’t believe it! In the following days, I couldn’t make them fast enough, as everybody wanted them! The girls, the hotel staff, the hotel guests, the gym members, my clients! That included a few trips to the shop where the lovely and slightly bewildered ladies were overwhelmed by my buying nearly all their stock of beads!

After a week or so, when everybody I knew (and didn’t know!) had their bracelets, they started to ask me…no, I’ll rephrase that, they demanded the matching necklace! I had never thought of that!

I was at a loss because I had never done anything like that in my life! So when I presented them with my dilemma, I got no sympathy, but a very adamant “ go and learn!” Riiiight! Okaaaaay!!

And I did! I went back to the shop and the very nice ladies there, a bit more accustomed to me by now, helped me and showed me how to make necklaces, displaying different styles so that I could make my choice. The demand for the necklaces matched that of the bracelets, and those who had, say, a red bracelet, had asked me for a red matching necklace, which they bought. But also, seeing all the stock I hade made extra, just in case, they bought a green necklace, which lead them to ask me for a matching green bracelet! I think I worked day and night for a few months to supply the demand! My Mum was telling me that I should hire little leprechauns to help me! The necklaces were €15 and sold like the proverbial hot cakes, except those buying my necklaces didn’t put on an ounce!

I kept my customers happy for a while until the same demands started again for….earrings! The same thing occurred, I was wondering how on earth was I going to manage to make something I had never made before, so I went back to the shop, to the ladies now calling me with a lovely familiarity “Oh here comes Pascale!”, and learnt how to make earrings!

I was selling the earrings for €5, so the whole set, matching bracelet, necklace and earrings, came to €25, which everybody found more than reasonable, and I’m happy and proud to say that I haven’t raised my prices since the beginning. That was in 2005! The sets are still at that price.

I then started to scout around for something nice to put them in, and I found this gentleman in Cork who provided me with gorgeous silver boxes. I then found turquoise blue silk paper to delicately wrap the jewellery in. Then I had business cards made, in turquoise blue, so that they matched the silk paper inside, and contrasted beautifully with the silver box! Et voila!

So I haven’t looked back since and I have been going to every craft fair presenting itself to me and did a lot of jewellery parties, as well as customizing pieces to my client’s requirements, size wise and colour wise.

I also would like to add that I’m using real Swarovski Crystals in all my jewellery.