We’re thrilled to present another edition of “Meet Our Sponsor.” The talented artists we’re going to feature today are Lauren and Caroline of Looking Glass Jewellry, an independent jewelry shop in England. Learn all about their fabulous artistry and craftsmanship as we take you behind the scenes to talk to the fabulous talent behind Looking Glass!
1. What’s the name of your store, and what do you sell? Where did the name come from?
Lauren; We’re called Looking Glass Jewellery, a small family business. Caroline, the talent, makes the jewellery; and I, Lauren, Caroline’s daughter, handle the social media and admin side of things so Caroline has more time to make treasures.
We make jewellery! We specialise in vintage inspired pieces with a modern twist, but you’ll find a little something for everyone.
We spent a long time thinking of a name, it was probably the hardest part of starting the business! You want something that suits the product, sounds good, isn’t something you’ll eventually come to regret…haha. We decided on Looking Glass as it suited the business on a few levels – it had a nostalgia to it that chimed with the vintage elements. When you wear something you love, like our jewellery, you feel good about yourself, you admire yourself in a mirror (or any reflective surface if you’re like me). Also, we both love Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
2. How did you first get the idea that you wanted to open your online stores?
Caroline ; I started making jewellery as a pastime back in 2006, I sold the pieces I made to family and friends for a while, but always ended up spending more on beads than I made. So I started a Facebook page in 2010 to try and recoup my spending. It grew consistently and now we have an incredible 18,700+ likes! We’ve since opened an Etsy store and an eCommerce site.
3. Do you sell your wares in other places besides online?
L; We have several independent stores that stock our jewellery throughout England. We previously sold at craft fairs and through hosting jewellery parties but found the cost of doing the fairs exceeded the amount we made.
4. Who are your artist/online shop role models?
L; We both adore a local artist called Mister Finch, he creates the most amazing insects, plants and animals by upcycling old furniture and fabrics. It’s really hard to pick a stand out piece because they’re all so incredible but his moths are phenomenal.
We tend not to spend a lot of time looking at other jewellery makers work, it’s easy to get bogged down in what others are doing. I think it’s important to make what you want to instead of what’s fashionable.
5. Who is your biggest supporter(s) and cheerleader in your life?
L: I think we’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders, we always there to encourage each other and for much needed constructive criticism!
C; I would definately agree with that, We know each other really well & i think we complement each other. I couldn’t do what i do without Laurens support & knowledge.
6. What would you say to an iggle who wanted to open their own store?
L; Facebook, Etsy and take the time to take great photos!
We started on Facebook and although they’ve made it more difficult to reach your entire audience unless you pay for ads, we still make a lot of sales through it – and it’s totally free! Plus it allows us to keep in contact with our customers. We share things that make us laugh or inspire us and we get to talk to the people who make our business possible. Etsy is also an awesome resource – anything like that where you have your own shop but it’s part of a wider marketplace is a great place to start. See if any of your friends have an Etsy shop and ask them to refer you for free listings.
Take time to photograph you items well – think about the last time you scrolled through Instagram or Etsy, the ones that are doing well will have beautiful photos! It’s the first thing you notice and can make or break a sale – try to make sure you have bright, natural light and that the composition really highlights the virtues of whatever it is you’re selling. For our jewellery, we take our photos outside (weather permitting) on a piece of cut wood – this means it can remain consistent for every item regardless of metal or stone colour and it isn’t distracting but it’s more interesting than a plain white or black background. Experiment with different settings, normally we photograph without models but sometimes a piece won’t photograph well unless it’s shown being worn.
7. What’s your favorite part of running your online store(s)?
L; The most obvious one; when we sell something! Not because of the money (which is decidedly a bonus) but because it’s exciting to know that something you made and spent time over is like by someone else, enough for them to part with money for it.
8. What’s your favorite product you have ever made?
C; That’s a really difficult question! It changes weekly, I tend to love the piece I’m making the most……until i make the next piece. Generally I make pieces I would like to wear myself.
9. What’s your favorite part about the IGGPPC?
L: I’ve been a member about a year and a half and in that time I have “met” some of the most wonderfully accepting and awesome people I know. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, you’ll find someone else who shares your passion to join in with your enthusiasm. The best part, you can share your opinion and you’re never made to feel bad or stupid or “less than” for it no matter what. I’ve even been introduced to new things I would never have considered watching or reading or doing previously. It’s geek-topia.
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