In this week’s Meet the Maker we meet Amy from Amy Mead Jewellery
Hi Amy! What did you do before creating your business?
I studied Hotel and Catering at university and shortly after I left, I became ill with ME. Jewellery started as a hobby as I was recovering after several years being ill. As my health recovered, jewellery making became more than a hobby and eventually I had my own workshop in Hatton Garden. I took several years off when my children were small and started making jewellery again seriously when my youngest started school about 2 years ago.
What made you decide to create your business, and what’s the inspiration behind your brand?
I wanted to start making jewellery full time again as I had missed it so much. I was grateful to have those years off when my three children were small but I didn’t feel like myself again until I sat back at my work bench every day.
I think the inspiration behind my brand is to only make jewellery that I want to wear. It sounds a little simple but I don’t make anything that I don’t want to wear myself, I might wear it in different situations, be it the pub or the school run but there is nothing in my collection that I don’t wear regularly.
What is your Design process and what are your essential tools? This can be physical tools, software, websites, accounting programs – anything you use to get the job done
My process can start in many different ways. Sometimes, I can picture the end piece and I will make it in brass or copper to see how I like it, adapt and change it and then make the final piece in sterling silver. But sometimes, I can play around with some square wire, bending and folding it and just see where I end up.
My essential tools are files, saw, emery paper and soldering torch which are all essentials for most jewellers. My other essentials are my chenier cutters which are tools that hold the metal in place so that I can saw it at a 45 degree angle.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story so far?
My biggest challenge is probably the balance between family life and work. I think I have the balance right now but it has taken several years to get there.
My biggest achievement is achieving everything on the list I wrote 2 years ago when I was setting up my business again. It took slightly longer than planned thanks to homeschooling but I have now completed the list. I am currently writing another one for where I want to be in the next two years.
How would you describe your business in 3 words?
Rewarding, fun, fulfilling
Favourite music / podcasts to listen to while working?
I listen to podcasts a lot and my favourites are Adam Buxton, Shagged Married Annoyed and How to Fail. I don’t usually like true crime podcasts but I have just finished listening to Chameleon Con Queen about a Hollywood con artist and it was fantastic.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
Have the confidence to believe in yourself. If you make something you love, you just need to find the right audience that loves it too.
What do you do to relax?
I bake. Recently I have been trying not to do it too much as during the lockdowns I was baking a lot! That and jewellery making are where I turn when I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
I am about to start work on my new collection of necklaces based on drain covers. I have been wanting to do this for a while as I love drain covers and the patterns that you find on them. I will be using those patterns as the basis for designs which I am going to get laser cut on to cards. I can then use the card in the roller mill to transfer the designs onto the silver.