Continuing the PPH People series, where we profile the many creative people posting jobs and bids in the PeoplePerHour.com ecosystem, today we’d like you all to meet jewellery maker Sarah Hickey. She’s already featured in the Daily Express and on the PPH homepage, but here we find out a little more about her beautiful designs and the 6,000 mile journey she made to find the perfect creative corner…
MartinPPH: Hey Sarah welcome to the PPH Blog! So you’re a jewellery maker can you tell me a bit about the art you make, what materials you use and what inspires your designs?
Sarah Hickey: I design and make my collections in silver and rolled gold using semi-precious stones, corals and fresh water pearls. I’m an artisan jeweller and my ethos is really to be a complete antithesis to mass production. At the heart of what I do, is the notion that my work is all handcrafted by me, here in England. I put more than 100% of myself into my designs and take and obsessive amount of time pouring over the cut of stones and every tiny little detail of each piece I create.
Although I keep my designs current and enjoy trends in colour and shape, my work is really a more of a testimony to being unique rather than being ‘in fashion’, my customers are astute individuals who have an appreciation for the little things of beauty in life.
I am inspired by nature and organic forms, but also by the notion of creating heirlooms; something rare and meaningful. I enjoy work with all natural stones and ethically sourced metals to create the look and feel of handcrafted artisan pieces
You studied in New York but now live and make jewellery in rural Northumberland – quite a contrast. Can you describe your current surroundings and what making that shift was like?
The change was really pretty extreme as you might expect. From an apartment in New York looking out onto a laundromat and a deli, to a cottage in the country looking out onto sheep and rolling fields. There was surely an adjustment to make, probably the noise level going from ten to zero was the biggest. I love an adventure though, and that’s what it has been. Change in itself is so inspiring, you learn a lot about yourself. Living with such breathtaking surroundings has been a real inspiration to my work and it’s such a pleasure to have more space in which to work; having my own garden studio.
I’m so pleased that PPH exists… As far as I’m concerned the world is a smaller place and I’m all for it. — Sarah Hickey
You mention you’re a young mum of two, for those who don’t have kids, how does being a freelancer help you juggle your parenting/work commitments?
Being a business owner and a mum of two children under three is definitely an exercise in organisation. Working flexible hours is not only an advantage but a necessity when you have small children. I’m lucky in that I’m a night owl and I generally have a rush of creativity in the evening and often do a lot of work then.
I sell my collection online, and my customers are all over the world, it’s great, for instance, to be able to email somebody about their bridal jewellery in Australia or the U.S. in the evening simply because I can, and I’m not tied within a 9-5 set up.
Can you outline how you came to need PeoplePerHour.com’s services, what you found and how it worked out for you?
I used PeoplePerHour.com for a number of services; PR, Website Development, SEO and Translation of my product descriptions. All of these can be done remotely and again, it’s great to be able to email with people to get the job done, rather than having to spend time playing phone tag during business hours. It has worked out really well for me and I’ve been thrilled with the people I work with on PPH.
You ended up in the Daily Express, can you tell me a bit what that was like, what it involved and how it affected your business etc?
My PR agent Claire Sheils was found here on PPH, she is really great at what she does and very easy to work with. She got me featured in The Express, in an editorial piece about people who run business’s from their gardens. The statistic said that ‘Shed/Studio’ workers are contributing 6 millions to the UK economy each year! The feature was a lot of fun and the Express sent a photographer to do a photoshoot in my studio. Exposure on a national level is always great for business and I had a real spike in website hits and sales as a result.
I love Etsy, it’s a great way for me to reach customers in the States, and further a field. I shipped some earrings to a lady in Taiwan through Etsy last week! I’m only looking forward to Etsy becoming more of a known entity over here, it’s so huge in the States, hopefully in the next couple of years it’ll make a splash over here. I couldn’t praise it more, it’s the future of shopping as far as I’m concerned. I tell everyone I meet about it
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I’m so pleased that PPH exists as it really caters to so many of my business needs, I really like the system whereby people bid for the job, and you can choose who you’d like to work with. Keep up the good work. I also really like the flavour of being able to deal with people internationally rather than only having what is available to me locally. As far as I’m concerned the world is a smaller place and I’m all for it.