A little...or a lot...About me.
I'm a born and raised Briton living in the Bay Area of California and for as long as I can remember I have always been interested in creating art, drawing and being inventive. I am completely self-taught in jewellery making but my jewellery making beginnings happened quite unintentionally...
My first creations were little wire wrapped crystals and wooden rings in 2013 whilst studying graphic design & illustration at university. I loved the process of creating small pieces but was not enamoured by the final pieces, it wasn't even stuff I'd wear myself!
When I graduated, I made the decision I'd have two jobs – one as an illustrator and one as a jewellery maker. I had fallen in love with these petite artworks and wanted to continue creating in this way. Naively, I didn't realise how difficult it was to create one successful business, let alone two and quickly realised one was enough. I spent what little leftover student money I had on some electroforming equipment and dabbled in electroplating and copper creations with cheap gemstones. It was during this time I met my soul mate whilst traveling around the USA.
In 2015 Callirrhoe Jewellery was officially born! I was ready to confidently sell my wares under my new brand name. My tastes started to evolve towards precious metals and hand fabrication but my style was all over the place as I learnt new skills and wanted to try them out. This was partly a mirror reflection of my life situation; coming and going from the USA every three months meant I had no ability to grow roots either in my business or in the style of the creations I was making. And partly to do with my love for one of a kinds and wanting to try making every single style of jewellery.
I had some difficult decisions to make. Should I get a “proper job” so that I had regular income but sacrifice the freedom to visit my partner in the USA regularly or should I try and make a go of this jewellery making thing and struggle through the growing pains whilst being free to visit my partner? We happily chose the latter but not without a lot of financial struggle my end.
There were lots of tearful “I can't do it anymore, it's so hard, should I just get a job??” conversations but my partner was my personal cheerleader, supporting me in ways I can't even describe. My parents also supported me endlessly, they allowed me to move back home and built me a studio space – The Cabin – in their back garden, it became my haven.
I was juggling learning new jewellery skills, learning to run a business, learning new disciplines in time management and nurturing a cross-atlantic relationship.... it felt overwhelming. Throughout all of this though, I remained and still remain extremely grateful for everything I had in my life.
It's now 2018 and I can finally say I have a handle on my business, my style has settled into what I like to call “elegantly rustic” and I regularly attend training classes to learn new jewellery making skills. I surround myself with supportive people who love my work and have invaluable jewellery mentors that coach me through situations i'm not sure on. I'm truly grateful to my loyal, loving and engaging customers, without whom there wouldn't be a Callirrhoe Jewellery.
Throughout Callirhoe's journey, my brand has remained and will forever remain 100% vegan, I never use any products tested on animals or containing animal products. I try and work directly with reputable businesses and support independent business owners, working directly with gem cutters and ethical stone dealers.
I am a one-woman-band. I do every single thing myself from website design, social media management, to designing and creating pieces, cutting gemstones, setting, fabricating, shipping, buying supplies, emailing - you name it I probably do it. I wouldn't trade it in for a "proper job" for anything in the world.
Phew! What a lot of info. I'm glad you got to know me a little better and I hope to hear from you soon to have the privilege of creating something amazing for you. Don't be shy, send me an email.