Inbetween being a research scientist and becoming a silversmith, I spent a few years as a travelling sales rep, selling engineering components to manufacturing companies. I loved the buzz you get when a client actually wants what you have to offer, and you thrash out an arrangement you’re both happy with. It was a little performance, in a way. I’ve had a nine year break from the world of sales, marketing and generally getting dressed in something smart (let’s face it, as a stay at home mum, getting dressed at ALL, some days!) to do a day’s business, so last Friday’s little outing to flog my wares was quite nerve wracking. Did I still have “it”? Luckily, marketing Spiny Sharkly Things and myself as an artisan designer-maker means I don’t have to hit the power suit, and I can wear something suitably eccentric and creative-looking! With a mad hat, obviously.
So I pitched up at the Heritage Park Hotel in Trehafod (just outside Pontypridd – it’s the biggest and most prestigious hotel, wedding and conference venue in the Rhondda) on Friday morning with a box containing samples of three of my collections to meet the hotel’s general manager, and felt the old familiar buzz kicking in. The response was enthusiastic, to say the least! I showed my “Vintage Buttons” in silver collection, the “Cariad is Welsh for Love Collection” and of course, my “Made in Wales: Made FROM Wales” collection.
She loved my silver and slate pendants in particular, and the button rings in copper and silver were a huge hit too. I wondered if I should chuck one in as a sweetener, as she wasn’t the chatty type…. No need. I was offered the entire display unit in the main reception area next to the health club entrance. Boom! Adrenalin!! And then…. the possibility of a unit within the health club as well. So it goes without saying that it couldn’t have gone any better. Looks like I still have it!
We were committed to a school fete on Saturday, so I went down to the hotel yesterday armed with everything I could think of to create an attractive and enticing shop window for my work. A lot of the jewellery featuring hearts that I’d planned on including in the “Cariad” section had sold over the weekend, either online or at the fete, so I’ve added the stunning Shamballa bracelets I’ve been havimg huge fun with, and will build on those to create a “Something Sparkly” collection and add some of my spiky rings to that. And get busy making more love-themed jewellery this week!
I think I spent about six hours in total putting it together, I was in my element, to be honest, it was one big scale craft project, as far as I was concerned! Lighting was provided by a bank of halogen spots on the ceiling, so really brought out the sparkle and shine. Anyway, enough of the talking, here’s the photos!
One bizarre thing came to light yesterday…. See the purple fabric on the left with the black vines and silver flowers? I found it in a remnant bin at a Cardiff mill shop the other weekend – it’s exactly the same as all the soft furnishings in the hotel bedrooms. Coincidence, or just meant to be?