Jai from Earth Goddess Jewellery

Midday Makers

I’m Jai from Earth Goddess Jewellery by Jai and I create beautiful handmade healing crystal jewellery for the mind body and soul. I’m 42 years young and live in Norwich with my hubby, my dog pixie and my 6 chickens Browny, Snowy, Leghorn, Rogue, Suzy and Dot (they live in the garden not our house lol).

I wasn’t very artistic at school in that I couldn’t even draw a stick man and tended to gravitate more today sports, mainly swimming and dancing and was part of a synchronised swimming team up until age 18 when I decided to up sticks and become a fitness instructor on cruise liners which I did for 3 years and was fortunate enough to see all 7 continents of the world. I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things and would spend hours beach combing for pretty stones and shells with my dad as a child then gluing them to garden pots. I collected lots of beautiful things during my time on the cruise liners, jewellery, sculptures, art, more stones and shells and also a load of old tatt (which I thought was lush at the time – but it really wasn’t)

After 3 years I decided there was no place like home and returned to Norwich where I managed a health club for a few years, before upping sticks for a second time to work in Greece and then St Anton in Austria for an activities holiday company. after a couple more years I’ll returned home again, went on a cruise for a holiday and met my future husband, he moved from Romania to the UK and we settled down and got married. I wanted a job that didn’t include evenings and weekends so landed myself an entry level admin job with Norwich city council, and I’ve been there ever since, I’ve changed roles several times and now work in environmental services.

Throughout all these years my jewellery collection grew and I did a silver-smithing course around 10 years ago which I loved but didn’t really continue with it at the time.  Some years ago me and my husband went our separate ways and a few years later I met my current hubby (he’s not my actual hubby as I’m not going to bother with the marriage part again) but he’s my hubby in all but law. I fell pregnant in 2016 but sadly had an ectopic pregnancy and have struggled to conceive ever since the stress of this and other life events led to me having a breakdown last year and to try to assist my recovery my parents brought me a jewellery making set, beads finding basic tools etc, I had counselling and various other assistance and slowly I started to recover, and as I recovered I rediscovered my love of making jewellery. At around the same time I met a reiki healer and had several sessions with her working on me with energy and crystals and my recovery skyrocketed. I then switched my jewellery making focus to healing crystals and my little biz was born ?

I discovered MMFH on Instagram and decided to take the plunge at their second virtual Market by posting my first ever IG video, Andy and Mrs G spotted me and we got chatting and they kindly invited me to tell my mental health journey on the first day of mental health awareness week. It was absolutely amazing, it felt so good to share my story and the response I had from others was crazy good. MMFH is such a wonderful community based market, it’s a creative family, it has this special something that I can’t put my finger on but it’s just the Mac daddy of online markets (in my opinion) I love how they encourage everyone to grow, share, collaborate and work as one for the greater good of the creative community. MMFH has my heart for sure.

You can enjoy our Midday Makers chat with Jai on our MMFH IGTV channel.

Check out Jai’s Instagram account @earthgoddessjewellerybyjai

Jane Charles from Small Stitches 6

Midday Makers

I did a degree in Fashion, but before the internet I think we did degrees that were suggested by teachers – there were less opportunities, there are certainly more choice now which is great.

My work now is generally flat, so it doesn’t have to fit anyone! I still draw on my degree experience though with knowledge of fabrics, colour theory and an love of creating things out of fabric.

There was a time when I didn’t make much at all, focussing on paying the bills for 10 years living in London. I think it was moving to Milton Keynes with 2 young children in 2002 that made me think again about crafting.

I started making small things made from felt, mobiles and angels made from the poppy heads that grew in our newly acquired garden. As the (now 3) children got bigger I started working on different textile things, but it always fitted around childcare, when the youngest started school full time, I had whole days to play around and make things.

I then got involved in Adult Education and teaching Family Learning courses which led to teaching creative textiles around 12 years ago. Getting a studio 6 years ago, then meant I could take on larger commissions and experiment with different techniques, there is so much to play around with and learn in textiles….it just grows and grows!

It’s the teaching and large community commissions that pay me money, but I have to carry on making smaller things, it’s in my blood so to sell directly to the public at fairs is really important and this lockdown has focussed my attention to selling on line and it’s really paid off.

I loved taking part in the MMFH in May, setting up my stall and directing my Insta posts on promotion and telling my story.

Watch Jane’s chat with us on our Midday Makers IGTV series here.

Jane’s Folksy shop: Smallbeans

Instagram @smallstitches6

Paulomi Debnath from Handmade by Tinni

Midday Makers

Hi, I am Paulomi and I am the designer behind Handmade by Tinni, statement jewellery with a heart and soul. I create colourful happy jewellery that will make your heart swoon and your soul happy.

Little bit on my background – I was born and brought up in India (The cultural heritage has a huge influence on my design inspiration). I studied sales and marketing and worked in international chain of hotels as a sales specialist. In 2004, I met the love of my life and in 2006, we got married in Kolkata, India. We both belong to this ‘City of Joy’ and very proud to have strong roots there. That year, I joined my husband in London to start a new chapter of our journey together. With my experience in hotels sales, I was back in hotel sales management. Fast forward 14 years, I now hold a senior position in hotel procurement as my day job, have become mum of a 9-year-old imaginative boy and we live in London.  

Now the fun part…. I am totally addicted to jewellery. My mum teases me that I am building secret jewellery museum. ? I am extremely proud of my eccentric collection which a mix of vintage, one of a kind or contemporary design.

Fun fact – my ‘junk’ jewellery always travels with me in my handbag whereas my laptop may have travelled in hold luggage few times. I have no conception of literal value-based priority. (Little tip – you will be stopped at the security check-in every time you are carrying too many jewelleries as the Xray machine goes buzzy. Not fun for the impatient husband while I am explaining the security team why I need 100+ jewellery option on a 3-day holiday. ?)

Handmade by Tinni, was a natural step for me born out of my passion for handcrafted unique jewellery. When I set-up my brand finally in 2019, my design inspiration came from bright colours of nature, amazing places that I have travelled to over the years and most importantly from the rich heritage of India. I create jewellery that are locally made, sustainable, respectful of our resources and responsible towards environment.

I chose cotton yarn or rope as my main design medium as I am passionate about sustainability. Cotton is an amazing material. It is sustainable & bio-degradable, soft to wear, anti-allergic, colourful, and extremely flexible to let your imagination flow. I am self-taught on different rope knots and have been creative in mixing different knots to design new styles for my collection. Never afraid of learning or improvising or mixing new ideas!

I take great pride in making each piece by hand.  My aim is to make you look beautiful and proud when you showcase a Tinni jewellery.

Love Nature, Look Beautiful & Be Proud.

Becoming involved with the Makers Market From Home has been incredible – there are so many amazing and inspiring small businesses out there, and it’s such a wonderful community to be a part of.

Check out our happy chat with Paulomi on our Midday Makers IGTV series.

Visit her website www.handmadebytinni.com

Visit her Etsy shop HandmadebyTinni

Instagram @handmade.bytinni

Ian Driver from Kura Woodworks

Midday Makers

Where do I start? I was born in London some 66 years ago and lived within the shadow of Chelsea Power Station, an area that was a little run down at that time, unlike now with its wine bars and bistros.

 One of 4 siblings, 2 elders managed to get to Grammar school, but I was destined for the secondary comprehensive school. At the age of 13 we moved across the Thames to live in surrey and I guess it was while I was at the said comp school that my interest in wood happened, possibly, at that time students were streamed, there were those that were academic and others were practical, no prizes for guessing which of the two I was.

After leaving school at 16 I took a job with a Theatre Lighting company and after many years and a couple of company changes, I eventually became Manager of the Special Optical Effects Department within the industry.

We moved to Suffolk some 32 years ago and I continued my career commuting to Cambridge from Stowmarket to work for a large West Country Theatrical equipment supplier as their Hire Manager.

To cut an exceptionally long story short, after approximately 32 years in the industry and a mental breakdown I left and eventually until I retired went to work for Suffolk Police in their supply stores.

I had workshop build for my son while he was training to be a cabinet maker and that’s where my love of wood really took off, under his guidance I made hardwood furniture for our home and the odd piece for friends and family,

To help supplement my pension I started to think of things I could make to sell, then my son bought me a book on animal puzzles, and so it started. It is not my intention to make a business out of this, it’s a hobby which I hope can pay for the materials and give me a little besides.

I have shown at a few craft fayres with little success but after talking to another crafter at one of those events I started to make items for her, and she also introduced me to Saladdays at The Barn within Nutshells. Things started to look up considerably with some of my puzzles going as far as Canada and the USA.

All good things come to an end though, due to Covid19 the barn will not be reopening after lock down. So I thought that I would try something with Instagram, and that’s where I came across you lovely people and I plucked up the courage to join MakersMarketFromHome, what a fantastic idea, a potential window to the world to show your products and hopefully gain some sales, so with some help from you Andy and Georgia, look out, here I come…

Watch our live chat with Ian on our IGTV Channel.

Instagram @ian_kurawoodworks 

First Light Festival Midday Makers Takeover

Midday Makers

As part of First Light Festival 2020 we did an Instagram takeover on the @firstlightlowestoft IG account and hosted a #FirstLightMakersMarket!

We spoke with three makers who have a local link to Lowestoft including Kay Lillian Designs, Helen Thrower Jewellery and Rachel’s Soaps.

It was brilliant to chat to these talented local creatives and to see inside their studios LIVE as part of #FirstLightFromHome.

Please have a watch of our interviews with these fabulous #MiddayMakers on the First Light IGTV channel here.


Katy from Katy Wilkinson Jewellery

Midday Makers

Hello! Nice to meet you. I’m Katy and I am the face, the designer, the maker and sales person behind Katy Wilkinson Jewellery. Oh and the photographer, finance manager, etc, etc… I am a wife and mum to two gorgeous small ones and after years of having my own business, I can finally now say it is my Day Job! Hooray!

I handcraft simple and timeless jewellery designs in sterling silver, gold and gemstones, make to order and also take on a lot of commissions. I work from home in a purpose built studio within my double garage and love spending every minute I can in there. Having a fairly recent obsession with gemstones, I really enjoy creating one-off pieces using hand-picked gemstones. Having a small and growing collection gives me the opportunity to offer a really personal design service, whereby the customer can choose a stone they love the most to be set in their commissioned or made to order piece of jewellery.

My creative journey started when I was a lot younger. I was always one of the ‘arty’ ones at school and eventually went on to take Art, Product Design and Biology (I know – seems weird, but I loved it!) A-Levels. After A-levels I didn’t feel ready for Uni so I decided to go to collage to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Art Foundation Studies. It was only for a year, but it was a year of experimentation in different art mediums and it was great fun.

It gave me the opportunity to explore different areas of design that I hadn’t had exposure to before, such as 3D design and from there I started creating body adornments from all sorts of materials. After finding out that there were Uni courses focusing on Jewellery design, I jumped at the chance of heading in this direction and applied to a few including Birmingham City University – The School of Jewellery, where I spent the next three years.

I had such an amazing three years at the School of Jewellery. It was hard work and we were in School every day, using the workshops and learning new techniques. But as an Art based course we were really encouraged to think outside the box and so my Degree Show comprised of a collection of pieces and adornments based on the emotion of Frustration, mostly created using an amazing piece of kit, called a Laser Welder, to create cage like structures from Stainless Steel and Gold.

During my third year I won a few awards, one of which, the Marketing Birmingham’s Jewellery Student of the year 2006, gave me the opportunity to have my work modelled by Erin O’Connor (used to model for M&S) and have my work worn on the Catwalk. These experiences further fuelled my love for the industry and so as soon as I graduated in 2006, I returned home (to Wiltshire) to set up my business.

Since then, I had been working part time as a Jeweller whilst having a day job in Marketing. During this time I had built up collections and ranges, taken on commissions, had been attending craft fairs and sold online, determined to make a go of it so that one day I could finally be a Jewellery Designer Maker full time!

Guess what, in 2019 I made the leap!! When the time came to decide if I was going to head back to the day job after my second maternity leave, I decided to bite the bullet and resign! And it truly was the best decision I’ve ever made. I can now focus on being the creative that I’ve always wanted to be and at the same time, working from home gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my family.

Finding the MakersMarketFromHome and taking part in every one of the markets so far has been a great experience and a fabulous way to spend some of the Saturdays that I would have ordinarily been at physical local markets selling my creations. It’s also been a great way of growing my online profile and I have met some other fabulous makers who ordinarily I would never have met by attending my local markets and who I chat to on a regular basis now. It’s such a fabulous community to be a part of.

Watch Katy’s interview on our IGTV channel here.

Visit Katy’s website www.katywilkinson.co.uk.

Instagram @KewJewellery

Felicity Knights from Annie Honey Stitches

Midday Makers

Hi, I’m felicity, also known as Annie Honey Stitches!

I’ve been dabbling in textiles since high school, popped to art school in Norwich for a year to do my foundation degree, focusing on textiles and exploring free motion embroidery.

Then I got a job and a boyfriend /marriage/child/career/divorce etc and it all took a back burner for a while!

2 years ago I set up Annie Honey, with an exhibition at a popular coffee shop in Ipswich, and haven’t looked back since! I work full time hours between a school & being a barista, so the sewing is done when I can. 

Annie Honey is named after my maternal grandmother who I never got to meet. I loved her name and always wanted to name a child after her, but my actual child is a boy and it didn’t fit, so the business, being my second baby, gets the name! 

I work in free motion embroidery, basically drawing with a sewing machine, and love to create special one off pieces. 

I love doing markets and have found so much more confidence over time to get out and sell my stuff. I love being able to meet the faces of the lovely people who buy my work! 

Obviously lockdown has changed the face of small businesses and how they run, and the addition of Makers Market From Home has been amazing to open up a whole other dimension of selling and sharing and community. 

Watch our cheerful Monday lunchtime chat with Felicity on our Midday Makers IGTV series.

Visit Felicity’s Etsy Shop Annie Honey Stitches

Instagram @AnnieHoneyStitches

Alice O’Connell from Wool & Water / Wool & Whiskers

Midday Makers

Hello, I am Alice and I am the busy, knitting hands behind both Wool & Water and Wool & Whiskers, my curious and unexpected knitwear labels.

At Wool & Water you will find my limited edition, knitted Bow Ties, Suspenders, Neck Ties and Pins and Wool & Whiskers is my Pet Label where I knit Bow Ties for Cats and Dogs and now, Catnip Toys too.

I learnt to knit while working as a TV and Theatre actress – a consequence of spending so much time filming, means lots of waiting… I have cast on and off some of my proudest pieces while in corsets, flares or faux blood stained t-shirts!

My TV acting credits include; Holby City, Jonathan Creek, Silent Witness, The Rotter’s Club, Doctor Who, The Verdict, City of Vice, Outnumbered, Casualty, Doctors, The Bill to name drop a few… I was knitting or learning to knit on all of these sets and more.

As soon as I started to knit, I was hooked (excuse the pun) and was quickly taking requests from friends, crew members and it just grew.

In the pursuit of more creative side hustles than just temping and catering gigs in-between auditions I started taking commissions from a growing network of private clients and eventually for various British Knitwear Designers and indie labels, all alongside acting.  

Nearly 10 years later, after a life changing chat with a designer I met with, I signed up to study Knitwear Design (at the infamous Knit One in Brighton), and immersed myself in all things knitted. It was amazing, inspiring and galvanising. This step away from acting coincided with a somewhat impulsive move for my husband and I from London to Amsterdam with our 2 rescue cats and a lot of wool, which is where I set up Wool & Water.  

I have a passion for natural fibres, the knitted textile and the aim to combine traditional craft with a modern aesthetic.

Wool & Water is a celebration of curiosity, individualism and personal expression and Wool & Whiskers, my pet label, is about fun, sparking smiles and offering a unique way to include your fur baby in family events and celebrations.

I am an old soul, I am inspired by both modern and classic forms of; music, film, fashion, art. All of these creative forms inspire me to create pieces anchored in heritage yet fresh in perspective.

Alongside my labels, I work as a Voice Actress here in Amsterdam and voice documentaries, adverts, museum audio guides, public service announcements… the work is fun and varied and I love it. I still do the odd bit of on screen acting now and again as and when the opportunities come knocking and I always make sure I have my knitting with me!

My love of knitting also led me to start teaching, which I still do, exclusively online right now, and I love being a part of people’s early creative journey. Many of my students have gone on to launch knitwear labels themselves.

Watch Alice’s Midday Makers live chat here on our IGTV.

Websites www.woolandwater.nl and www.woolandwhiskers.nl

Instagram @woolandwaterltd and @woolandwhiskers

Facebook @woolandwhiskers