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.