The past four months have been a turbulent and strange time for all businesses, as the UK was plunged into full lockdown in March to combat the devastating effects of Covid-19. We’ve seen bailouts, closures, redundancies and more trials and tribulations than our collective workforce had hoped to see in a lifetime.
As some workers were put on furlough and others found themselves with more time on their hands, there was an increase in people pursuing creative activities, whether for simple recreation or a little more. One such maker was 22-year-old Leeds-based jewellery maker Alexandra Hardy. Since starting her latest creative venture at the beginning of July, she has racked up more than 70 sales in under three weeks, with ever-increasing demand for her unique brand of hand-crafted jewellery.
“I’ve always loved making things, right from when I was really young and I used to make cushion covers for my mum and accessories for my cat! In the past few years I’ve experimented with embroidery hoop art, embroidered necklaces, earrings and clothing customisation”.
Trading as Dewdrops Jewellery and using Instagram to gain hundreds of followers in just a few weeks, Alexandra began selling handmade earrings crafted from clay predominantly on the popular social selling app Depop.
“I bought some clay to make my boyfriend an anniversary present and I was really inspired by the process of crafting using it. When I discovered I could use special types of clay to make all kinds of different coloured and shaped jewellery I couldn’t wait to dive into a new type of creativity”.
Alexandra said that focusing on creating jewellery and starting her small business during the latter months of lockdown helped her stay positive and keep busy. She added that she was taken aback with how much support her new customers have shown and the sheer amount of love that her creations have received.
“I started Dewdrops Jewellery as a labour of love and I can’t believe how many people want my earrings! I began creating simply because I wanted to make some new styles, colours and shapes of earrings to wear. It’s been so lovely just how supportive everyone who has bought from me has been”.
Alexandra is due to start a full-time textile design course at Leeds Arts University in September and said she wants to carry on crafting and making jewellery as she finds new inspirations.