I Am Acrylic Jewellery Making WORKSHOPPE!

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I’m super excited to announce that the lovely Ruth and Brendan from I Am Acrylic are visiting our little shoppe to hold a jewellery making workshoppe on Saturday June 11th.

I AM Acrylic Workshoppe Poster

The workshop is aimed at complete beginners or those with a little jewellery making experience who would like to learn how to work with acrylic – but we’ll have no lasers here, you will design, hand cut and assemble your very own piece of jewellery in a 2 and a half hour session.

Examples from previous workshoppe designs!

Examples from previous workshoppe designs!

By the end of the session you should have the knowledge confidence and skills to have a go in the comfort of your own home. All materials and tools are provided so you just need to bring yourself and plenty of ideas of what you’d like to make!

To book for the morning session *click here*.

To book for the afternoon session *click here*.

Once you have booked I Am Acrylic will be in touch with more info so you can think about your design beforehand!

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Designer Interviews – Laura Berger

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Laura Berger is definitely one of our most loved designers. Girls walk around the HZ Shoppe looking at the jewellery while their boyfriends stand and chuckle at the cards occasionally running up to them with a silly grin on their face to show what cheeky nugget of Laura’s imagination they’ve found!

In this latest of our designer interviews, Vicky talks to Laura about what makes her tick and if she really uses her bottom as a drum…

Laura Berger

Describe a typical day…

Most days I get up around 9 and coffee is first and foremost.  I like to drink a first cup sitting in my little meditation / plant space in my living room because there’s good sun in there if the sun is out and I associate that space with good feelings, so it feels like a nice start.  Then I usually plod through some tasks that coffee is helpful with, like emailing and such.  After that, for the last year or so it’s been anywhere between 10-15 hours working most days.  That could include painting, animating, designing paper goods, packaging paper goods, packaging online orders, ordering supplies, updating sites and social media, googling tech forums to try to fix something that’s broken, weeping gently, making little ceramics… a whole slew of options there. Painting and designing is really time consuming, but it’s also what I like the best of course, so the hours fly by when I’m working.  Lately I’m really into the George Michael station on Pandora.  I try to get some yoga or a walk snuck in there somewhere.  And a late dinner with my man pal or a friend sometimes.  I usually have an adult reward when I’m done working so I can delineate the end of my day — like a glass of wine or something — on my back porch if it’s warm enough.  I have a beautiful alley view.  So basically my day is structured around beverage enjoyment, I guess.  I do fun things too, I swear.  And I always take Sundays off.

Do you have any rituals to help you get inspired when facing a creative block?

The best way for me to clear a creative block is to put it all down and walk away and stop thinking about any of it.  Travel is the ultimate best way.  But even something as simple as going for a walk or just taking a shower can help.  Grasping and stress kills all ideas.  Stress is bad and dumb.  I get the most ideas when I’m doing something completely unrelated to working or something sort of meditative — like long-distance driving, or looking out a plane window, or just sitting and staring at the ceiling and not thinking.  If I let go, everything comes.  Easier said than done, of course.

Work In Progress Laura Berger

 

How much of your work is based on your real life … Have you actually used a butt to play the drums and thrown a pyjama party?

Ha!  um… who hasn’t? Right?  Well, I certainly hope we are all drumming some butts anyway.  They have excellent acoustics.

I mean I guess it’s all from my life in a sense — thoughts that pop up or maybe experiences I have had or want to have.  I really like to be ridiculous.  It is a very lucky thing that I found a person who will put up with my insanity.

Laura Berger Workspace

Do you have any advice for people wanting to start their own business in the creative world?

Make work obsessively because it’s all practice and it will help not only to improve technically, but I think making lots of work also helps to psychologically work through our experiences, influences, and ideas and really get clear on who we are.  Which then means our own voice can gain clarity and a personal style can start to develop and find its way.   I think if you’re being honest in your work — if you’re really being you —  people will connect with it because it will inherently be unique.  And we’re so fortunate right now with the ability to share our work with people all over the world via social media and the web, so of course you have to make sure to hustle that stuff a little too.

What has been your favourite adventure so far?

Our trip to Japan a couple of years ago was pretty awesome.  I love it there.  

You have such a great sense of humour in your work! Has it ever gotten you into trouble?

Thank you! And yes!  I always got in trouble in school for talking too much.  I was a pro prank phone caller among my friends, back in the prehistoric times before Caller ID was invented.  This is why this solitary work life is super challenging for me.  I’m a talker.

Work In Progress Laura Berger

If you were reincarnated, what do you think you’d come back as and why?

I hope I will come back as a small fluffy animal.  I don’t care what kind.  It just seems really nice to be small and fluffy and sleep a lot and get petted. And if I’m an animal then I don’t have to go through gym class again.  I was awful at it.

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Thank you so much to Laura and Vicky and stay tuned for more designer interviews coming soon!

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Designer Interviews – One We Made Earlier

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Next up in our new series of designer interviews are husband and wife duo Emma and Rob Orchardson of One We Made Earlier.

The couple design and create bold and beautiful statement jewellery with strong clean lines and a playful geometric theme. Their necklaces are striking art pieces and always gather lots of attention in the HZ shoppe.

Anna spoke to Emma from One We Made Earlier to find out more about the duo’s makings and inspirations behind the brand.

Teo Necklace

What inspired you to start your own jewellery brand?

In a way we didn’t really make the decision to start a jewellery brand at all – it was just the direction that our experimentation ended up taking!

Having worked independently in the worlds of fine art and design, my husband Rob and I decided to pull together our common interests and collaborate on a project. We started to experiment with some different materials and shapes and then after making our first few necklaces for friends and receiving some positive feedback and support, we decided to make more necklaces using our signature rope and various other interesting materials, initially wooden shapes and balls.

Can you describe One We Made Earlier for us?

One We Made Earlier produce contemporary accessories. We work with a wide range of design stores and boutiques both in the UK and much further afield.

We love combining unusual and unexpected materials such as corian – a material mainly used for kitchen worktops with cork or shiny resin balls to compose balanced and minimal designs which have impact when worn or even hung on the wall.

Ad Necklace in Yellow

What is it like working as a creative duo?

It is good – but life is a juggle!

I work in One We Made Earlier full-time whilst also looking after our two young children who are at primary school. Rob also continues his work making sculptures in the world of contemporary art alongside cutting shapes for necklaces in the studio! We recently moved into a very local studio together which has helped our work/life balance a lot!

We tend to work unconventional hours to get everything done – I work school hours and then again in the evening. Somehow it works, but it can be crazy if we have a lot of orders on!

What are your main inspirations?

Inspiration stems from many sources and is often influenced by exhibitions we are visiting, books we are reading, things we have noticed in daily life in London or places we have been. Some of our foundational sources of inspiration include Memphis use of colour and pattern, the boldness of Constructivist design, Bauhaus simplicity and futurist stage set designs.

Can you tell us a little about the design process behind the development of your collections?

Our design process is very playful and experimental. If we have found a new surface we like, Rob will cut it into various shapes and we will play around with different compositions of shapes until something works well for both of us. From one design, another often emerges organically.

Having worked with existing surfaces for a while such as corian, we are now interested in developing some of our own surfaces, casting and creating our own shapes for future collections.

Otto Necklace

What advice would you give someone interested in getting into the jewellery design business?

I guess it is easy to imagine you would be sitting at a bench making things all day every day. Of course there are many, many hours spent doing that (in our case cutting and sanding!) but there are so many other aspects to running a business to keep on top of in order to keep the business alive and build your brand.

Social media is key these days and also taking part in events where you can meet customers face to face, gather feedback on your work and see what else is happening in the design world around you.

Any collaborations with other creatives currently in the pipeline?

Potentially, yes…Watch this space!

And lastly, what’s next? What is your vision for the future of One We Made Earlier?

As I mentioned before, we are currently experimenting with making our own surfaces for new necklaces. We are also considering other product lines.

We will be taking part in Designjunction at London Design Festival again in September, so come and visit us there!

Thanks to both Anna and Emma from One We Made Earlier. It is fantastic to know more about what inspires our designers to make such beautiful jewellery!

Stay tuned for more designer interviews coming soon!

 

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My Hannah Zakari Wishlist: A Short Extract!

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Hello! I’m Aimee, and I’m really happy to be able to introduce myself as one of the newest members of the Hannah Zakari team. As an illustrator, comic artist and long-time resident of Edinburgh the shoppe has been on my radar since it opened, so having the chance to work here is really exciting. It’s only my second day, but I’ve already compiled a pretty extensive wish list! Here are just a few of the things I need to own…

There’s nothing I DON’T want from Stay Home Club, but at the top of my list is this Crying At The Party iron-on patch:

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Now I just need to decide what to attach it to – and get some parties lined up so I can show it off! For some reason that gloomy little face really makes me smile.

I’m also a massive fan of Eclectic Eccentricity‘s space themed jewellery. If I had to choose just one of their designs (and that’s a totally hypothetical dilemma because I’m definitely going to buy more than one), I’d go for the Ursa Major Bear Constellation necklace:

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I was an obsessive star-gazer as a child and loved looking up at the night sky in search of the great bear, so I think the sentimental value of this design for me justifies a purchase! I also love their You Cannot Be Cirrus rainy cloud necklaces, which are perfectly representative of the weather in Edinburgh today.

The last item on this (heavily abridged) version of my wish list is Sarah Utter’s great Reading is Sexy T-Shirt:

image

I’m an English Literature graduate, sometime private tutor and total book nerd so it’s basically unacceptable that I don’t already own this. I plan to wear it next time I run into a reluctant reader!

Well, the weather might be dreary in the city – but dreaming of all the beautiful things here has brightened up my day at least! I can’t wait to start building my Hannah Zakari collection.

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Objects of Desire // Part One

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A week into her new role at Hannah Zakari, Laura writes a blog post about the items in the shop that she is already coveting.

I’ve been a fan of the shoppe since it opened in 2010. Back then, I was working as the Online Marketing Manager for Craft Scotland, where I promoted the work of makers and designers based in Scotland. When the Hannah Zakari Shoppe opened I quickly added it to my list of essential local places to visit for gifts and treats – about half of my own jewellery has been bought from here!

Fast forward six years, and I now work as a freelance writer. When the opportunity to join the team at Hannah Zakari came up I leapt at the chance. The hours fit perfectly around my writing work, I get to meet new and interesting people, and I am once again able to work with beautifully designed products.

The downside is that I’ve only been here a week but am already wildly in love with a few pieces, and am desperate to add them to my own collection.

Comet What May locket by Eclectic Eccentricity

I’m a bit of a space nerd, and already have the Eclectic Eccentricity spaceman necklace at home. I’m desperate to add the space shuttle to that, as well as one of the fantastic lockets from their range – the ‘Comet What May‘ locket which keeps catching my eye. (Actually, I want everything in their collection.)

Space Explorer Patch by Mokuyobi

Another space related object of desire is the Space Explorer patch by Mokuyobi. (It might, in fact, be the first item I buy as a member of team Hannah Zakari.)

Terrarium Necklace by Finest Imaginary

On a far more Earthly note, I love the Terrarium necklaces from Finest Imaginary. The mini cacti are so bright and cute, and look like they would be great to wear when the sun finally starts shining here.

Watermelon necklace by Swank

However, the object which has me longing for summer the most right now is the Watermelon necklace by Swank. It’s bold, colourful, and is making me think wistfully of spending warm afternoons on the meadows.

Now we just need some sunshine…

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Designer Interviews – Après Ski

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Next in line in our new series of Designer interviews is Lucía Vergara of Spanish brand Après Ski. Launched in 2009, Après Ski ties vintage and modern pieces together to create original and unique accessories. Her newest collection has just arrived here at the HZ shoppe and we absolutely love all of it, can we have one of everything please?!

Anna speaks to Lucía where she reveals a little of her creative process behind Après Ski and shares some advice for anyone thinking of starting their own jewellery line.

Hey Lucía, so what inspired you to start Après Ski?

The name Après Ski refers to the “après ski” (after skiing) aesthetic of the 1950s, which was the original source of inspiration for the brand. It also has a meaning in the sense of accomplishment that follows a completed task or after making an effort, in that way those precious moments of relax are a reward and a source of happiness, a bit like my accessories I hope.

Can you describe Après Ski for us?

Before starting my own brand I worked for three years developing Lydia Delgado’s accessories collections, after meeting her by chance in the store I was working at. During that time I also collaborated with other brands like Ailanto. But after that time I wanted to develop a more personal project where I would have complete freedom to create my own pieces. It was a very natural process because I had been making my own accessories for a while and also made some for my friends on request.

What would you say are your main inspirations?

I am inspired by pastel colours, geometric shapes, nature, avant-garde art movements and “poor” materials. Everything that inspires me is clearly reflected in my work.

Can you tell us a little about your design process behind the development of your collections?

My creative process is very organic. Since I don’t have an education in design I started with learning the basic principles of artistic education. I’m always on the lookout for materials everywhere I go so I have piles of materials, once I have a concept I want to develop I follow my instincts arranging pieces by textures and colours and making up shapes. I always have a lot of fun creating these compositions in such an intuitive way. It’s a bit like mixing painting and collage and it works great for me to put my ideas down, since I don’t sketch.

What advice would you give someone interested in getting into the jewellery design business?

The best anyone can do is to stay true to themselves and be who they really are, without letting other people’s opinions or judgements affect the way they feel or think. I believe it’s very important to find something you are good at and try to do it in your own personal way.

Are you currently working on any new collaborations with other creatives?

Right from the start of the Après Ski I always knew I wanted to collaborate with artists and to associate with all this creative people, so the idea of the collaborative packaging series was there right from the start. The last collaborations have been with Lolo y Sosaku, Charlotte Trounce and Robbie Whitehead.

And lastly, what’s next??

My plans so far are learning not to plan, haha! Make an effort to be able to live in the present. My goals for the brand are learning to manage it better and being able to have a permanent in-house team. I would love to be able to have the time to design and experiment more.

As for my dreams for the future, I have too many to list they range from being a ceramist to having a big house with a garden.

Thanks to Anna and Lucía for taking the time to chat to us about the wonderful Après Ski. You can shop their current collection on Hannah Zakari, right *here*!

We hope that you are enjoying this new series of designer interviews and maybe they will inspire you to start your own line of jewellery or creative venture!

Stay tuned for the next one coming soon!

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Designer Interviews – One + Eight

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In this new series of blog posts I’m excited to introduce one of our latest designers, design duo Susie and Jeanette of One+Eight. Those of you who have been in to the shop lately might have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these beautiful ceramic jewellery pieces packaged in the cutest little glass bottles. However, you really would be lucky since our first delivery arrived just in time for xmas and unsurprisingly sold out super fast!

Our lovely Vicky Viola spoke to Susie from One+Eight about her inspirations and creative processes…

Tell us a bit about your backgrounds. Have you always been creative?

Ever since I was a little girl I have (frustratingly for my parents) been very specific about the way I like things to look… my clothes, accessories, the way my room was decorated! No real surprise then, that in my twenties I moved into the retail trade and then buying. I was living in London and working in product development, mostly for large companies, which was fast paced and fun, but for me, not manageable when children came along. After a few hazy years of babies and toddlers I took a pottery course and things slowly spiraled! I re-found my passion for making. My retail experience has been invaluable when trying to navigate the process of setting up a small business. Don’t get me wrong, this is an ongoing process and a lot of the time we still feel like we are winging it!

 

We know you’re both self taught ceramicists. What made you decide to start working with porcelain?

I’m all into clean lines & simplicity and I love white and grey. …….  No fussiness or clutter, my friends joke that I would live in a white box if I could (maybe with a little hint of grey! ) Possibly, this is why the beautiful and delicate nature of porcelain really appeals to me, with its the crisp white finish and smooth surface. Not an easy choice when you are first starting out. Porcelain is a difficult material to work with as it has a tendency to bend and curve in ways you can’t control. You wouldn’t believe how many pieces I have to throw away when developing a new range! Each piece needs 3 firings and it is a roller coaster of highs and lows as each time you open the kiln the excitement as to how the pieces have come out, will they look as beautiful as they are in my head???? OMG not always. There have been many epic failures but what I can say is that I have learnt from all of them!

 

Tell us a little about where you get your inspiration from for your beautiful line of jewellery. 

The jewellery is a reflection of all the things I love; Unique, quirky and just a little bit different. Hopefully this comes out in my designs.

Nature and my local environment play a huge role in the creative process. Our studio is in a rural part of Devon, nestled in the rolling hills but also not far from the coast. I am an outdoors kinda girl. The fresh air helps me order my thoughts and the natural form is evident in many of my designs, leaves, stones and most definitely drift wood, …… My latest fascination is casting (using molds to shape the clay). I have been using this technique to create little porcelain sea urchins in, grey and white obviously! Oh yes, and pebbles are my new thing. Somehow they will be incorporated into a design!

Sea Urchins & Drift wood (B&W)

Do you have any advice for people looking to start their own online business?

Don’t! Only joking. I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world but  had I known how challenging it is to turn a passion into a business I would have thought about it more before leaping in! Late nights and uncertainty are inevitable and an element of calculated risk is necessary if you want to grow

My top 5 tips are;

1.Write a business plan. How are you going to finance your business?

What are your sales channels going to be? Who is your customer? How long will it take to get a return on your investment? We did not start out this way, we just made a few things and started selling, which was very exciting but as we grew I realized that we did not have the information we needed and I went back and wrote a business plan!!

2 . The minefield of social media: Don’t try to do everything. Find couple  that work for you and focus on them.  We focus on Pinterest, Instagram and facebook and are just starting blogging.

3. Be realistic about your time. What can you really achieve in the time you have available to dedicate to your business? I have 3 children and a husband who travels a lot for his job. My hours in the day are limited but I do work late into the night!

4. Get smart with your camera. If you are selling online, photos are king! Getting the photography right has been one of our major challenges. We did not have the finances to pay a professional photographer to do all our imagery, so with a lot of trial and error we have done our own. Ps. Use a consistent background so when you put your images online they sit well together.

5. Be focused; Who is your customer? Get to know them and focus any online marketing at that group. This has been a challenge for us and we are still working on it! We sell to stores and online so we have had to navigate both channels.

6. Never worry about things not working out. See failure as a learning experience. I heard it said once that. ……a good business person must have a least one failure behind them. Relate this in any way you wish!!!

If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would you like to do?

Eek, a difficult one, as I love what I do, but I will let you into a little secret. I have a degree in Biology and have always wanted to work in the medical field. Didn’t quite make the grade though!

What do you listen to when you are working together?

The children squabble, ted talks, bit of radio 4, jazz, reggae and the occasional bit of cheesy pop with my 6 year old (which I secretly love, shh). An eclectic mix really!

If you could choose to live in any era, which one would it be and why?

Love this question but I had to think hard about it as there have been so many cool and interesting eras. Can I be cheeky and plump for two?

The 1950’s, as I have, for a long time been inspired by the beautiful dresses and accessories ladies wore during this decade. I have a collection of scarves, hats and bags, a number of which are 50’s vintage pieces.

Now. Each one of us has the ability to shape our lives in any way we choose. Technology allows us to turn a creative dream into a business. We can work anywhere at any time. It has given me the flexibility to be a Mum and run a business!!

*****

Thank you to Vicky, Susie and One+Eight! It’s great to get a peek into the process of running a small creative business and I hope you’ll join us for more designer interviews to come…

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Hannah Zakari is Hiring

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*** All positions are now filled, thank you :) ***

Hannah Zakari is looking for a permanent member of staff to join our small team on a part time basis at our Candlemaker Row Shop.

The ideal candidate will be creative, passionate about indie design, and have a good understanding of Hannah Zakari and the designers and styles we stock. A cheerful and friendly personality is a must and you should be confident working alone.

We’re looking for someone to take on all aspects of the day-to-day running of the shop and key responsibilities will include:

opening and closing the shop including cashing up

greeting and helping customers

receiving deliveries and stock

cleaning and keeping stock replenished

picking and packing web orders and post office runs

uploading new stock to our website

blogging and involvement in other social media

The hours available are between 18 – 24 hours (3 – 4 days) per week and the starting rate of pay is £7.50 per hour. You should be able to work weekends regularly and some retail experience is preferred.

Interested?! We would love you to pop into our shop with a CV and cover letter so we can meet you. If you can’t manage, please email your CV and cover letter to Rachael at hannahzakari@gmail.com with the heading ‘Job Application – your name’.

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Winter Window Display

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Oh, I had fun with this one! Planning a window display is fun but slightly stressful, I get a million ideas whizzing around in my head and it’s difficult to choose which one will be a. relatively simple to construct, and b. look great in our awkward window.

This year I wanted to make a huge snowglobe filled with trees and mountains and Santa and presents. I was thinking about papier mache and wind machines and actual bunnies. After a lot of brainstorming and a trip to Hobbycraft, the idea got simplified – like all good ideas do – and I don’t think I could have wished for this to turn out any better in the end. It’s an abstract snowglobe winter scene with pom poms, glitter, stars, mountains and (dare I say) quite a magical feel. I love it!

with the shop lights on

lights on close up

shop lights off/window light on

christmas window display hannah zakari

I hope you like it as much as we do at HZ!

Rachael x

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