We’re in awe of Sally Mcadam: as well as being a full time doctor, she manages to find time to make the beautiful jewellery and accessories in her Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes range! We’ve just received a delivery of new HOYFC pin badges, so Aimee interviewed Sally to find out more about the process and inspiration behind them.
How long have you been designing jewellery and accessories? And what got you started?
I started making jewellery at university, initially just charm bracelets and necklaces using beads I bought from ebay. I began to get frustrated as I couldn’t make items look the way I wanted them to so I looked into other methods of jewellery making and came across laser cutting. I taught myself to use a vector program called Inkscape (which you can download for free!) and with a lot of trial and error and furious googling I made my first laser cut necklace. I was so excited about it that I continued to design and make increasingly complex pieces and I’ve now been making jewellery for around 10 years.
More recently, I decided to design some enamel pin badges as I felt the blocks of colour and clear lines would fit in well with my brand and give customers the opportunity to buy smaller and more affordable pieces from my online store. They have been a massive hit and I now sell more pin badges than anything else in my shop! I’ve also branched out into designing patches, tote bags, snapback caps, notebooks, stickers and even washi tape. I love drawing new things so I’ve always got new products popping up.
What does an average working day look like for you?
As well as running HOYFC I have a full time job working as a doctor in a hospital. This means I don’t really have an “average” working day as I work a lot of long days, weekends and night shifts – I work hard to manage my time. If I’m working a normal 9-5 day I’ll get up and go to work at my day job and when I come home in the evening I’ll pack up my orders, answer my emails, work on new designs, make jewellery, do my accounts, etc. I usually go to the post office once a week looking like Santa with a giant bag of mail.
You draw a lot from pop culture, like television and gaming, for your work. What’s been the best thing you’ve seen or played lately?
I don’t have as much time as I would like to for gaming any more as I dedicate most of my spare time to HOYFC, but I did manage to watch Stranger Things on Netflix and it was incredible! I loved it so much that I designed a range of pins, patches, badges and stickers based around it and my customers seem to be enjoying them which is super great.
Would you describe yourself as a bit of a geek?
I’d like to think I’m really cool, but in reality I probably am a bit of a geek. I’d rather stay in and watch sci fi films than go out dancing and I’d rather go roller skating than to the pub – I think this is reflected in some of my products, especially the “Too Tired To Party” pin badge and balloon packs I designed recently.
Do you have any favourite pieces in your collection right now?
I really like the rainbow screen printed t-shirts and tote bags I have in right now that say “I’m Not Sorry About Your Fragile Masculinity“. The sentiment rings true for most of my customers and the pastel coloured rainbow screen printing looks beautiful!
Are there any other designers or artists who are inspiring you at the moment?
I’m in love with Big Bud Press’ new retro style collection and the awesome clothing range they’ve introduced recently. Designosaur have just brought out some amazing dinosaur socks and I have some major sock envy!
Do you have any advice for designers just starting out?
Organise your time, do your tax return as early as possible, (or even better, get an accountant to do it) and most importantly have fun!
What’s your favourite dinosaur?
I love a stegosaurus, I think they’re underrated. Team Steg!
Our thanks to Sally for talking to us – you can buy our full Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes range on the Hannah Zakari webshoppe now!
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