My Crafty Past…….

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True story: Before motherhood turned me Bananas (hehe) I used to moonlight as a jewellery designer. No, really, I did. It was a business I thoroughly enjoyed: It got my creative juices flowing to the max: I achieved a fair amount of success- having items featured in national publications, & I managed to earn some money along the way.

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I met some incredibly successful ‘fashion insiders’, the stand out highlight: meeting Hilary Alexander, who I admire greatly. She even commissioned me to create some pieces for the Daily telegraph, Fashion segment.

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I then reached a stage with the business where driving any success forward would mean pursing the high-end market, & investing a large amount of money into these endeavors (oh, hai diamonds). Unfortunately, this came smack bang at the time our economy took a nosedive into recession: a pretty shaky time to be throwing tons of money into a business. You can imagine I felt very apprehensive.

After a business consultation with a ‘man in the know’ who took our concept as far afield as the UAE, & sunny Ibiza (with Jade Jaggers’ boutique) I realised that to move the business forward would require complete dedication: life being put on hold & throwing myself in whole heartedly. Any future plans with Mr Cool Bananas would have to wait.

Now, I’ve never been afraid of a little hard work, or commitment. BUT I found myself having to reevaluate priorities. Did I want to spend the next 10 years slogging away at this? Was it in our grand scheme of things as a couple? & The answer was no. We were reaching a point in our relationship, where after getting engaged (underneath Sydney harbour bridge, new years eve, I heard you ask) our thoughts were turning to marriage & starting a family. The reality hit me, like a slap on the cheek: I simply wouldn’t be able to juggle this business venture & parenthood, financially or emotionally. If I’d already been a well-established brand in these new markets, this story would perhaps have a different ending.

I’d always wanted to be a mother: to enjoy & savour my child (to be a stay at home mum). Mr Bananas was the one with the career: I know some ‘feminists’ will disagree with this. Lets be clear, I am a feminist. I believe the movement has come a long way: & esentially feminism is about choice. My choice to be a ‘hands on mother’ therefore demonstrates my belief in feminism.

& So it was with a heavy heart, I decided to wind down the business, to seek employment elsewhere & slowly phase it out. Writing about this, it feels like a lifetime ago. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a ‘jewellery designer’ & I gained an invaluable knowledge not just about creativity, but also into the ‘workings’ of a business.

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know I’m a fan of the statement necklace: it’s such a simple ‘style cheat’ if you will, an easy way to jazz up any outfit. Heck, I’ve amassed a fair few lately:

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Quite frankly, the selection available on the high street, whilst they appear attractive are far too often very poorly made, plus a health & safety risk (those primarni ones will slit your throat if not handled with care!). This got me thinking….Why don’t I make my own? So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. As a hobby, if I can figure out the space-time continuum lark & actually find time (what, in-between taming a two year old!) & I thought y’all might like to join me along the way-& maybe even make your own.

I’ve reclaimed my tools: (you need very few to make basic pieces)

jewellery, cool bananas, cool bananas blog, jewellery tools, make jewellery , statement jewelleryI’m drafting ideas:

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& I’ll probably be visiting hobby craft for some nick-nacks that I’ll need (fyi, in this game, the technical term is ‘findings’)

 So do check back for my progress & the finished result!

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Click HERE for more info on these kits & loom bands

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19 responses

  1. This post is amazing and crossing my fingers to win as then my daughter will stop moaning at me for stealing her board

  2. Ha ha ,when i said on twitter I used to make jewellery, mine wasn’t as serious as this! Amazing things you achieved. Mine was a hobby and sold a bit, although the type of jewellery I made was just too hard to stand out and compete – not enough time or inclination to work hard at it myself.

    Enjoy your foray back into it.

  3. That was really brave of you to leave a career that was thriving but being a mummy is so awesome! So glad your finding the time to go back to your passion. Best of both world’s for you. Good luck!

  4. That’s so cool Mrs Banana’s, a jewellery designer. My hubby used to be a diamond merchant, one of his many different career paths he’s had. I love jewellery but I’m not creative enough to design my own so I’ll risk my jugular and stick to Primarni bad boys! ;-) xx

  5. What a special talent you have! and I’m so glad you’re getting back in to it :) I get a huge amount of satisfaction from making things – there’s always some random project out around the home (which hubs does not approve of – lol). I am so with you on the feminism thing. For me, it’s all about having options and opportunities xx

  6. Good for you for reclaiming your old passion. I’m proud of you for ending your career to dedicate to things you thought were more important. In this day and age we often only praise the women who “sacrifice it all” for their career, but I think you’re right….part of being a feminist is also DECIDING which path to take. I also think of myself as a feminist and I also choose to raise my son. It is one of the most difficult decisions because staying at home with children is worth nothing in today’s society, I often get comments (from my own family) about how I must “do nothing”.

    Anyways I could go on…but I digress. I think a side project to reconnect you with something that you are obviously talented at is a great idea. In Italy there is a movement called “slow fashion”, remember that success doesn’t have to come quickly and you have another full time job, so relish in each small accomplishment and the best of luck!

  7. Ah you creature of many talents K! How exciting, I shall look out for your pieces soon, I am also a fan of a statement necklace. And I totally agree on the fact you need to be careful what you buy, my much loved New Look one keeps turning my neck green. Not a sexy look. ;) x

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