A new Chapter
I'm a great believer in looking at life as a series of chapters. Some evolve gradually and others are thrust upon us unexpectedly. With all the turbulence that adolescent life brings, adult life has certainly not been without its challenges, but I've found a quiet confidence in my 30's in who I am and where I'm going.
I'm 36 now and still feel young and somewhat inexperienced - which would be a shock to 20's-me, who thought I'd be married, owning a house, and in an established career and generally having life "sorted" by the time I was 'that old'! Since that heavily loaded life-marker of turning 30, I have indeed succeeded in ticking some of those classic boxes of major life achievements, and two years ago I ticked my most life-changing one yet. I gave birth to my son in May 2019 and together with my husband we turned the page to a brand new chapter in our lives.
I've never felt more driven, passionate and selfless in my life. All other areas of my life have had to mould themselves around this new little life that arrived, including my career. I made the decision not to return to my job, even though I loved it. I was loving motherhood more, and was privileged enough to be able to afford to not return to work (not that I would have made much money after childcare costs given the state of the system here in the UK!).
Deep down I knew it was a rare opportunity to really commit to my jewellery as a bona fide business without the safety net of a regular day job. Naively, a part of me believed that as I wasn't returning to my job-job, that meant I could work full-time at last on my small business... Ha! Over the last two years I have grabbed snippets of time while my son naps to work on my jewellery. Half an hour here, an hour there. Just enough time to start making something one day, maybe finish it the next day or two if I'm lucky. Then another day to photograph. Another day to edit pictures. Another day to list the piece in my shop... Suddenly the things I'd previously just casually do on my weekends were taking me days or even weeks to complete. Jewellery making and all the admin roles became my time to relax and be mindful, but also added a whole heap of pressure and items to the never-ending To Do List.
It has taken me two years to start to find some balance in this strange new juggle; working out when my business was giving me respite and headspace, and acknowledging when it was adding to my stress and poorly affecting my mental health (sometimes easier said than done). Becoming a Mum and trying to build my small business (oh and navigating a Pandemic too) has been the most challenging and soul-searching thing I have ever done. But it has brought with it endless revelations, pure joy, and a love that knows no bounds.
I took my son to his first official nursery session this afternoon and it is the first time we have been apart for more than a few hours in the whole two years of his life. It was heartbreaking leaving him there but I know it's an important part of his social development (and more) which has been so deprived this last year due to the pandemic.
I got home, and sat down on my laptop to work on my website. I stared at the photograph of me on my homepage (taken when I was unknowingly on the cusp of motherhood; we found out I was pregnant only a few weeks after the photoshoot) and it got me thinking about how I've changed since becoming a mother; the resilience and compassion and fire in my soul, and I realised that that is exactly what I want my jewellery to be for the women who wear it. My jewellery celebrates the beauty of the finest natural materials, to celebrate the beautiful, strong and compelling spirits of the women who wear it.
I've recently started wearing jewellery again after a long break since having a baby, and I'd forgotten how much I love wearing it. It enhances my identity, lifts my spirits and brings me strength and confidence. And some days I really need that. What a powerful tool to have!
I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that life is changing dramatically at the moment for so many of us. Navigating life during and post-pandemic, raising our children to be a positive change in the world that it so desperately needs. Nurturing our own souls to find happiness and our place in this chaotic and demanding world.
It can be overwhelming and stifling at times, but when we find even the littlest of things that speak to us, lift us up, or bring us joy, it will always be worth embracing.
My jewellery has been created with compassion and love and meticulously honed skills to celebrate these precious and life-affirming qualities and the unquenchable spirit of women across the globe.
Follow me on my journey and this new chapter in my life as I continue to juggle my jewellery business with the roller-coaster that is motherhood by getting my latest updates and new collections direct to your inbox right here or visit my shop on Etsy here.
Together we can do this!
Beautiful photography (except the top image) by Suzanne Johnson, based here in Cornwall