Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Pearl ring safely delivered to British Columbia!

I was invited along to the Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire a few weeks ago for a local maker's market.  I really enjoyed the 2 day event and the highlight was that I received a commission from a visitor from Canada.

She loved my sterling silver handwired pearl ring and so she said she would order it on her return to Canada.

I didn't think too much about this as I know that many people say things and perhaps something gets in the way and so I never hear from them,

On this occasion however, I received a direct payment into my Paypal account on 6 August and so began working on the ring.  I made it in her exact ring size and choice of pearl.

On completion I put the ring in a solid glossy wooden box and parceled it up ready to be shipped on it's journey to Canada (I've never been).

I have just received an email saying:

Dear Sheila Just to say that my ring arrived yesterday and I love it!  M

How rewarding is this and my first international order!

Entrepreneurial Spark Update

I can hardly believe that I've been part of Entrepreneurial Spark for 5 weeks!  The time has flown in and there has been so much happening it's like a whirlwind!

I have learned a lot through various speakers especially Professor Les Charm from Babson College and through working with fellow chiclets.

More importantly I have had the chance to take 'time out' and look at my business under the microscope.  I have looked at my pitch in a new light and can see it taking shape.  I have practised over and over but not just in front of my bathroom mirror but in front of a variety of audiences - my fellow chiclets - and then a rethink.  I have been practising when visitors come to my studio.  I also gave a talk to a women's group and used the format plus a bit more (they wanted some funny stories too).

On Tuesday night I delivered my new and improved pitch at the West Coach Hatchery and was delighted to receive such positive feedback.  I had taken on board the various constructive comments I had received and reshaped the pitch to my liking.  The added touch of actually displaying my products proved very successful too.

As far as my business is concerned I feel that the motivation from being at the Hatchery has accelerated many aspects - since being at the Hatchery I now have 3 outlets where I am selling my work.  I am examining how I can 'scale up' my business as I individually handcraft each item.  After researching the possibilities I am currently creating a collection in silver which can be cast and reproduced to the same quality and finish by a company that I can trust within the United Kingdom.  This also produces a profitable margin.

I have also met with 2 separate mentors who have provided me with invaluable information and advice.  I have found that Karine, Jim and Brian in their individual ways, have supported and inspired me to 'go do'.

Within 5 weeks I have designed and created the first piece in my silver collection.  It is now ready to be cast and then I will be 'on the road' delivering my pitch to those specially selected venues.  I can't wait!

Free PR

I contacted the local paper - The Irvine Herald and by emailing an interesting story I got free editorial in the the paper 2 weeks ago.

By using Facebook to advertise I  held an event within my studio last Sunday which I organised by collaborating with other Companies.  I invited them along to provide free hair and make up trials for brides to be and I provided jewellery and accessory advice.  We all gained orders - a good team effort! I will also have an edited video of the Event coming soon as the Videographer was happy to do this at no cost also.We all gained orders - a good team effort!

I am sponsoring the Ayrshire's Top Model Event organised through Butterfly Events for a small fee and as a result I am getting lots of publicity.  I will donate a sterling silver pendant as a gift which will promote my business further.

Finally today I was at the Hatchery and there was a group of VIP's from South Ayrshire Council.  I was asked to deliver my 60 second pitch and was delighted to do so.  It was interesting that all of the women asked for my business card but the men didn't ask.  The group then met with a few other chiclets but I noticed that some returned to the meeting room while others were having coffee.  I decided to approach one of the women and suggested she might pass on some of my cards to the men in the group saying 'many men like to purchase surprise gifts for women too'.  This approach was happily received and she took my cards back into the meeting room.

Sometimes it's better to just 'go for it' if you feel the time is right!  That's how I felt about applying for the Hatchery and I have never looked back!  Roll on the next few weeks and the excitement of not knowing what possibilities are out there!

To do list

My to do list is never fully 'ticked' off.  Just when I begin to reduce my tasks there are always more to add. 

Although this means that I am always busy I am really glad that I never get all the tasks finished.  That might just mean that I have no orders or work to do for my business.  That would really be a worry!

I also find that I am not always in charge of what needs to be done - I may know what orders I have and also the components that need to be ordered.  I am always aware of my cash flow situation and accounts outstanding.  In fact anything concerning my business is always monitored.

However, when it comes to my domestic situation - now that is a different ball game!  For example, today I chose to work from home as I needed to also do some tasks at home as well as banking.  My son who is at College decided that he was going to the Scotland game at Hampden straight from College.  Of course, he had forgotten that he needed to iron his 'whites' for tomorrow - he's doing catering.

He will not be home till 12.30 am and will need to get up at 6.30 am.  The moral dilemma is: do I iron the said items (which I could do in 5 minutes) or do I leave it to him to start doing tonight or a 6.30 am in the morning.  This of course, would entail a lot of noise with ironing boards etc.

Yes I know he should have done this last night but as this is his first full week I can let him off with it - which means I will do it for him.

Of course he will have to get organised and do this for himself as he really doesn't do that much despite all my training! 

So as I said, my To Do list sometimes has the unpredictable.  As in business you also need to allow 'slippage' time for the unexpected!

Monday, 30 July 2012

First Day at Entrepreneurial Spark West Coast

What a day!  I had applied to the Entrepreneurial Spark some weeks ago which is a social enterprise company set up to enable and support entrepreneurs, start ups and small businesses in Scotland. This was the brainchild of Sir Tom Hunter a Scottish businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. I had an interview last Wednesday where I had to deliver a 60 second pitch with my business idea to a group of people who were all in the same position.

I found out that I had been accepted and today I realised that I was one of only 8 'chiclets' who had been selected.  What a wonderful opportunity - to work alongside a group of like minded people and be offered a workspace with great facilities, fantastic mentors and so much more....

Really looking forward to working at the 'hatchery' and the journey ahead :)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Competition - Welcome to my blog - be featured!

Hello and thanks for visiting my Blog.

Would you like to be featured on my blog and also win a Gift Voucher to the value of 25 pounds?

This is what you need to do:

I am always interested to know how my visitors found my blog - was it through my website or via Facebook?  Or perhaps some other route?

If this is the first time visiting my blog I would love to hear your comments about it.  Are there any designs you really like?  Are there any of my posts that you like?

To  be featured you need to answer the above questions and also write a short piece about a funny story surrounding a Wedding - your own wedding or one you have attended(up to 500 words)
and 'like' my Facebook page

Email your answer to:
Closing date 30 September 2012

Entries will be judged by an independent panel of judges

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Twin Hearts Brooch

This lovely little brooch was commissioned for a bride by her bridesmaids.  This was to be a permanent keepsake but was also to be worn on her garter on her wedding day.

The design comprises two handcut sterling silver hearts which have been filed, polished and then one has been soldered onto the other.

Finally the brooch components have been soldered onto the back.  The brooch was then sent to the Edinburgh Assay Office for hallmarking with my 'SK' maker's mark, 925 silver, the symbol for the Lion Rampant of Scotland, a castle to represent Edinburgh and 'N' to denote the year 2012.

This design is available to order or can be customised for you.  Regards Sheila

Tess Bridal Headpiece

Tess Headpiece

This design is part of my new Bridal Collection and comprises of crystal diamonte, handmade pearl flowers and preciosa crystals.  This is designed to sit on the side of the head.  Of course all my designs can be customised for each client.

Just contact us for more details.

Mother of the Bride Jewellery Commission

This was commissioned as a gift.  The design is made with Chrysotine gemstone discs interspersed with Swarovski Elements in peridot.  The pendant is Swarovski Elements in Vitreol Medium with a sterling silver hanging bail.

For more information please contact us.  Thanks

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Designer Day with Sheila Kerr

Dahlia Tiara by Sheila Kerr
Sunday 2 September, 2012 from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
The Studio, Courtyard Studios, 128 Harbour Street, IRVINE  KA12 8PZ

Free hair trial, free make up trial and Sheila Kerr of Sheila Kerr Jewellery will be on hand to advise on Tiaras, hair accessories and jewellery.  Book now to avoid disappointment.  Visitors welcome to browse the designs too.  Bring a friend!  Bubbly and cake.  Special offers on the day. 

With Dianne Reap of Empire Bridal Hair, Nicol Creen Makeup, Sarah's Creative Occasions and Anyone for Cake

Contact us now for more details.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sheila Kerr features in Ayrshire Wedding Directory

I was thrilled and delighted when I was invited to provide a selection of my bridal headpieces, tiaras, jewellery and bridesmaid hair accessories for the photoshoot.

The Ayrshire Wedding Directory has been in circulation for over 2 years and is proving to be very popular with brides to be.  

My Poppy headpiece is worn on the front cover and my pieces are worn throughout the magazine in the photoshoot.

The next edition will be available from August 2012 and again my work will be featured in the photoshoots!

Dahlia Tiara with freshwater pearl Wild Heart Necklace by Sheila Kerr

Image features model wearing the 'Dahlia' tiara with large freshwater pearl necklace and Swarovski Elements 'wild heart' in jet.

Matching bracelet in freshwater pearl and black crystals.
Handforged copper leaf earrings by Sheila Kerr
Sheila Kerr can create jewellery for you in copper, brass, silver or gold.

Image shows Hannah wearing handhammered copper leaf earrings with sterling silver earwires.  These carry the Sheila Kerr maker's mark from the Edinburgh Assay Office and are hallmarked.
Customised shoes for a bride

Sheila Kerr can customise your shoes for you!  Using crystals, pearls, ribbon and more - your shoes can be transformed into a unique piece of artwork!  This can be for your wedding day, a special event or just for fun!

Contact us for your own unique creation!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Crafted in Scotland

I am now selling some finished pieces through the website Crafted in Scotland so it's possible to order online through this site.  All pieces have been made in Scotland and there is a variety of gifts, jewellery and more available to order.

Why not check it out now:

                                          Crystal Moon Earrings available at

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Designs 19 March 2012 - cold connection techniques

Copper - have been experimenting with mixed metals and have made a pendant with 'moving parts'.  This involves a technique known as 'riveting'.

Finally created this pendant on Saturday by piercing a large triangle of copper sheet and then a small triangle of brass.  I riveted the small triangle onto the copper triangle.  I then made a sterling silver bail which I riveted onto the piece.  This is know as cold connection techniques as there is no use of heat or solder.

The resulting design is unusual in that the small triangle can be moved around to create different looks.  Could be called the 'Mood Pendant'.  May now create more matching jewellery to complement this - earrings, a ring, a bangle . . . possibilities are endless now that I can create moving parts - a clock face; a figure with moving limbs ... so many designs to be thought of.  Oh how I love working with metals!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Chloe head piece

Chloe head piece by sheilakerr
This headpiece was designed for a Bridal Company in Glasgow 'Love's Philosophy Bridal' and was sold to a bride for her wedding.  Unfortunately the business was closed as the owner moved away to pursue her career in teaching.  I just loved creating this and it was truly beautiful in reality with loads of Swarovski crystals and diamonte!

Handcut sterling silver snowflake pendant

SNV35067 by sheilakerr
This was a commission from a husband to his wife for Xmas.  He had drawn a design that he wanted to be made up in sterling silver. The theme was a snowflake with 'holly' type points.  I also made stud earrings to match.  I soldered a concealed bail to suspend the chain.  I met his wife later on the following summer and she told me she loved the pendant and earrings!

Handmade Cubic Zirconia ring

Keshi pearl drop earrings

Keshi pearl drop earrings by sheilakerr
Keshi pearl drop earrings, a photo by sheilakerr on Flickr.

Hammered Choker

Hammered Choker by sheilakerr
Hammered Choker, a photo by sheilakerr on Flickr.
One of my earlier commissions in sterling silver where I was asked to create a choker with hammered peardrop shapes.  The central drop is larger and the others graduate outwards.  I also made matching earrings and a bangle with 2 dangle pear charms.  My customer was delighted and is still wearing this!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Prize Draw - Free Wedding Jewellery


Order your wedding jewellery and be automatically entered into our prize draw. 

Prize: receive a CASH refund of your order maximum value £500! Draw takes place in December 2012. Date and venue of draw to be arranged.  Applies to a single order; only one entry per household.

Contact us for more details.

Valentine Heart Jewellery

Crystal Heart Pendant
Beautiful Swarovski Elements heart pendant suspended from a silver plated chain

Price 25 pounds

- sterling silver chain also available.

Matching Earrings  - silver plated earwires  
12 pounds
Crystal Heart Earrings

New Bridal Jewellery Designs

'Marquise' Tiara

This is one of my new creations - a traditional tiara design comprising of  central large marquise crystal surrounded by small diamontes.  The rest of the design is made up of set crystal stones and the band is finished with round crystal stones. Height at centre is 2.5 cm - This design can be altered to suit individual taste.

Price 150 pounds

'Ava' Tiara

This is a side tiara comprising of large Swarovski crystal pears with marquise set crystal stones fashioned into flower and leaf shapes.  This truly sparkles and sits to the one side of the head.

Again this can be altered to suit individual taste and style.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Almost lost my domain name!

What a panic!  My new website has just gone live within the last few weeks and I received a reminder to renew my domain name.  This is an annual event but as I have a new site it was urgent that I do this before the deadline date of 6 February, 2012.  I duly renewed as per instruction on the email with my card but I find that the company are in Australia!  Last night I thought I would go on to my website and find that I could not access it at all.

Rather strange?  I contacted Duncan of ListEd Website Design who immediately dealt with it and made the payment.  My site should go live within 48 hours but due to my bank's incompetence I have nearly lost my domain name!

I will be phoning the bank at 9.00 am today!

So my site is not working as we speak but should be live within 48 hours.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sheila Kerr Jewellery's New Logo

Many thanks to Duncan from ListEd Website design for creating this fantastic logo.  I was able to have a input into the design and had requested that my name was written in a script style to create a handwritten effect.  Duncan then suggested the 'jewellery' underneath.  I did want a very minimalistic look so I wanted the black background with the white text but also wanted a crystal or diamond to complete the design.  Again Duncan came up with the watermarked crystal design which I really like.

My new website is now live with my logo and I can now use this logo on all of my literature including business cards.  I can definitely recommend Duncan Slorach of ListEd Website Design for all your website needs.  Find ListEd at

Tuesday, 7 February, 2012

What has my day been like?  It started with Dave coming to complete installing a radiator which he had begun on Saturday but couldn't finish until he got certain parts to finish the job.  Meanwhile I spent most of the morning on my laptop answering emails as well as browsing on Facebook among other things.  I waited for the postman (who I now know really well) as he brings me parcels most days.  My sterling silver cufflink chain arrived and so I could then post the hammered copper cufflinks that I am currently working on.  These have been sent to the Edinburgh Assay Office to be stamped with my personal maker's mark (SK) as well as the 925 sterling silver and the castle for Edinburgh too.  These will not be returned to me until about Thursday.  After that I need to solder the chain to each cufflink part and then pickle to remove oxide.  I will then polish and finish them before delivering to my customer.  These are a special gift from a wife to her husband for his birthday and she had a say in the design - a rhomboid shape with hammered markings to catch the light. After the radiator was installed I had to hoover and clean away the resulting dust - although Dave is very tidy.

Tomorrow will need to be a 'making' day where I can work on all my orders which are many.  However, I enjoyed today as it gave me the chance to catch up with the paperwork which is a necessary evil of running your own business.

Sheila Kerr Jewellery's Studio in Irvine

This is my studio at the Courtyard Studios, Harbour Street, Irvine.  I just love working there and I have all my designs on display for anyone to browse.  I also have an area where I can hold small group jewellery making workshops.

The view from my workbench looks out to the sea and the island of Arran in the distance.  No two days are the same but always the sun sets behind Arran (if it's not raining you can see the fantastic outline of this well known landmark).

I'm so looking forward to the spring as I moved into my studio last September and then the weather deteriorated.  I have seen all kinds of weather as I work at my bench - from fabulous winter sunsets to hailstones battering on the dormer windows of my upstairs studio.  No matter the weather I just love working there!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Prom/bridesmaid Collection

Diamonte Shell Comb                                                                                   £20

New Prom/Bridesmaid Accessories

Dragonfly Headband

This is one of my new designs from my Prom/Bridesmaid collection.  Created with crystals and diamonte this really sparkles!

Available to order at price of £25