Taking the Plunge – How a Love of Vintage & Jewellery Became a Business

Welcome to Vintage Cordelle! My new little blog to give you an insight into my business Cordelle, the inspiration I find around me, some crafty DIY projects and the vintage treasures I unearth in my virtual travels.

First, a little bit about me. I am first and foremost a wife and mother. I have two children, a girl aged 2 years and a boy aged 5 months. I have always loved art and craft, and grew up trying every new thing that came into fashion. Growing up I also loved old MGM musicals and the movies where the actors/actresses were stars not celebrities. This is where my love of vintage came into being, often believing I was born in the wrong era (the ’80s didn’t really offer the same style and glamour that I coveted)!

One of the crafts I enjoyed doing was jewellery making. Just simple beaded jewellery at first, making pieces to match my outfits. My very supportive colleagues at my job as a preschool teacher encouraged me to sell the jewellery I made as they often admired my creations.

OK, I thought. I’ll give it a whirl.

I made a few things and listed them on eBay. Nothing.

I tried Etsy. Nothing.

I held a little open house market in our tiny flat and invited friends and family. I sold stuff! Oh the elation of making those first sales! Of finding out that other people like what you make and want to wear it or give it as gifts!

Selling personally to family and friends became the main way I traded my handmade jewellery while I worked full-time. Then, in 2010, I went on maternity leave and had our first baby. Struggling with not working for the first time in my adult life and wondering how to stop my brain turning to mush while taking care of a newborn, my thoughts turned to making my jewellery business a serious endeavour. In between feeding, nappy changing and doing sudoku (my other non-brain-mush activity) I researched starting a business and how to make a website.

By January 2011 I had (painfully) built a website and without thinking too much into it, started a Facebook page to help advertise it.

‘Likes’ started rolling in. Friends at first. Then people I didn’t know started popping up on my page.

The snowball had started rolling.

It wasn’t long before I started making sales and the number of likes hit triple digits.

I got to know my customers. My style developed and soon my love of vintage started seeping into my work. The response was incredible and ‘vintage-inspired’ became my aesthetic.

‘Likes’ increased past 1000. Sales increased. And that amazement at people actually wanting to wear what I make still caught in my throat. It still does!

My maternity leave finished and I returned to work part-time, but now I also had this growing business to take care of, not to mention the world’s most adorable baby! The juggle began and somehow I muddled through and continued to make my business grow.

The beginning of 2012 saw a move to a new city and another baby on the way. As I had to leave my teaching job I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take on my business ‘full-time’ (because a toddler and a newborn aren’t full-time enough!).

So here we are today. We are now a family of four. My business branding has been updated and a new website has been (professionally) designed. I have started selling at local markets too. I still juggle, it’s just that the balls in the air are slightly different now.

This blog will be a sharing of my journey in business, insights into my inspiration and new product ranges, as well as a showcase of other vintage-loving businesses that I stumble across along the way.

I do hope you’ll join me on this ride and maybe even leave a comment or two if I post something that interests you.

Annaliese x

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5 thoughts on “Taking the Plunge – How a Love of Vintage & Jewellery Became a Business

  1. Great start to your blog! Really enjoyed reading what you wrote and also of course a big fan of your wonderful creations. Looking forward to seeing more. Lots of blessings ahead. Your biggest fan CW 🙂

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