Maker Interviews: Sally @ How Fine Designs

Headshot of Sally at her desk

Contemporary jewellery designer and all round creative person Sally from How Fine Designs, shares her journey, day to day life, and hopes for the future.

“I’m inspired by life, travel, Art, sculpture, photography, cooking, meeting interesting people,  being outside, nature, books and learning new creative things from other artists. I genuinely love to make mistakes and enjoy the freedom that play gives us.”

Once an art teacher, Sally enrolled in a silversmithing course after a relocation and immediately fell in love.

I remember picking my children up from school with dirty hands and face because I didn’t want to spend time washing, when I could be making jewellery! I mostly made things for myself, and friends and family, so kept it as a hobby until people kept asking me whether they could buy things as presents for themselves or their friends! Then I made some rings and bracelets with some hand stamped phrases

Sally holding small heart shaped charms engraved with 'Love'
Painting of poppies on a blue background

After realising that creating jewellery was boosting her confidence she decided to share the feeling.

I expanded this to help artists believe in themselves too. I now help artists to be a more confident version of themselves and have built up a great rapport on Instagram with many wonderful artists, and now even feature some of them on my hashtag #livelovetobecreative”

Sally highly rates playtime, regularly scheduling her own time to release her inner child and get creative:

I really love the way that children play, and make art. They are just in the moment, and enjoying the process. Mostly if you watch the very young child creating something they are not even interested in what they have produced, they are simply enjoying the making and the act of creation, then they move on to the next. That is what I aim to do myself at least once a week, when I schedule a play session into my diary! I wish that we would worry less and enjoy the process more; That is what I am trying to share with my artists, that we should enjoy the creative process and do it for ourselves first.”

Brightly coloured books and effects on a distressed wood background
Sally working at her bench, filing a silver rabbit

“I would say that I think we are too worried about making mistakes. I am sure that making and enjoying our work, then finding the right people who share our taste and style is much more more positive and will lead us to more creativity”

With all the hard work Sally has put in there have been quite a few happy milestones to celebrate:

“Making my own website and pressing the button to see it go live was probably the most proud moment. More recently the first time I had my Instagram picture photographed on a feed with a huge following felt really great and I kept looking as the likes went up and up into the thousands! It gave me a glimpse of what it must be like to have a huge following… Of course it featured one of your PhotoBoards Lyndsey!”

A small silver coffee bean nestled into dark beans
Instagram screenshot of one of Sally's popular photos; gold stars, chocolate and coffee on a black background

Naturally, running a successful business, along with a busy family life comes with a few challenges too:

I’m constantly  juggling part time work with running a house, in a busy family of 5 there’s always more washing to do, dishwashers to deal with, homework to check or several other things to get done by yesterday! I’ve found using a very structured diary and setting only a few essential objectives each day has been really helpful. I find that I have to work on each thing for a limited time as I definitely work better with deadlines. The most frustrating thing has been photographing shiny reflective things… aaargh those reflections! I’m so determined to beat this one!”

Sally's workbench showing off all of her tools

The start of the year is bringing some exciting changes for Sally and her brand, showing that her dedication and time structuring is really paying off:

“I’m currently working on my branding and being mentored by @makelight as part of 6 people in their new programme The Pattern. My aim is to really improve my photography this year,  before I promote my work further, and to graduate from my iPhone to using my Canon SLR this year! After the first few months of mentoring I’m planning on reaching out to the press more. I’m working with Janet Murray at the Soulful PR studio to market my work further. I’m also in talks with a new online platform about one of my designs. They have purchased a couple of pairs of my earrings and are talking about an exclusivity deal, lots of exciting things! Must be my empowering jewellery!”

Circular pendant with an 'S' stamped in on a white wood background

Click the heart to take a look at Sally’s beautiful work via her store:

Click to visit How Fine Designs