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Another lockdown, another (safe) workaround!

Hi again!

So that recent news sucks, right?! Another national lockdown. I guess we all saw it coming but it’s still a pain for small businesses who rely on our markets. I get it though. We need to be careful and I’m all for that. I won’t let it get me down 🙂

As I did last time, I wasn’t able to do real-life markets I have linked up with some awesome online markets instead.

First up is a last minute January Sales event this Saturday night with The Curious Exchange so check out my social media for more information.

Then I’ll be taking part as a guest trader with the fabulous Alternative Market on Facebook on Friday 29th from 7pm – 11.30pm.

The lovely Facebook groups I joined for Christmas are also continuing which is great so don’t forget to show them some love as there are some fabulous makers on there too.

Finally, and by no means least my next January sales offer is available from today which is 30% off all necklaces on my website! All you need to do is pop to my website, put the necklace(s) you want in your basket and add NECK30 in the coupon box before checking out.

Go on…what are you waiting for? Treat yourself! ;D

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How making my skull jewellery improves my wellbeing

Hello again!

As it’s World Wellbeing Week (22 June – 26 June) I thought I’d ask how are you coping with everything that’s happened worldwide over the past few months? How do you improve your wellbeing? Personally, I have been struggling with my mental health recently so I thought it might help others if I talked about my depression. I know I often feel comforted by others sharing their story.

I find this time of year difficult as it would have been my brother’s birthday last week. You may have seen my social media post last Thursday about my brother Andrew and why I support Cancer Research UK by selling skull jewellery to raise funds for Race for Life.

I was officially diagnosed with depression in July 2011 and put on medication by my Doctor. This was partly triggered by a mentally abusive, duplicitous relationship. I was initially hesitant as I didn’t want to “rely” on tablets. I also didn’t like the sound of the side effects! I did it though and they really do help me.

For me the strangest thing about depression is the timing of it seem to make no sense! Even during the loss of my Mum (2005) and my Brother (2008) to cancer I was able to cope with my (undiagnosed) depression but in 2011 something I considered less stressful triggered it. 

Since then I have been prescribed tablets twice. The second time I could think of no reason why I should be feeling that way! I had a loving fiancé, a lovely home, a great job and what I considered to be a happy life. This is why I find depression so confusing and difficult. It can hit you when you least expect it.

I also realised that tablets alone couldn’t help me, and I sort professional help from a wonderful counsellor. She really helped me delve into my feelings and understand why I reacted the way I do to many things.

I also began to realise that idleness made it worse. I’m not the sort of person who can sit still all day every day and feel like I haven’t achieved anything. I realised the need to set myself daily goals even if they are small ones like “do the laundry”, “read a book” or “practise yoga”.

I also discovered crafting was great for me, especially making my skull jewellery. The feeling of creating something gave me all the feels! You know my skull jewellery journey from my first blog but I also learnt how to use my Mum’s old sewing machine and now I can sew my own clothes. I’ve also recently discovered a love of embroidery.

I recently found a great article from the Craft Council about why crafting is good for your mental health. I also saw this fantastic post from The Sad Ghost Club who regularly put helpful ideas on coping with depression and anxiety on their social media channels. It really resonated with me.

Other things that work for me are yoga, crime podcasts, running and watching re-runs of classic TV programmes.

Finally, I’m in no way saying that what works for me will work for you or anyone else. I’m not an expert and I don’t have the silver bullet for depression. Don’t we wish we did! I just want you to know that when you feel blue/sad/down please don’t beat yourself up. Maybe talk to someone about it, go for a walk, try something creative or simply allow yourself to go with that feeling and be safe in the knowledge that “this too shall pass.”

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Ch ch ch changes (in my skull jewellery business)!

onlinefair1

Hi! Welcome back to my Self Made blog.

This blog will be about how I’ve developed and adapted my skull jewellery business in positive ways to cope with the current pandemic.

How are you all coping with this current situation? Every day is different for me. Sometimes I wake up full of creative beans and some days I’m all about a duvet day and TV re-runs.

I’ve been furloughed from my full-time job and decided I would channel my work energy into developing my own Self Made skull jewellery business.

I did some small business training…

I had some fantastic business coaching from the lovely Nikki Matts. She really helped me focus my ideas, work out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with Self Made.

I also invested in a fantastic “Instagram for Business” course with Bloom Content Creation & Andy Greenacre which I discovered via Makers Market from Home (more about that in a bit).

From there I was introduced to Georgia who runs Bloom Content Creation and invested in a blog writing course and she’s been great! You may have seen the testimonial I re-posted on my Instagram page?

I think all courses have really benefitted me. What do you thinkf

I sold skull jewellery at makers markets…

Obviously, us makers can’t do real markets at the moment so many of us have now decided to take part in online versions. They are super fun AND it doesn’t matter where the market is in the world.  You could take part in a market on the other side of the world if you wanted to (time difference withstanding!).

For me it all started with Makers Market From Home run by the fabulous Andy (a.k.a. Unruly Print). The first market took place back in March and there have been 2 more since. Every time I have become more involved and you may have seen the live chats I did with Andy during the markets? I was even involved in their newest initiative #MiddayMakers last Friday! 

Last weekend I also took part in Leeds Steampunk Market on Facebook and this Friday I’m doing the Bluebirds Handmade Market online market from 7-10pm. Make sure you pop by and say hi!

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Makers Markets aren’t all about sales, sales sales! They are about making friends, supporting fellow makers and getting your products out there for the world to see. I love them and it keeps me linked to the in-person market side of things which I think all makers are missing at the moment.

It’s so simple to shop in virtual markets! You search the relevant hashtag (i.e. #makersmarketfromhome or #bluebirdsathome) and check out what wonderful products are for sale by lovely makers. I have found so many different items! Check out this Instagram post to see what I’ve purchased.

Will you be joining me this Friday evening? More info about the market will be on my Instagram page over the next couple of days and I may even have some new products to debut. In the meantime, why not check out my current products in my shop.

Nikki Matts Instagram Post
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Introducing my ‘Self Made’ Skull Jewellery

Hi! Welcome to my new blog. I’m so pleased you’ve popped by! Pull up a comfy chair and let me tell you more about myself so you get to know the name and face behind the skull jewellery. My name is Sam Self and I am the creator of “Self Made”.  I live in Warrington with my husband. I am a Southerner by birth but love it up North . Please don’t ask me to choose between them though! 

 

For a while now I knew I wanted to have a business called “Self Made” which incorporated my love of making things and my surname. My skull jewellery started because I just couldn’t find the sort of items I wanted to buy in shops. I would regularly visit a fashion website and type “skull” into the search engine and often see “no search results” pop up. So frustrating!

 

Periodically , skulls appear in fashion again so as you can imagine I collect lots of skull jewellery during those times! I have loved skulls since I was 18 when I started listening to metal music. All my outfits regularly have skulls on them and when I did my Masters my friends started associating skulls with me and it stuck!

 

I decided if I couldn’t find the skull jewellery I wanted I’d make my own. I took premade jewellery and started customising it by adding a skull bead or two. Then I naturally started to make my own skull jewellery from scratch by  learning and honing my skills.  Once I’d got an idea of the sort of items I wanted to create I just did it!

 

I created so much skull jewellery I thought “I can’t possibly wear all this!” so decided to start selling it as I can’t be the only person who wants alternative jewellery? I guess you feel the same otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!

 

If there’s anything you’d love me to cover in my blog just drop me an email. In the meantime, why not check out my current skull jewellery here.

 

Take care of yourselves and stay safe out there!

 

Sam