I have been asked by so many people about how I came to be in Avebury I thought I would start a blog.... its a long story!
Nearly 17 years ago... yes, I am getting on a bit, I was looking for some inspiration and happened to come across a bead shop. I went inside and started looking around. There was a lady sat at a table making a little necklace, as I wandered over I said 'oooo jewellery making, I have always wanted to do that' I couldn't believe the words came out of my mouth - what a lie! I had never thought about making jewellery before in my life.... it must have been fate because she turned to me and said 'funny that, I am making my last necklace - take a seat'
I walked away from that experience the proud owner of some new beads, tools, a basket full of lovely bits and pieces and the basic skills to make a necklace bracelet and earrings... and so my journey began....
I started making necklaces for all my friends, they were polite and kind - it was enough to give me the confidence to keep going. Initially I worked with plastic beads but then, as I got better, I started making the investment into glass beads - I remember my first ever 'big' purchase was in Bath... I spent over £20 on glass beads in a shop called Bijoux - the shop is no longer in Bath but I definitely had the bug!
It was, of course, inevitable that semi precious stones (crystals) and I would connect - and we did! Before long my jewellery had taken on a new meaning - The Crystal Alchemist was born and what a great thing being able to blend beautiful crystals together with each other to give the wearer a potent necklace carrying the meanings for the crystals with them. I studied about crystal energy, healing etc. My love of crystals bought me to Avebury time and time again. I visited the Henge Shop, the National Trust shop and the stones many many times - I loved it here - little did I know I would have a shop here years later.
People became interested in my work and in the potential energies of the crystals and before long I was running jewellery parties - a bad week meant I would be running 3 parties. On a good week I could be out 6 nights a week... it was hard work but I loved being my own boss. It took guts to pitch up at someones house and sell things you have made to their friends - but it worked, really well, and ladies would re-book time and time again as the curiosity about crystals grew and my ability in blending them got stronger.
I moved into working with silver clay - a fascinating product that starts of as a clay but when fired in the kiln sets into a grade 999 silver. This product took me onto another level of jewellery making altogether. Mixing handcrafted silver with crystals - my job was good and brilliant fun - I met some really creative people and I felt inspired every day to design and create beautiful things to sell.
I spent a number of very happy years making and selling beautiful jewellery to amazing women... and then the recession hit. Business took a downturn as everyone battened down the hatches to work through the recession. To be honest, it was probably a good time for me to take a break - I was spiritually and emotionally drained and sometimes we are not in control of what happens so a break I took. A few months later I found myself working for a corporate, and was then headhunted by a Formula 1 team.
Formula 1 - the glamour, the glitz, the fame and fortune... stop right there! Anyone who has worked in F1 knows it is just not like that. Its hard work, under immense pressure because everything has to be done at 200 miles per hour and engineered perfectly! However, I loved it, my salary paid for some amazing holidays, make up, clothing and shoes whenever I wanted, hairdressers, weekends away, concerts, city breaks, fake tan, nails, did i mention clothes and shoes and for 6 years that was my life - what more could a girl want right??
Then one day I was sat at work and I felt a feeling that I hadn't felt for a number of years.... despite the money, the fancy car, the clothes, shoes and the lifestyle I wasn't happy anymore. WHAT?? How can this be - I have everything I could possibly want... materially.... but I had forgotten what is actually important!
It was a huge consideration to leave that job, I absolutely loved it and the people but, as they say, when your time is up its up so I resigned with a view to taking a 12 month break. The universe had a big job on its hands finding me my next adventure.... F1 is pretty tough to beat!
3 months later I was sat in the Red Lion with a couple of friends and noticed the shop (this shop) was empty and closed. I really and genuinely thought no more of it... 2am I woke up - the shops empty, the shops empty, the shops empty was all I could hear in my head.
Sometimes, when things are meant to be there is a magical synchronicity that helps you along your journey - and it was (and still is) with me. The following morning I got on the phone to the National Trust and asked them about the shop, it had been empty for 5 years and they had received a bid for its tenure. I asked whether I could view it anyway and booked in for the following morning, I was super excited. I arrived at the property and had a look around the gorgeous garden in the back, in a strange way it felt familiar, a bit like when you purchase a house - it feels like its yours. I hadn't even got through the door at this point.
A lovely National Trust person arrived and let me in.... when I stepped into the large main room at the front I stood looking around when I clearly had a strong welcoming feeling from the shop. I stood there for a few moments taking in the space, wondering whether this was a something and then I heard a voice that said 'I have been waiting for you' I knew at that point that it was going to be my next adventure.... and high five to the Universe - I could not be happier. Yes, its hard work, yes it's scary, yes I work 7 days a week but OMG I love it.
To be continued.....