Spring is here, so I thought it was a good chance to share with you some new discoveries of mine. I think everyone would agree it has been more of a struggle these last couple of years, but it’s good to see there is still new talent being developed and new businesses appearing.
I came across the lovely Emily Sidwell – better known as By Emily – a month or so ago, selling her beautiful wares at a craft show. I purchased a pair of her gorgeous butterfly earrings, knowing I would wear them straight away.
I caught up with her a few days ago to ask her a few questions about how she started, and having recently moved to London, how she was settling in?
Where did you study or when did you start making jewellery?
I come from a very creative family and I’ve always loved making things and spent hours sewing and drawing and making houses when I was young and my parents taught me tones about different art forms. I graduated in Fine Art in 2008 and afterwards went traveling for nearly a year, I kept a sketchbook and tones of ideas inspired by the countries I’d visited, I stayed with a friend in Melbourne, Australia who is a jeweler and she showed me the basics of jewellery making. When I came back I bought some copper sheet, borrowed tools from my Dads shed and started making jewellery. I fell totally in love with it!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I like my jewellery to tell a story, my collections are inspired by memories of the books I read as a child, the worlds I dreamt up, family holidays- the important moments that happen in life.
What are the pluses of living in London?
There are tones of great things about London-its such an inspirational city, when I get fed up of the crowds, its great to have so many amazing galleries right on your doorstep to go get lost in! Its such a diverse city, there is so much going on and so much to see, especially for the arts, its very exciting!
Living here has also meant that I’ve been able to meet so many people that are in a similar position to me- setting up their business and working super hard to make it work! Its so helpful to know there are other people you can talk to when you are not sure of what to do next, they inspire you, help point you in the right direction and encourage you to keep going.
Where do you like to go/hang out in your spare time?
I absolutely love Columbia Road Flower Market, I always leave on a Sunday with a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers to fill my tiny flat with. That and Portobello Road are my favourite places in London, there are such lovely market stalls and boutiques to browse around and I love coffee, so sitting in one of the amazing coffee shops around with a great big slice of cake would be my perfect afternoon!
What’s next for By Emily?
This summer is very exciting- I’m exhibiting at MADE in Clerkenwell in May and also down in Brighton for a month as part of the Artists Open House event. I will also be launching my new menswear accessories collection in June for October House, a bespoke tailoring company on New Oxford Street.