Introducing Josie Mai Jewellery
An interview piece for Lengro Magazine, 08/12/2020
Introducing Josie Mai Jewellery, an up-and-coming small jewellery business based in Manchester, UK.
I had the absolute pleasure of talking to Josie, 21, about her new business, her incredible designs, and how she got started. As big companies have had a lot of success this year, now is the time to support smaller businesses, where each item is lovingly handmade and the quality is guaranteed. Gifts like these can’t be bought on Amazon!
Josie’s business is centred around her beautiful handmade earrings. As she has always loved wearing jewellery and crafting, making her own earrings seemed like the perfect combination. “I started making earrings in the first lockdown because I felt as though I needed to keep up my creativity to get me through it.” Her very supportive boyfriend actually convinced her to take the plunge by buying her a starter kit – “I had mentioned it was something I wanted to start, but being an indecisive person, I felt slightly overwhelmed by the choice of clay available and everything, so his generosity really got my idea off the ground!” When you have the support of the people closest to you, you really can do anything.
With encouragement from friends and family, Josie started her business venture in the summer after thoughts of sharing her designs popped into her head, selling her very first pair in August. She now runs her business alongside her University studies at Manchester Metropolitan. Her success has been very rewarding for her, as she “loves seeing the designs I’ve thought of come to life”. However, her favourite part of the process has to be the response from her customers; “When customers send me nice messages or photos of their earrings, it’s so rewarding. I love what I do.” You don’t get that from the big brands!
As her designs are so varied, her inspiration for each piece comes from all over. “I’m often inspired by what I see other people are making and wearing. This isn’t exclusive to earrings – it could just be a colour combination or a pattern.” The process starts with sketching her ideas and designs when she spots an amazing colour scheme or print. “I get so focused on the design, that I usually forget what inspired it in the first place!”
Her bold and colourful earrings are lovingly handmade with polymer clay and baked in the oven. Some are paired with gorgeous charms and are made to suit any occasion. She has recently released a special Christmas collection, featuring beautiful rich reds, a lot of glitter, and even a Christmas pudding! “The collection has been received well so far, but not as well as the others as not everyone’s into the festive colours. Fortunately, I have a bigger winter collection coming soon which I’m more excited about!” I managed to squeeze a couple of hints about the new collection out of the Leeds born creator, and I have to say I’m very excited about it myself! “It’s Winter Nights themed so expect stars, moons, and some new glittery silver clay…” That’s right up my street!
At the moment, Josie is currently in the process of opening her own Etsy store; “I will definitely open an Etsy store for my winter collection. I wanted to get a feel for what I enjoy making as well as what sells which is why I’ve been slow to set one up. I feel excited about my winter collection so I think it will be the right time!” An Etsy shop is a good move for a lot of crafts businesses during the pandemic as markets and crafts shows have all been cancelled. However, this is still something Josie would love to do when the time is right – “I hope to sell at art markets and fairs in the future as it would be really nice to meet customers face to face, as well as other artists.” Hopefully, that will become a reality again soon.
You can find Josie’s designs on her Instagram – @josiemai_jewellery. In my opinion, these modern designs make the perfect Christmas present, and the fact that you know how much love is put into them is a wonderful bonus. Her last order date to arrive by Christmas is December 14th, so get ordering! I cannot wait to see what this innovative artist does next.
If you or someone you know owns a small business and would like to be featured on my page, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.