Six Months in the Lulu + Belle Studio
So this week marks 6 months since we opened the Lulu + Belle jewellery studio and we are thinking back over the last half year and the changes in the way we work.
We had been looking for a studio space for over a year and had visited a whole range of commercial buildings from offices, to shops to light-industrial type units. A jewellery making workshop has a few distinct needs - in our case one of the main ones was that we needed to be able to make noise as our process was pretty noisy but we didn't want to feel isolated in a business park somewhere !!! We also hoped to stay close to the beach (wish-list more than strict need) and wanted to be 'in the middle of things'.
After another Christmas season of working elbow to elbow in our tiny home workshop, we were more than ready for our move to the new studio in Rush village in January this year.
So what do we love about the studio
So much natural light
Our studio is on the second floor of a building that sits at the corner of the main street in Rush. It has a huge window that gives us a birds eye view above the village. We have used this part of the space to host our jewellery making workshops as the light floods in and makes it perfect for working with small beads and wire.
On this side of the workshop we have a display and retail area where our personalised jewellery collection can be viewed, as well as our non-personalised jewellery. We also have a cabinet dedicated to one-of-a-kind metal work and wire wrapped jewellery. On the other side of this space is our own workshop, a dedicated packing area and a digital work station.
The joy of light
Working in a light-filled space is an absolute joy... and for our little business it has made a huge difference to the way we work. We love being able to pull up a chair beside the window for a natural light photo-shoot, instead of hiring out photo-studios and setting up studio lights.
We are plant nerds and our plant collection has been thriving in the space - some plants like our boston fern that was looking a bit sad and light deprived before, has found it's goldilocks place opposite the big window and has had feral growth in the last few months. We have to restrain ourselves our the space would be like working in a greenhouse, but we love working surrounded by living things.
We love the smile on people's faces when they come into our green and light-filled space.
The space in the studio has allowed us to get some dedicated equipment that streamlines our work. All of the discs that make up our initial necklaces and personalised jewellery were once individually hammered out with a brass mallet on a wooden bench. It was effective but very time-consuming not to mention incredibly noisy (we still have neighbour guilt). One new piece of equipment has been a godsend - our hydraulic press. We use it to press out our discs will minimal noise and muscle power and we are more that a little bit in love with it.
We also love having our tools and wire organised on peg-boards and taking time out to sip coffee and sketch new jewellery designs by the giant window !
It's been lovely over the past few months having customers pop in to the studio to say hello or place an order. Some customers have been ordering Lulu + Belle jewellery for years, so it's been really special to put faces to names and to have chats and see our jewellery on customers. If you pop into the studio, there is no division between the class/display space and the workshop so you'll find us working away on orders when you visit.
Teaching wire-wrapped jewellery making classes and workshops
The Lulu + Belle studio has given us a space to share our love wire-wrapped jewellery and to hold classes and workshops to teach earrings, necklace and bracelet making. This has definately been one of the highlights so far, to see people come in and start their own jewellery making path. We've loved seeing people's creativity and their finished pieces. We've particularly enjoyed hosting groups for jewellery making hen parties and family mothers' day workshops. These student jewellery makers are not in the least bit competitive !!!
For more information about our studio hours see our studio page
Find information about upcoming workshops and classes here
or contact us
to book a private group jewellery making workshop.
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