Step back

I’m a million times lucky when it comes to my main job – I work in the charity sector and I absolutely love it! On the family front, my husband and son make me equally lucky. That’s where my focus is (let’s be frank, so it should) and, in the middle of those, I want to fit some me time and social time for friends and wider family.
The truth is that the whole re-evaluation of priorities I’ve been doing in the last couple of years never really took into account that I should look at what, within jewellery making, I don’t have time for so here it goes!
While the writing will be sporadic, I absolutely love it and it’s a great outlet for me so that might be slowing down (it already has) but it’s not stopping! The selling… well, I’ve come to the decision that I need to close my Etsy shop. Don’t get me wrong, Etsy has all my recommendations as a great selling platform (ohhh, and the lovely things you can buy!), but, realistically I can’t give it much attention so, let’s be productive!
BeeBiju’s Instagram account is coming back to life very soon and in full force and that will be my main platform to showcase my products. There, I will also take you on the journey of re-discovering jewellery making with me.
Stay tuned and keep creating (we all do, constantly 😊).
Bri

Halloween!

Let’s talk about spooky things! Halloween is coming up and it’s a great celebration for those who enjoy it (nothing too sinister for me, please!).

Nowadays, it’s all about Trick or Treat, costumes, partying, spooky décor, carved pumpkins… But what’s Halloween origin? Halloween is celebrated on the night of 31st October, the eve of All Saints’ Day. It’s thought to be associated with Samhain, a Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of Winter, at a time when “the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest“.

After getting some inspiration from Pinterest, I prepared a little collection as my way to celebrate the holiday.

 

 

You can find it here and for you, dear reader, all the items in the collection are available at 20% off, just in time for Halloween – use promo code BHALLOWEEN20 at checkout.

Hope you enjoy it!

See you next time

Structure

It helps me keep on track with what I need to do and, for me personally, it’s procrastination’s strongest enemy! I’m trying to re-apply it to several aspects of my day-to-day, whether it is at work or home, and I decided it’s time to do it to BeeBiju/Bee’s creations.

I’m therefore introducing this as a structured blog… not too structured though, as I don’t think it would be wise for me to commit to x number of posts per month or specific days across the whole year – that would just bring added pressure, which is precisely what I’m trying to avoid.

My aim is, instead, to focus on different topics, month by month, and include tutorials, ideas, items from my shop, etc. I am also bringing back the Monthly Picks: at the end of each month I will be telling you about my favourite item and that will bring discounts with it!

Onto October… Autumn is here (I can definitely feel it in the air with our 2°C mornings) so let’s talk about Autumn jewellery this month. Let’s bring out the colours and styles for this season!

Watch this space for more 😉

Social media – the eternal conondrum

WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube… Photos, posts, blogs, videos… and there’s personal preference, of course. Then you have to tailor your profile/page according to your needs or the needs of your followers. And the mentions, retweets/reposts, shares, hashtags (#seriously #omg #tiredalready #socialmediaruleshumanity)!

It’s a lot of information to take in and it changes so much in time (high five to those who’ve heard of hi5)! From a business perspective, it’s a big chunky challenge – it’s not really about you, business owner; it’s about how you can engage your followers and reach wider audiences. And in practicality, it’s about finding time for it all.
At the same time, a level of focus is needed… more social media doesn’t necessarily mean you’re engaging more people, sometimes it just means you’re overworking!

After having a good think about it, I realised that, under BeeBiju, I’m using a lot of social media but not effectively so something’s got to go! Let the analysis begin.
Instagram – In my business, it’s all about the visuals, of course. And Instagram offers a lot of options, so I don’t have to “just” post a photo. I can add filters, make if funky, add a story (particularly great when letting followers know about an upcoming blog post, for instance). Verdict: MUST KEEP!
Facebook – It’s visual, yes, but it also offers the option to share content from other websites easily, such as Etsy, which is really useful. Verdict: STAYING!
WordPress – No brainer! I have two active blogs, mostly because every now and then my brain just wants to spit information (apologies for the not-so-nice mental image!). Verdict: KEEP KEEP KEEP!
Twitter – This is where it gets complicated. The whole Twitter-Facebook link is amazing – I can post on one and it just pops up on the other one! But this means I don’t go on Twitter at all! I find it interesting though; I think it works differently from Facebook but to make the best of it I need to schedule regular time to see what’s going on. Verdict: TENTATIVE, subjective to commitment.
Pinterest – What a wonderful waste of time! Hold on, don’t get me wrong, I write this because once I start browsing, I really can’t stop! You can find everything in it and create boards, and choose the main image, and make each of them public or private… music to my ears! But do I use it for BeeBiju purposes? Well, I had a folder just for that but haven’t been posting for a long time and don’t think I’m very likely to. Verdict: USE JUST AS A WONDERFUL WASTE OF TIME.

Well, I think that should keep me going for the next 6432930 days at least, so onto scheduling some time to really “media-socialise”.

See you next time!

My tools and supplies

The jewellery making cupboard. In this little building live my ribbons, wire, beads, charms, packaging materials and a lot more.

Moving into my current flat made me have a complete re-think about BeeBiju, Bee’s creations and how I work. Granted, I’m having a bit of a delayed reaction but I think I’m in the right headspace for it now – i.e.: not functioning on blocks of 3-hours sleep. So getting a cupboard might not sound like a big thing but this means that there is a new home for my supplies – which looks quite pretty on the eye (thank you for the recommendation, sis!) – and most importantly, all the tiny, dangerous bits are stored away from the curious eyes of the resident little human.

So here is The Cupboard:

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Due to its size, it’s in the hallway, right next to the office (again, thanks for the recommendation, sis!). That means I’m surrounded by everything I need, but not in a I-cannot-move kind of way.

As for the contents, here is a snapshot:

I love playing with bright colours, which you can see translated into my beads, cords, ribbons, wires and charms. I also have a number of tools I look forward to use more, like a Kumihimo disk and a bead loom – I will let you know about my experience with them in later posts.

I really do have more than I remembered – more supplies and more ideas – so it’s time to put these into action and, hopefully, I can develop my BeeBiju in the process. I will make sure I document my successes as well as my failures and frustrations and I hope to give you a fun read.

What happens next:

September will be dedicated to structure – my brain needs it and I often wonder if I focus on structure so much that I end up neglecting the process… I suspect the answer is yes! But I will try to time it a little bit better so I can focus on content more than planning.

Let’s go for it! And in the meantime… enjoy the next few days 🙂

My workspace

Excitement!! I finally have the opportunity to show you my new workspace!

We moved into our home less than two years ago, 3 weeks ahead of my son making his first appearance… needless to say it was a really busy time (during which I was surprisingly calm – must have been the pregnancy hormones and the endless help from friends and family).

At first I was a bit nervous as I didn’t think I had the space to set my jewellery making area. But once we moved in and got a bit organised, I then realised that I could use a tiny room that was initially in the plans as storage and, voilà, we have an office! It’s now used both by my husband and myself for work, so it was definitely a good decision! After getting light, sockets and some shelves installed, here it is… my beloved little workspace.

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The cupboard to the right is where I keep my supplies (more about it in the next post)

For such a compact space, there is quite a spacious feeling to it and, when needed, we can shut the door without having the feeling that we’re in a small box! I also decorated a bit with some photos and added some more features:

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These are my (purchased) necklaces, which will give space to my creations soon
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These are IKEA knife racks that I screwed into the wall. I completely vouch for them, they have a really strong hold!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Total LIFE-SAVER! I didn’t have the wall light installed for quite some time so this LED desk lamp was really useful! Even now, it’s great for the fiddly jewellery making
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You might remember this from a previous post, I’ve had it for years and I use it all the time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love my little workspace and have promised myself that I will be using it on a more regular basis – and you will see the results in the next posts.

See you next time!

Briana

Re-introducing BeeBiju!

Hi!

Long time no see!!

I should have put money in a jar every time I talked about returning and didn’t follow through… I’m pretty sure I’d be rich by now!!

 

My son turned one recently and now he’s growing into an independent young child, it’s an absolute joy to watch his delight as he takes in every new sound, every step, every new colour, voice, person…

That inspires me to start paying more attention to little details and make better use of my time… so I definitely need to plan ahead!

To make it easier for me to keep track and hopefully more interesting for you as a reader, I’ve come up with a calendar for my posts. The idea is to have a new topic every month so in August, you’ll read about my supplies and working space (which is different from last time).

Hope you enjoy the ride as much as I’m sure I will 🙂

Briana

Finally! A return date!

Hi everyone,

Please excuse me for my infinite absence… but it does seem that this time it really is coming to an end!

BeeBiju has been on holidays for the past few weeks as well, and as I prepared its return, I realised I’m off soon, so there’s not much point being back, going and then coming back again.

With a little bit of a heavy heart, I’ve come to decide that my official return date to the world of custom jewellery will be the 2nd of July, a bit later than anticipated! On the upside, there is time to get back to creating, which I’ve neglected for so long, and that means I can: 1 – Get my brain into the swing of jewellery making things; 2 – load my shop with new items!

Looking forward to it…

Briana xxx

Reading reading reading

Hi everyone!

So, this was a really long absence and I have a feeling it’s not quite the end of it yet! Nonetheless, I really miss jewellery making and all aspects surrounding it.

Why the absence?! A pregnancy, a not-so-smooth house move, a charity course and lots of work! Now, despite the fact things are not quite where I want them to be yet, I am actually able to sit down and write for the time being. So before going into what this post actually is about – jewellery making/business tips and articles – and just so you know where I’m at, here’s what’s happening: I am reaching the end of my pregnancy with just a few weeks to go (and Peanut is jumping and moving around like he’s having the time of his life) and therefore I just went into Maternity Leave. At the same time, I’m still going through the house move and I am now trying to catch up with my year-long charity course (for more details, feel free to have a look at my separate blog In Briana’s shoes, in which I tell of my journey as a Charity Apprentice).

Well, without further ado… One way to kick myself “back into shape” is by beginning with my emails, including all the pending emails that I’ve received about starting up a business and jewellery making. Because of this, and because I have a lot of them, the vast majority from Etsy blogs, I decided it would be a good idea to go over my most interesting reads and share them with you:

I know, I know, I get addicted to everything I read about time management because I’m so bad at it myself. But I love the tips in 10 ways to get more done (and stress less)  and how easy it is to relate to this article and make sense of what Vana is trying to convey!

I didn’t pay much attention to articles about workspaces before but now, going into a new house myself, they seem to suddenly be full of interesting ideas for different spaces! There is also the alternative to rent a desk or space, should you need to expand the business at some point. Here are a few Inspiring Workspaces:

  • (r-ki-tekt) – Gorgeous workspace and her story shows… patience pays off!
  • La Lisette – I’m in love with the space! It’s bright and simultaneously cosy, perfect to create new items… And can I just say… the watermelon bag!!
  • PataPri – Working with a seaview? Yes please! I’m sure it inspires Yuko everyday!

Again, to put it bluntly, I didn’t really see the use of reading about other people’s successful stories before – mostly because I didn’t want to feel discouraged in comparison – but let’s be honest, it’s not easy to make it in a market full of starting business owners who are trying to thrive just as much as you are! But these inspirational stories might be exactly what you want to read when things are not going according to plan and you’re in need of a pick-me-up!

  • La Loba Studio – I love how the business started off for Emese and her reasons for doing what she does.
  • Gardens of Whimsy – again, an unusual start for this business but it just goes to show things sometimes start from the unexpected.
  • BespOakInteriors – how a business can, quite literally, branch out from a career.

On a different note, with a lot happening in the next few weeks, who knows when I will have down time to write again. Either way, I’m counting the minutes, and with moving, I cannot wait to put my little workspace together – post coming soon!

Until then, take care everyone!

B