Hi all, and welcome to my first ever blog post for Atlantic Rose. This is where, hopefully, you can get a peak behind the scenes at Atlantic Rose, preview some of my pieces before they are available in my Etsy shop and get to know me a little better and why I do what I do.
First off, the polite thing to do would be to introduce myself properly. My name is Emma (Em to my friends and family and "Mummy" to my kids). I live in Portstewart on the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland, a stretch of some of the most beautiful, rugged scenery in the world, steeped in myths and legend with an exciting, colourful history. It’s where I grew up and where I’m lucky enough to be raising my own family.
I initially started out as an archaeologist, studying and working in the field (no pun intended) for over 10 years. I loved my work, but I always had an interest in setting up my own business, something that would allow me to express my creativity, and hopefully provide an income. I was a dyed-in-the-wool crafter so I knew it would need to be something that would involve physically making something, but exactly what that was, I didn't know. Then about 10 years ago, I decided to give chainmaille and viking knitting a go. I had become interested in both techniques while I was an archaeology student, but had never considered trying to do it myself. The instant I started, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
At first I started making chainmail bracelets and Viking Knitting with sterling silver purely for myself. But it wasn’t long before I had a queue of friends and family asking me to make pieces for them. Finally 4 years ago, I decided it was time to take this 'hobby' to the next level, and the idea of Atlantic Rose was born.
I enrolled in a business programme called "Journey To Market", run by the then Coleraine Borough Council (now Causeway Coasts and Glens). The course was especially aimed at designer-makers who wanted to take the next step towards setting up their own craft business. The first session was world changing for me and I came away feeling that this was really something that I could do.
Three years on, I now have a small part-time business that is growing steadily every day. I officially launched Atlantic Rose in September 2015 and now I have online shops with Etsy and Folksy and sell my jewellery through a number of stockists, including Maddybenny Beauty, Portrush and the Assembly Gift Shop at Parliament Buidlings, Stormont with commission work starting to come in more frequently. And the name Atlantic Rose? Well it reflects two of the biggest influences in my life: the north coast of Northern Ireland by the Atlantic Ocean and my Nan, Rosena Shaw, known to family and friends as Rose- that’s my Nan's handwriting you see in the Atlantic Rose logo. Nan was an amazing artist and a huge creative influence in my life, but I shall save that for another post. The ultimate goal for me is to have a business that will provide me with full-time work and a modest income. It will take time, but I'm happy to take small baby steps to get there. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.
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