Tell us a bit about your creative practice!
My journey with running a small business started very much by accident. Last year, I was part way through a long hospital admission, unwell with depression and OCD, when I decided to start making earrings for myself. A few months later when a friend asked me to make some for a festival, Jazzy Eco Ears was born. My earrings are made with materials sourced from a variety of environments, all reused, repurposed, recycled. I particularly enjoy doing beach cleans and making earrings from the litter collected. I love to think of it as rewriting a story.
My creative practice is to take things that are heading for landfill, unused, useless, broken, and look at them with new eyes and a belief that they have value. Transforming waste into wearable jazzy joy has been really significant in the journey of recovery. Imagining the story something once had, and rewriting that so the story doesn't end in a rubbish tip, has given me a solid example of survival -something tangible I am reminded of every time I sit at my table to create.
Why do you love it?
I love the freedom that creativity makes room for in all areas of my life. It has this knock-on, domino effect. Once a creative seed is planted, the roots that come from that give me a base for my imagination and resilience to stand upon. I love the purpose running a small business gives to my day to day life, and the conversations that come from that with each individual that I meet. As a creative, the question “what do you do?” can be really daunting, but now when I talk about Jazzy Eco Ears I feel my words light up. I really believe that the more people who courageously choose to create amongst the uncertainty of the world we live in, spark moments of change and boldness in themselves and those around them, and I love that.
Why did you apply for the TOSH x Plan Make Do Start Up Programme?
I was eager to learn, and I wanted advice from creative people who understood and valued the creative process. I wanted to better equip myself for future plans, such as running recycling workshops at festivals and community hubs. I also hoped to gain confidence in who I was and what I was creating. And of course, to meet other creatives and grow my local arty community.
How is it going so far?
It’s been everything I had hoped. I’ve gained confidence in my skill as a maker, the product, and the unique experience I'm offering. I’ve really enjoyed chatting to everyone else on the programme, and learning from their different creative view. It’s challenged me to streamline my time working, alongside embracing all the weird and wonderful aspects that come with running a creative business. Having the combined knowledge and expertise of the TOSH team and Laura has been really valuable. It’s super fun to have a little crew of creatives cheering you on!
What do you hope to achieve with your creative business in the next year?
I hope to be stocked in a variety of shops, and gain more experience of craft markets. When restrictions lift I would love to run local community workshops, creating jewellery from peoples recycling and broken items. I would also love to work alongside organisations like surfers against sewage, cleaning up our coast, and creating jazzy gems along the way. Most of all, I want to inspire people to keep rewriting stories through recycling, and help them know that no story or effort is too small.