Meet the Maker: An Interview with Love Pieces of Eight

The best things in life are shiny! That is what I think when I look at this particular business and their wonderful products! I have followed this small business for as long as I can remember and just adore the sweet little products she offers- especially the fun personalised pieces! I guarantee you'll love them too!

1. Tell us a little about you and your business.

Hi, I am Carly, I am 34 and I live in Rugby, Warwickshire with my other half Daniel and our two dogs Coco & Beres. I started Pieces of Eight around Christmas time of 2014. I originally just bought a few plated materials – chains, metal blanks along with a simple metal stamping set, a hammer and a metal block to make some Christmas gifts and decided to open an Etsy shop. I had no idea what I was doing and completely winged it but my shop has just grown and grown.

2. What inspired your business name?

I used to have a blog centred around home style & interiors, so wanted something that was a play on that name (which was Style Pirate) and my other half actually came up with Pieces of Eight. It also was quite fitting also as most my “pieces” are made after 8pm as I work full time and by the time I get home, have had dinner – it is gone 8pm before I can start working on my little business. I added the Love as just Pieces of Eight as a username was mostly taken everywhere already!

3. How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I have always enjoyed making things and while I was at university in Sheffield, I used to live round the corner from a little bead shop called Jencel and I would make and sell little earrings to the ladies I worked with in a local Florist. After I opened my Etsy shop selling my hand stamped jewellery, I wanted to learn how to make longer lasting pieces and made the decision to swap from plated pieces to all Sterling Silver & Gold Filled items. This also inspired me to learn Silversmithing which has really taken my business to the next level.

4. How long has your business been running?

I opened my Etsy shop around 4 and a half years ago

5. What inspires your creations?

I really love geometric shapes. I love simplistic designs and as I feature hand stamped text in most of jewellery, my favourite pieces are inspired by my customers. I love gemstones, the beach and nature, particularly botanicals so you can expect to see lots of that in my new pieces.

6. What is your proudest achievement to date?

Being featured in Brides, Wedding Ideas & Perfect Wedding magazines, both in print and online is one of my favourite achievements. Also being a trader in a lovely local gift shop – The Nest.

7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?

Don’t worry about keeping up with other people. I used to get such “imposters syndrome” and worry that my business wasn’t as good as other people or that I don’t update my social media as much as they do or 100 other negative reasons why I wasn’t as good as them. It really can take the fun and passion out of what you are doing and why you are doing it so the best advice I can give is to not put pressure on yourself and just do what you love, at your own pace and in your own time.

8. What is your favourite make?

My favourite make is my vintage hand stamped cutlery. I am such a magpie and love hunting round car boots, flea markets and antique shops looking for beautiful cutlery to stamp. I love bringing back old dirty spoons to life. I love the old style cutlery, especially floral designs and it is so rewarding picking up blackened, tarnished cutlery and cleaning/polishing it up again to a gorgeous shiny silver again. My cutlery is one of my most popular sellers.

9. What is the best feedback you have received?

Every feedback I get from my customers is the best! The fact people take time out of their day to leave feedback or send me a message/email is just the absolute best. One that was really special was a wedding order that I did recently and the Bride said that everyone cried when they were given their special gifts! That was so lovely!

10. Is there anything you regret?

No regrets, although I wish I had found my passion a little earlier on in life – I would absolutely have loved to go to the Birmingham Jewellery School and have done a degree in jewellery making, but I am learning every day and still love every minute.

11. What are your goals for the future?

I would love to take my business full time one day and work for myself. How great would it be to work from home and support myself and maybe even help support my family one day? I have no plans at the moment though to do that, just keep doing what I love in my (very limited) spare time and enjoy it.

12. What is the best part of being a maker?

Just being creative and being able to make something that will bring joy to someone and that they can cherish for a long time. I have a lot of lovely sentimental personalisation requests and knowing that it is going to be such an important gift is wonderful.

13. What is your least favourite job to do?

My least favourite job is updating my website and Etsy stores with new items, it can take a long time and isn’t much fun! Tax returns is also another least favourite!!

14. What advice would you give your old self?

Just chill out and good things will come. Don’t look at what other people are doing and worry about things you feel you should be doing, just do your own thing and enjoy it!

15. What advice would you give other makers?

The same as above!

To find out more about Carla and to see more of her beautiful work follow her here:

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