What's special about buying handmade?

 Woman wearing handmade silver and bead earrings in field of long yellow grass

Where do I begin? What's not special about it, might be a better question! 

But let's do first things first - the beginning - thank YOU for being here, and being interested enough to find out more. Really it is all about you. And a little bit about me...

Buying handmade is a conscious choice: you have decided to shop carefully and thoughtfully and are probably looking for a piece of jewellery to treasure, that is a little bit different to the norm. 

Each piece is different

The nature of handmaking jewellery, means that there will not be hundreds of the very same silver earring, necklace or ring available from Found by Dawn. In fact, every single piece will have minute quirks and variations, sometimes barely detectable to the eye but which enhance its charms. On top of that, is the fact that collections only have a certain shelf-life, before jewellery designers and makers get a bit bored of making the same thing over and over (we are creative types after all!) and move onto their next project. 

Bespoke options and commissions

As you may have noticed, with my Windblown Collection, the approach of 100% handmaking every piece of jewellery, means I can offer bespoke finishes as a standard - so, for example, you can choose a high-shine or satin finish, or the perfect necklace or bracelet length for you. And if you'd like something even more unique, striking or individual, such as a gold-plated version, added gemstones or even solid gold, this can be easily arranged

Made especially for you, every step of the way

I personally look after every single part of the process: the designing for my first Windblown Collection happened a little while back now (you can read about my inspiration here), but I make each new order from scratch: the making only begins when you place your order.

Using recycled silver

I use Ecosilver sourced from Cookson Gold and hand-saw, file, sand, solder, shape and polish each element of your ring, necklace or earring - from start to finish. I share parts of the process as I go, so you can see exactly what goes into making a piece of handcrafted silver jewellery. There are no shelves of waiting jewellery gathering dust here! 

Hallmarked jewellery - a sign of true quality

hallmark most pieces of jewellery I make at the London Assay Office for hallmarkingWhere this is not the case, I will detail this information on the listing. Hallmarking confirms the quality of metal used and gives (even a small earring) a certain self-assurance that it will be a treasured - maybe even become a heritage piece - long into the future. This video tells you a bit more about what each mark means and why it is important: 

Low carbon footprint

Once your piece is made, I give it a final buff (I am a bit of a perfectionist, helpful in some ways when you are a jewellery, not in others!) and package it up in carefully sourced, recycled packaging with a pretty bow made from scrap pieces of beautiful silk sari skirts and walk from my boat to the one Post Office in Bishop's Stortford, and send it to you...

So yes, I live on a boat. It's a wide beam, on the River Stort which we steered (= drove) back from Bath in 2019 and is hands-down the lowest carbon footprint way of living I have ever experienced. And it is a way of living. If you're intrigued, you can find out a bit more about it, on my About page.

I work in a little shed, known by friends as 'the woman-shed', balanced on the river bank next to our floating home. It's a tiny space, which means I am forever getting out and putting away, various bits and pieces I need for making. The advantage is that (other than getting up and down to take things in and out) I rarely have to move far from the one spot, which is super handy when you're at the bench. It's perfect smallness also means that my energy consumption and impact on the surrounding environment is about as low as it could be. I mean, I have an eight step walk to work! You can find more about how I try to minimise the environmental impact of Found by Dawn here.

Why handmade jewellery costs more

So why is handmade more expensive? Truly handmade jewellery is more costly to make. I buy quality, ethical, raw materials and it is slow.

When you think consider that the Slipstream studs take at least four hours to make and that the Spindrift necklace takes almost eight, suddenly £62 and £146 doesn't seem so much.... And that's without considering the cost of materials, the hard-learnt skills, equipment investment, finger cuts and loving care that has gone into them! 

Logo for #handmadewellpaid campaign, hammer in a circle with 'HANDMADE & WELL PAID' around the edge in taupe writing

I recently signed the #handmadewellpaid pledge with the Jewellery Academy, which is a commitment to value my work and to price my jewellery is in a fair and sustainable way, neither undercharging or overcharging you, as my customer. You can read more about what this means and why it is important here 
There are no two ways about it, handmade jewellery is more expensive but it is so worth it to have a unique, bespoke, made-to-order piece of jewellery that lights up your day. As a one-woman, all-hat-wearing, independent entrepreneurial business I really appreciate the careful choice you have made in selecting Found by Dawn pieces to become part of your treasured jewellery collection.  Thank you!
If you'd like to join and stay with me on this dazzling journey, you can join my Inner Circle here. I'd love to have you with me! 
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Find me and my jewellery...

  • Friday 19 July, 6pm-9pm at Ware Priory Artisan Craft Fair with Folk & Bespoke (free entry) as part of a curated showcase of 30 artists, crafters and makers
  • Sunday 10 November, 10am-3pm at Sawbridgeworth Artisan Craft Fair with Folk & Bespoke (free entry) where you can browse stalls from 40 skilled artists and craftspeople, showcasing and selling their handmade arts

Please note, I currently only take orders from UK based customers, but plan to expand in 2024. Join my Inner Circle for updates!

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