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Friday, 7 May 2010

The Bead Hive

Most teenagers have a hobby that they obsess over. Mine was beads and making jewellery. I'd spend all my pocket money on the newest, shiniest beads and collect them meticulously.

After a few years of making my beady creations I began selling my jewellery to family friends and eventually a few shops. I soon worked out what sold and what was popular. I branched out from using just beads and added other jewellery creations to my collections, incorporating all areas of my life into my jewellery making. At the age of fourteen I started working at the restaurant Tootsies. Back then all fizzy drinks had pretty bottle caps, all thrown away once removed for customers. An idea formed in my head, and every Saturday evening, after my shift, I would take home a bag of bottle caps from the days service. My psychedelic bottlecap earrings were born - almost free to make, and requiring very little labour (a compass was used to punch the hole, a bit of crafty wirework and voila...) I got my younger brother on board and we began a production line. The Young Enterprise company at my school then bought a large quantity of my product, and I made about £500 from them.

As I got older my jewellery tastes matured as I did. I began making button bracelets (stealing buttons from all over the house), Wish Bracelets, made from a collection of beads, buttons and other charms, supposedly each bead was there to represent a different aspect of life: dice = chance, heart = love, button = luck, and most importantly a letter bead for your name. These bracelets were followed by charm necklaces - a collection of six charms strung on ribbon or chain. Customers could choose the ribbon, chain and selection of charms. They became quite popular and soon I was making a small fortune from selling them in the common room at school.

I rarely have time to make jewellery now, but still have all the equipment to whip something up if an outfit is ever in need of a little something extra!

Photos taken by my phenomenally good photographer brother, Gabriel Kenny-Ryder.


  1. AH what cool earrings! Love creativity like this :) - gonna follow!


  2. wow, your designs look really good!
    I'm hoping to do the same as you, but i love making cross-stitch keyrings... bit random but still :)
    great blog!