Tumble and Rose started in earnest at the beginning of last year as a bit of a creative outlet for me. I’ve been making jewellery since I was 11, but aside from one craft fair I did at a primary school when I was 12, and trading simple beaded earrings for my friend at school’s lunch money, I’d never attempted to make a go of it. Amazingly after a couple of weeks, I actually sold something to a real live actual person on Etsy and they didn’t hate it, and then somehow I sold a few more things, until I was doing a steady few a week, (which at the time I honestly couldn’t believe – every time I got the sales email I squeaked in delight at my then-fiance/now-husband). For those that don’t know me personally, I have a super busy uber corporate job (think 12 hours a day, at least 5 days a week), so I was only spending a couple of hours a week when I could, and my materials only took up a little box in the spare room.
In the run up to Christmas 2017, until it took up the entire spare room and every waking moment I wasn’t at work – I actually had to close my little shop and stop taking custom orders at one point as I just didn’t have enough evenings to catch up..[believe me, electroforming takes time] I decided to take all of December off (as my firm let me!) to focus on building the business, as it seemed to work well enough for a side hustle! We moved house and knew that we would have to dedicate the spare single room as my ‘craft room’ but at the same time I transferred departments at work, so wasn’t travelling away as much and had a bit of the evenings to myself. I also started the Crystal&Candle box, so became very packaging and stock heavy. At the start of June I realised this just wasn’t working as I had no room, and although I very much still saw this as a fun hobby that meant I got to make pretty things, it was crunch time, either I needed to scale back, or I needed more space...
Obviously because what I need is essentially two full time jobs (!), I went for the latter and interviewed for residency at the Sorting Office, and some how got it! The Sorting Office is an old Royal Mail Post Sorting Office in Eastleigh (where we now live) with around 15 open plan studio spaces for makers/designers. It’s supported by the Arts Council and is actually run by Eastleigh Council, which makes me feel like a little bit of a fraud as I am amongst some AMAZING makers who all have wonderful degrees and backgrounds in their fields and are living their best lives doing what they love all day everyday and are actually real life artists, whereas I can only really pop in at weekend and evenings (watch this space though – some MAJOR life rethinking has been going on recently…). All that being said, I am SO in love with the space – it’s just a wonderful creative little hub, it’s super cosy and everyone is just really happy.
It’s given me a chance to turn the spare room at home into a packing room/office and transfer all my making to the studio – it’s also allowed me to get another electroforming tank set up, so once I nail the settings (it’s SO hot in the studio so things are a bit tricky) I’ll be able to pop out more rings at a time! I just don’t physically have the time to do everything I want to with Tumble and Rose at the moment, which makes me super sad as I’d love to see where I can take it, but this is a step in the right direction – I definitely feel like I’ve found my people. My studio is nestled inbetween Creature Hut and Emily Whittingham – both amazing gothic/grungey artists doing very different things.
In terms of the actual layout of the space, I’ve sort of split it into three sections. The first is a little display/shop front-esque space, where I am also slowly building a real life Instagram collage on the wall. The studios have an ‘Open Studios’ twice a year (next one is November 18th/19th) where the studios are open to the public and people can come a have a nosey/buy some lovely handmade items, so I’ve set it up with this in mind. The second section is more of a mess as it is entirely for electroforming so I have my tanks set up and all my chemicals in a storage unit. The third area is my desk and making space where I work on the copper ring bases and solder my silver.
ALL of the furniture is from IKEA (mainly Kallax systems), and I picked up so many amazing plants at the same time. I’m really happy with how my little space is set up, and I can’t wait to see what I’ll do to it as I develop within it.
So, there's my space! I only moved in two weeks ago so it's still in progress, but let me know if there's anything you'd like to see!