Hey again, my fellow small bizz lovers. I recently emailed the gorgeous Nikki Rogers from Lemon Drops Design, a handmade jewellery brand from my neck of the woods, with some Qs about her business and how it came to be! So grab a brew, check out her website, treat yourself to some of her uniquely bright and cheerful goodies, then read about the woman behind the designs…
Hey, lovely lemony Nikki. So great to have you on here, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! Tell us about what you do!
Hey lovely Grace! I’m so thrilled that you asked me to be part of this, thank you so much. I make colourful statement earrings and have very recently started working on a range of cards and stationery as well.
How was Lemon Drops Design born?
Before I had my babies I used to be a sixth form teacher, so I was always on the go, my mind always busy. Contrary to popular belief being a teacher doesn’t really work out when you have your own small kids (unless they’re in childcare from morning until night every day) and my requests for part time hours were denied (that’s a whole other gender-imbalanced story) so I stayed home with the babes instead. But, my busy brain really struggled to adjust to that. I felt ‘worthless’ and struggled to feel satisfied with filling my days with baby groups. I dipped my toe in the making and small business waters a couple of times during the next two years but nothing stuck. Then in 2019 I realised I was in a rut. My wardrobe had become a generic ‘mum uniform’ of navy Breton stripes and grey and I desperately needed to feel more me again. I decided to inject a little colour and pattern with some earrings. I found loads I loved through Instagram but they were all from Australian makers (those gals know how to do colour and pattern), and my Etsy searches let me down so I decided to have a go at making some myself. I bought myself some essentials, watched lots of tutorials and made myself some rainbow leopard print drops. It wasn’t long before I had requests rolling in and so I thought, maybe this is my thing.
You seem to have a lovely community of followers on social media. Do you feel you have lots of support from them? What kind of people are they?
Yes! I love my followers so much. They’re so supportive and feed my soul with all their lovely comments when I’m working on new designs, and they’re also really caring and considerate when things are hard – as they have been a few times this past year! Some of us also chat about what we’re reading or knitting over in DMs too so I feel like I’m building a really lovely little community of like-minded people.
Can you tell us a bit about your creating/making process?
Of course! I don’t really have a set way that I come up with ideas. Sometimes I know what colours I want to use, sometimes I have a specific pattern I want to create and sometimes I have no idea when I sit down. The process is always the same though. I make a large ’slab’ of my design and then I cut my various shapes and sizes from it. I try to make sure I have a range of sizes as some of my customers prefer a stud, whilst others (like me) prefer big earrings! I use up as much of the pattern as possible and then either save the scraps to be mixed to make a new colour for another day, or I swirl it together to create a marble effect which I use to make ’no waste studs’. Being as responsible as possible with my waste is really important to me. I don’t throw anything away and all my packaging and paper products are recyclable and where possible, printed on recycled paper. Once my shapes are cut they need to be baked. Then each piece is sanded to remove and rough edges, drilled, put together and fixings attached. Sometimes I’ll also add a shiny resin coat as well to make the shimmer or glitter in a design really pop. This whole process can take several hours from start to finish for one batch of earrings (then there’s photographing them and getting them listed in the shop as well).
What are some of your favourite smallish brands?
Oh dear, there are too many! Haha, I have a bit of a shopping problem which I definitely justify by shopping small almost exclusively. Some brands I’m loving at the moment though include Smellysaurus who makes the most beautiful and delicious wax melts, and Bookwork Candles who make beautiful book-inspired candles. I also love anything from Stacey McEvoy Caunt, Nutmeg and Arlo and Emma Lindley Art. And I couldn’t possibly not mention Lucy & Yak who basically supply my entire wardrobe, though not sure they’re a small brand anymore…!
What are your hopes and dreams for the future – can be personal or professional!
I have some big ideas for this year, kind of so big (to me) that it’s a bit scary and I’m procrastinating instead of taking the leap. And I’d love to expand on my stationery offerings too. But my real dream would be to open my own little gift/book shop. I’ve always wanted a book shop but I think I’d definitely want to make lots of room for all the wonderful small businesses I’ve met in there too. Maybe when the kids are a little older I’ll be able to go for it!
Thanks again for this, lovely!
Thank you for being here, Nikki! Isn’t she lovely, readers? Be sure to follow her on Instagram, and bookmark her website for future gift buying/self-treating!