Sunday, 4 May 2014

Creative Corners - Rocks For Frocks

Welcome to Creative Corners! Each Sunday, I'll be interviewing one of my favourite crafters, makers or entrepreneurs and will be asking them to share their 'creative corners', along with a little bit about how their creative process has affected the design and organisation (or complete lack of organisation) within their space, as well as learning a little bit more about them and their creative endeavours.

I'm delighted to be starting the series with local, lovely Gail Bell from Rocks For Frocks - a family owned business specialising in beautiful, bridal jewellery and tiaras.

The Rocks For Frocks Boutique @ The Wedding House, Liverpool

How did you get started? And when did you decide to start your own business?

I did jewellery making at college for a year and should have really gone to university to carry it on, but didn't really have the confidence to do it. I ended up going into computers as my mum told me it was the future! I have always been a maker of things, sewing, knitting, making anything. Jewellery was a hobby.

I was working in a job I hated, my children had finished education and both started working. I had recently lost my father, and before that my mother, and realised that life was too short to be unhappy, so basically just took the plunge.

On Display - Swarovski Headpiece.

A friend was getting married and showed me some hand made headpieces that she liked and I said "I can make that for you" and I did. Then I realised that there was a specific market and I really enjoyed making them. My daughter was doing a fashion marketing degree at the time and made me some business cards and a logo for a Christmas present, I booked a wedding fair and went from there.

I thought I would try a year and see what happened and if I could manage to pay the rent on the shop I could manage. I don't think I'll ever be rich, find it very stressful at times, but wouldn't change it!

What do you think is important about handmade?

Individuality, items not looking mass produced and too static. I even like a little bit not being perfect, in a way. 

What are your work space essentials? 

I can't live without my Lindstrom pliers, I get very protective of them and don't like anyone else using them. My pliers and cutters are always in a certain order on my pliers rack and they are always right in front of me on the desk. I could spend hours on the internet looking at tools!

Pliers On Hand (And Evidence Of Healthy Eating!)

What do you do to keep your creative corners organised?

My space is so small I have to be organised and also, it is in my shop, so I can't be too messy, which is very difficult. A colleague pointed out that although my desk is sometimes a 'right mess' I always put things back in the same place so I can reach them without getting up. 

Cubbies Filled With Goodies

My crystals and findings are all in plastic storage boxes on a shelf above the desk so I can reach them and see what's in each box and I have a cupboard to the side with boxes of pearls, diamanté pieces, lace, veiling, headbands and combs.

I have two girls who work for me, both of whom are more tidy minded than me and often tidy me up!

What is inspiring you right now?

Beading and colour. As a bridal designer I work mostly with clear crystal and pearls but I am experimenting with pale golds, opals and silvers. There are some gorgeous new Swarovski colours now available in stones like navettes and ovals, which have not been available before. I recently visited the bridal trade shows for 2015 and pale colours like blush, honey and lilacs were on the catwalks for wedding dresses.

Competition Time!

Want to win these stunning, little Crystal Pear Drop Earrings? Simply head over to Rocks For Frocks Facebook Page and comment on the Competition Post before the 15th May for a chance to win!


  1. an interesting post. I had tiara's made for my bridesmaids many years much details goes into making them...very clever x

  2. Love reading how other people organise their studios! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Love this series! So many great pieces, I love pear shaped stones so those earrings are my fav.

  4. I love the answer to the question about importance of handmade. Imperfections are unique! Great interview for a really fun new series.


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