Sunday, 1 June 2014

Creative Corners - Sweetiepips

It's Sunday! That means one thing around here - it's time for another peek at someone's Creative Corners! Each week, I'm 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 within their space, as well as learning a little bit more about them and their creative endeavours.

This week, it's my absolute pleasure to introduce you all to the rather lovely Katrien Pierce from etsy store Sweetiepips, who I have had the pleasure of working with through our etsy team, Afternoon Tea, Chat & Treasuries. Kat has created a wonderfully whimsical collection of jewellery that incorporates seed beads, wire and hammered metals - all a delight for the senses. Let's find out a bit more about her, shall we?

How did you get started? 

I studied Art and Applied Social Sciences at university, and though I specialized in ceramics I followed the painting route when I left, working as a freelance artist, writer and musician. In between I spent 14 years managing high street fashion stores until nearly two years ago when I had a baby (unexpectedly and unplanned.) I was extremely ill before and after the pregnancy and it's a miracle I'm here to tell the tale.

However, my son, affectionately nicknamed Bobbins (incidentally one of the first pieces of jewellery I sold was a pair of earrings made from vintage sewing machine bobbins) has never been a good sleeper so I started tinkering about with beads and jewels in the early hour of the morning to keep myself occupied while my son played, watched DVDs, looked at books, etc, as it meant I could also keep an eye on him at the same time.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

Selling those creations on etsy seemed a natural progression and I soon developed a personal style started to experiment with other mediums for my jewellery such as clay, leather, wire and metalwork.

My creations have continued to be popular at craft fairs and my sales on etsy are steady so I saw no reason to alter the lifestyle path I had inadvertently stumbled upon. Furthermore, I enjoy every minute of the creative process, even at 3am in the morning. And it means I get to wear unique and beautiful adornments!

What do you think is important about handmade?

Buying handmade, to me means I am getting something that has occupied someone else's personal thought and time. The maker has taken care and attention in both quality and service because they have loved creating it. I personally buy handmade or from independent makers as often as possible to support fellow artists and craftspeople that are 'in the same boat' as me!

Can you tell us a little bit about your workspace?

I adore metalworking and although it's not easy to produce or work to the scale I would like from my kitchen/studio (especially with a toddler bumbling around) it does the job for both metalwork and my polymer clay jewellery.

Kat's 'Workbench'

I am fortunate that I am able to make a lot of noise (hammering) in my kitchen/studio as it is attached to a part of the house that doesn't disturb anyone else. It is incredibly bright as it's south facing and living literally a stones throw from the sea I get that nostalgic and evocative marine sea spray scent wafting through the windows often. The other obvious perk to having your studio in a kitchen is the constant supply of coffee and snacks!

What are your work space essentials?

My absolute favourite tools I couldn't get by without are my humble little steel bench block and trusty hammer. I have three hammers but my favourite is a well worn in, small and very old hammer that I see as a work of art in itself. I truly love my hammer and it would be the first thing I would grab if there was a fire and I had to leave instantly. (Oh and of course my son!) I often feature my hammer as a photo prop for my hammered pieces on etsy to add a bit of character.

I continually add to my workspace paraphernalia and would be lost without my simple tools such as my ring mandrel, wire strippers and metal punch.

Kat's Favourite Hammer

What is inspiring to you right now?

Living so near the sea is a huge inspiration to me and means I can drop everything and be at the beach within two minutes. I love beach combing and I never tire of promenading (Worthing has lovely long promenade!) whatever the weather. Occasional beach finds have been known to end up in my creations.

Well, I hope that you've all enjoyed getting to know Katrien - she's the loveliest of people to work with! I'm in love with the idea of her, well adorned with her beautiful creations, strolling along the promenade at weekends!

Kat is offering everyone who visits via Obstinate Pursuit a 20% discount on all products in her store. Just use the discount code OPBLOG20 when you checkout. Thanks so much Kat!

Fancy Being Featured?

I'm still looking for more creatives and crafters to interview for Creative Corners. Please e-mail me at obstinatepursuit[at] for more information about the series and how to get involved.


  1. the nosy neighbour in me is loving this posts and the glimmer in to other crafties lives.

  2. Read with pleasure, I smiled I similar jewellery beginnings we share :) Thank you both!

  3. What a fun shop with lovely pieces! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Great interview. I love the answer for what inspires. We don't live by the beach, but we love to visit the beach and just visited a couple of them in Southern California!

  5. Very inspiring story! I enjoyed reading it!

  6. What a cute nickname for your son! I enjoyed taking a peek behind your splendid shop.


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