This week we are delighted to introduce you to the very talented and creative Viv Smith, Owner of the incredible ‘Poppy Sparkles’…
Where did the company name ‘Poppy Sparkles’ come from?
I started Poppy Sparkles after the birth of my second child, Poppy, which clearly inspired my name in part. The Sparkles part is how I often refer to my jewellery. ‘Poppy Sparkles’ has become like pseudonym – my jewellery-making, sparkly loving alter ego. In fact there are a number of people who assume my name is Poppy!
How do you come up with your designs/ what influences you?
I’m influenced by colour, shape, texture and things I love. I’m rather fond of buttons, especially mother of pearl buttons and polka dot buttons. I’ve actually created collections of button jewellery to indulge my love of these!
I find inspiration in a number of places – looking at fashion and jewellery online, on the High Street and in the media. I also love to just sit in my workroom and ‘play’ with different beads and materials, experimenting with different colours, shapes and textures until I find something that I just have to bring to life.
Inspiration sometimes finds me and I can find myself inspired by a variety of things. I’m often inspired by seeing particular colours together that I might not otherwise of considered putting together. A little while ago, my daughter’s bedtime beaker inspired a bright and vibrant pendant necklace.
As I look to taking Poppy Sparkles forward, I’m finding myself taking longer over designs and collections, seeking to create something that stands out amongst the traditional strands of pearls and crystals. Once I have an idea, I make up a variety of mock pieces with jewellery making wire (as opposed to pricey sterling silver). I then hang prototypes up in my workroom, returning to tweak them as and when I notice something that can be improved or needs changing. I also try pieces on to see how they look, checking the overall look as well as size, so I can see if a necklace sits too high or low. It might take me a number of weeks, even months before I’m finally happy or have developed an initial idea into a full collection, but when it’s right, I know.
What would you call your ‘style’?
I like to think that I have a modern, yet classic and timeless style. I aim to create pieces that have style as opposed to fashion, which changes so fast. I want women who purchase Poppy Sparkles to be able to wear their jewellery again and again.
I tend to prefer cleaner, simpler designs, letting the colour and materials used take centre stage, rather than a complicated design. I’ve started to be a bit braver and am introducing more intricate pieces that have more depth and interest, such as my Boho Collection and Lustre Collection.
What is currently your favourite design?
I have a lot of new designs at the moment and it’s really hard to pin point a particularly favourite. I’m also fickle and my favourite design changes fairly frequently! I love my Polka Collection as it manages to be bright, fun and flirty, but still grown up. However, I think if I had to pick just one design it would be my Lustre Necklace – I love the lustrous freshwater pearls, the mother of pearl button focal. It’s lovely as bridal jewellery, but a refreshing change from the usual strand of pearls and crystals or pendants readily available.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by a number of people – it is my dream that I can make Poppy Sparkles a full time venture and not have to return to a ‘day job’ when my stint as a full time mum is over. I love following the journeys of those who are ahead of me and take inspiration from those who have managed to successfully build a full time business from designing and making items.
If you could design a piece of jewellery for anyone in the world who would it be and what would you create?
I’m always rubbish with these kinds of questions, but love reading other people’s responses to them. I’d love to design a piece for someone famous, not particularly because I’m starstruck by celebrities, but would love the endorsement of a celebrity and the inevitable boost that would give my business. With the up and coming nuptials of Liz Hurley, it’s fair to say that it would be amazing if I was commissioned to create her bridal jewellery. I would also love to see Katherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wearing some Poppy Sparkles Jewellery.
What is your greatest achievement?
After completing a bespoke jewellery commission I always feel a sense of pride, knowing that I did my best. I love working with clients to realize their dream jewellery. To date, I am most proud of the jewellery I designed for one of my brides, Louise. She loved her handmade wedding jewellery so much she wore it throughout her honeymoon and wears it often, especially for special events or when she wants to feel special.
If you weren’t doing this job what do you think you would be doing?
Prior to starting Poppy Sparkles I was a full time English Teacher in a secondary school, but it’s not where my heart is. I love being creative and if I hadn’t have taken a career break for my children I think I would have started to pursue a more fulfilling avenue for myself by now.
How do you spend your time when you are not working?
Much of my time is taken up being a mum, so most of what would be my ‘free time’ once the little people are in bed is then spent on Poppy Sparkles. I also run a blog where I indulge my love of handmade and independent shops, as well as my love of crafts – http://www.poppysparkles.blogspot.com In rare moments of free time I like to craft and read.
A Message from Viv…
At the moment I am working on a new website for Poppy Sparkles and new collections as I look to take Poppy Sparkles forward with a stronger focus on Bridal jewellery, as well as bridesmaid jewellery and pieces for party guests.
To make way for new collections, a number of designs are being offered with 40% off, including a number of pieces that would be ideal for brides, bridesmaids or party guests. Sale items are available whilst stocks last.
To Contact Viv at Poppy Sparkles go to:
Thank you so much for being our ‘Credible and Incredible’ Supplier of the Week. We absolutely love your Polka & Boho Collections. xx