Pearls of wisdom
A jewellery designer who combines vintage finds with the latest fashion gains another fan in Laura Cartledge.
Most women will agree there is no such thing as owning too much jewellery. Diamonds are a girls best friend after all.
However Worthing resident Katie Hewell has taken this a step further – going from collector to creator – by launching her own online business Dandy Rocks.
“I was standing in a queue and I thought I could make this,” she reveals. “That was the last piece of jewellery I ever bought.”
It all started last year with Katie buying a book, some tools and teaching herself, then giving her creations to friends and family.
“They quite liked it and I got great support on the school run ” she says modestly, “so I set up a Facebook page and
now I have strangers contacting me asking to buy my pieces.”
Katie admits she has always had an interest in ‘jewellery and vintage things’.
“I went to car boot sales and antique fairs from a young age,” she explains. “I am constantly looking for inspiration. I find bits and think what would go with that and try to see what works.
“I describe my work as modern jewellery with a vintage twist,” she adds. “I find buttons and glass beads which I work in.”
As a result the Dandy Rocks collection fuses timeless style with a quirky edge and gives the ‘on trend’ colours a sense of
From fun pieces, of hot air balloons with bows, to stunning art-deco items, like antique pearls adorned with birds, chances are everyone will find their own “favourites” when they see Katie’s offerings.
Plus people with something particular in mind can also contact her for bespoke items.
So, with the focus on crafting unique items, does Katie ever find it hard to let any piece go?
“Most of the bits,” she laughs, “My jewellery stand is covered in pieces I should be selling. All the jewellery is made in small numbers and it is often a case of making one for me and one for my site.”
Not only does Katie have growing demands for her jewellery to occupy her time she is also a busy mum of four and admits balancing both can have its challenges.
“I find it is best to work when they are in bed and it is a great way to relax in the evening,” she says. “I have got three
boys who don’t really blink an eye, but my daughter, who is two, always wants to touch everything.
“I have seen her hold beads up to her ears already – I don’t know if I should be worried or proud.”
It would seem her family have been a big influence. Not only may she have a future apprentice in her daughter but Katie works from home which has seen the conservatory once a dining room, become her studio.
While the name for her business was also inspired by her loved ones.
“My fiancés surname is Dand and if I ever find the time to get married then I will become a Dand too,” she explains. “Which led to Dandy as in ‘fine and dandy.’ And I wanted to include the word ‘rocks’ as it refers to diamonds and gemstones but alsorefers to something cool as in ‘it rocks’.”
There is no doubt Katie is passionate about what she does and she is clearly looking forward to the future.
“I am already planning ahead,” she agrees, “I am excited for my first Christmas and getting ideas for Valentine’s Day.
“And one of the best parts is when I buy a new outfit and I know I can make something to match it,” she grins.
To find out more about Dandy Rocks visit www.dandyrocks.com or find Katie on Facebook at
August 8, 2013 Fashion and Beauty