Silversmith Shopkeeper

Silver Cufflinks with Sketches
Silver Cufflinks with Sketches

This month I am in the process of setting up an online shop. It’s my first time doing something like this online so it’s been a steep learning curve!

As you might have guessed I’ll be stocking my shop with jewellery but I had to make a decision about what style of jewellery I wanted to make and sell online. I had a look at what was out there and saw a gap in the market for good quality Irish silver jewellery. Many of the websites I found were selling poor quality mass produced celtic jewellery that probably never set foot in Ireland! What I wanted to offer was a good quality alternative that would be designed, made and hallmarked in Ireland. I wanted to be able to provide a service whereby someone could order a piece of Irish silver jewellery and know the piece was specifically made for them in Ireland by an Irish silversmith (me!).

Rather than concentrate on the mass produced ‘Irish’ designs I began looking at our rich Irish heritage of art and design and where better to go than the National Museum on Kildare Street, Dublin. I came away with lots of ideas but I just had to figure out on how to capture the beauty of the pieces I had seen.

Once I had chosen some of my favourite artifacts from the National Museum I also researched Irish celtic knot work. With all this material I began designing the range of silver jewellery. I am going to concentrate on mens jewellery for the moment. This is mainly because I love making cufflinks but also because it’s so difficult to find anything really nice for men in the line of jewellery.

Silver Tie Pin with Sketches
Silver Tie Pin with Sketches

I plan on launching the website with a small core range, many of which can be altered to suit the buyer. I designed an ogham collection which has Irish words such as grĂ¡ (love) engraved in ogham but this ogham could just as easily read any word that the buyer choses. I also have a range of family crest and coat of arms jewellery but done in a contemporary acid etched style.

For me the easy part was designing and making the work the stress started when I had to go about setting up the shop. I had no idea where to start. It’s amazing how much you take for granted when you look at a website and complete a transaction online. Thankfully I found shopify. This is a great website that hosts your online shop for a monthly fee so you don’t have to worry about getting someone to build the website for you. As the operator of the shop I am able to upload photos, add prices and descriptions as well as write a blog. It’s also very easy to manage and edit your products. While there are certain things I would like to do differently shopify is a great start to take the stress out of setting up an online shop.

It’s still a work in progress I have lots of tidying up to do like change the look and colours of the website and add some artwork. I also have lots more products to finish and photograph. As soon as its ready I’ll post a link here.


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