Like magpies, Lizzie Maskery loves shiny things. She loves jewellery the most, and that is why she decided to set up her own business.
Lizzie first set up A Charm of Magpies, which is named after the term for a group of the birds which love all things bright, after teaching herself to make acrylic, resin and beaded jewellery using online tutorials.
She said: “I’ve made jewellery for a long time, and I’ve always given it away as gifts. The idea of doing it as a business has been kicking around for a few years, and this summer I decided to give it a go.
“The sort of jewellery I make depends on many factors, but I like having the freedom to experiment. My items include dangle and stud earrings, lapel pins, necklaces, rings and bracelets.”
Lizzie, who runs the business full-time, makes unique pieces - so you can be sure that you will be wearing something rare and exclusive while supporting a local and passionate maker.
Lizzie said: “I don’t like to make many of any particular piece, because I like making new pieces. I do like to experiment and try new things.
“Some of the acrylic pieces are total one-offs, and the resin pieces are difficult to duplicate. Likewise with my beaded jewellery, when I’m using recycled glass or stone beads there is often not enough of the source material to make more than a single piece or two. Beaded necklaces, depending on their complexity, can easily take up to ten hours to make.”
Shortly after setting up Charm of Magpies in June, Lizzie decided to launch a sister business - Rook and Magpie - which is used exclusively to sell beaded jewellery.
This is because the buyers for this type of jewellery are different to the other things she makes - which also now includes baubles that are made of glass and have pearl beads or crystal netting on them.
Creative Lizzie, who has been experimenting with craft and jewellery design since her school days, is also keen to support other local businesses.
She added: “I can source materials locally, although some of my beads are imported from Europe. I like to mix them with vintage glass beads recycled from charity shops, flea markets and so on.”
Lizzie, a Sheffield Hallam University graduate, was able to set up her business with help from the university’s Enterprise Scheme, and from Business Sheffield.
Lizzie will be taking her products to various market stalls in the coming days. She will be at The Art House on December 9, Abbeydale Picture House Christmas Market on December 10, the Moor Market on December 11 and 14, the Town Hall on December 16.
For more information, visit www.acharmofmagpies.co.uk and also www.rookandmagpie.co.uk. The Rook and Magpie site is expected to launch fully in the new year. Lizzie will also be running a beaded bauble workshop at The Art House on December 12 and 19. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.