It’s a well-known phenomenon that mothers and daughters often understand each other with a simple glance, so it’s no big surprise that some decide to craft together. Winchester-based Elaine (mum) and Alice (daughter), the owners of Forage and Find, are one example of such a duo selling their unusual vintage and handmade jewellery on Etsy.
What makes a mother-daughter relationship special isn’t identical ideas and opinions (as anyone who has debated the appropriateness of an outfit can attest), but the differences. The owners of Forage and Find both go off on their own tangents, sourcing pieces from different locations. Alice prefers the colourfulness of semi-precious stones, but Elaine is most fond of the intricacy of antique watch movements. Mum and daughter are grateful for these differences because they make the product range much more lively and diverse.
However, it’s also those little similarities between mum and daughter that add something unique to partnerships. For Elaine and Alice? They both love the colour turquoise.
One quality that could be hereditary in their case is an attention to detail. Mum and daughter both agree that design currently leans towards minimalism, and love for the intricate has been lost. They find their inspiration from the Victorian period before mass production- many of their pieces have an undeniable steampunk aesthetic. They love how workmanship in the 19th century involved ‘adding as many swirls, patterns, lines and details as possible’.
Both ladies bring different skills to the creation process. Alice is tuned in more to current trends and can adapt a design of Elaine’s to make it more appealing to younger ages. Whereas Elaine is more experimental with using different tools and techniques, helping the designs to develop further.
Before their Etsy shop, the artistic duo had been creative separately for years; Elaine had crafting interests in many guises from felting to metalwork. However, she admits that this is the first truly successful business as Alice dedicates a lot of time to the marketing element. Elaine reminisces that ‘Alice has had an entrepreneurial streak right from the word go!’
There’s nothing more valuable than a mother’s advice, whether it concerns bills, boys, or jewellery-making. Alice will show her designs to Elaine and asks for her opinion. ‘I feel that designs work better when you have two people to run their gaze over them’, suggests Alice.
For Elaine, setting up an Etsy shop with her daughter means that work doesn’t have to be serious, instead, it can involve giggles along the way. ‘She is very playful and we can always have a laugh together about the times when designs don’t go according to plan’, admits Mum.
Selling on Etsy has been an enjoyable experience for both: ‘we love speaking to international customers from the comfort of our own home, and visualising them receiving and wearing our products. It’s incredible how an item made in our living room can make it half way across the world!’
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