The Big Collaboration

The Silk Purse Guild began it’s life back in 2019, as a dream in the mind of a graphic designer, who was royally fed up with online marketplaces in the UK. They all seemed to be stacked against the small business owner, with endless commissions, listing fee’s and complicated algorithms to keep on top of.

Over the last 3 years, we have managed to painstaking build a new Home of Handmade UK, that is both affordable, and top notch in the tech department. We are now offering the creative community in the UK a new brand place to showcase their talent. A marketplace dedicated to their success that promises not to restrict their reach, or lock them in.

The ethos behind the Guild is “Making it Personal” and this sentiment is at the heart of everything we do. As it turns out, this was the biggest challenge of all, when it came to gathering together the very best talent that the UK had to offer. It was clear from day one that the Silk Purse Guild Community needed to be super friendly, supportive and engaging.

As we grow, new members are approved not only on the strength of their talents, but on their attitude within our Facebook group, which is where we all hang out. The Silk Purse Secret Society on Facebook is growing daily, and you will not find a friendlier, more supportive group of makers online!

This article is a testament to the magic that can happen, when creative minds get together and pool their resources and talents.

How did you guys Meet?

Sara Wilson

Bluebell Lane – Jewellery Designer

We met on the Silk Purse Guild Facebook group, it didn’t take long to figure out we have a very similar outlook on life and the same dry sense of humour. Esme has been an inspiration to me, I absolutely lover her glass work and couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of her cabochons!

Esme Weatherwax

The Glassy Witch – Glass Artist

On SPG…….

Who’s Idea was it to Collaborate on this Project?

Sara

I’m not exactly sure we ever had that ‘oo lets collaborate’ moment, I think it kind of happened by accident, I think if anyone had the idea to make it a ‘thing’ it was Sara Hall from the silk purse guild, she gave us some direction on what could be possible as I don’t think either of us thought of selling the outcome.

Esme

I can barely remember my own name half the time, so I’m going to blame Sara. I’ve slept since we talked about it,so I have no idea..

How easy was it to work together on the Design Elements?

Sara

I think as we are both similar in the way we work, this bit was quite easy, I let Esme do her thing with her glass and waited with eagerness to see what the postman bought, she then trusted me to let me have free reign to turn it into something with wire, we didn’t put any pressure on each other, however, I’m sure if I said to Esme that I needed 10 x 5cm blue rounds I’m sure she would have made them for me but I wanted the challenge of making something beautiful from what I was given.

In such a Competitive Community, do you Recommend more Handmade Businesses work together Like This?

Sara

Absolutely, but the most important thing is that you must work with someone with a similar work ethic to you, be able to agree on how the project is going to work, who is responsible for each part, especially the selling side. How are you going to split profits etc. once you have this settled the rest is easy. Look for someone that will complement your business, it will give you a USP as well as appealing to both of your customer bases. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.

Esme

Crikey yes. As often as possible! Competition is all very well, but working together and combining skills towards something that wouldn’t otherwise be possible? That’s a plan for life in general. Collaboration and cooperation can achieve so much more.

When did you Realise that your Completely Different Talents would work so Well Together?

Sara

For me, it was as soon as I had seen Esme’s work, she’s a genius with glass, I love absolutely everything she makes, her cabochons are so beautiful. I could see all the different ways I could use them with wirework, she sent me some samples and I had a play, I love the different sizes and shapes as it means none of the pieces, I make are the same.

Any Disagreements on Design etc?

Sara

I’m trying not to laugh at this question, I think we had the opposite problem, we loved everything we suggested, it’s been difficult to narrow down to 1 product to start with and it needed to be something that would compliment both of our business which is why we have settled on the one we have, I think it shows us both off well and won’t look odd in either of our shops.

Can you describe the Collab process, how did this work on a Practical Level?

Esme

I cut glass up, stacked it in piles, tried to set fire to it, failed, and gave the subsequent melted and cooled glass blobs to Sara through the magic of Royal Mail.

I love seeing other ways my glass can be used, especially in ways which I simply cannot do as I do not have the required skill set.

Where can we View more Photos of the Project?

Esme

Ah. Yes. Uhm. About that…..oh! Look! Kittens! *runs away*

Sara

There will be a blog post and photographs on my website shortly, and our pendants will be available to buy on in my shop, here at the Silk Purse Guild.

Visit my website

Want to join the Guild?

We are always looking for ambitious, enthusiastic and entrepreuneurial people to join our community. If this sounds like you, drop us a line with what you can bring to the Silk Purse Guild, that sets you apart from anyone else.

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One thought on “The Big Collaboration

  1. Rachel says:

    Awesome! The end result of both your fantastic and creative talents is stunning. We’ll done you two. Can’t wait to see more collaborations in the future.
    Hugs Rach x

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