About Shark Alley:
Why did you start doing what you do?
I trained and work as an illustrator, but have never felt confident in or satisfied with my work and suspect that I am by nature more of a crafts person. The idea to make jewellery had been on my mind for a while, along with many other plans, but I felt a bit overwhelmed at starting something new and wasn't sure which path to follow. Then an offer to exhibit in the Brighton Festival last year opened the floodgates and it suddenly all seemed very natural and obvious to be doing this. I now feel endlessly inspired and really enjoy what I do.
Why did you chose your business name?
In the1995, I had a friend who was the only person I knew who had a home computer (incredible to conceive of now!). He ran all of his friends' names through its anagram program, and mine - Sarah Kelly - came out as Shark Alley. I thought that was brilliant, never forgot it and vowed to use it for something one day. This seemed the perfect opportunity.
How long have you been doing what you do?
Even as a child I was always sewing and making things, but became actively involved with various crafts from the 1990s onwards. I started Shark Alley at the beginning of 2010.
What else they you like to do?
I love photography, mostly inspired by colours and patterns in nature - a theme I think that runs through all of my work. I also enjoy textile design and am currently experimenting with some textile-based projects for Shark Alley.
What is your ultimate goal for your business?
I would love to extend the brand to lots of different handmade items and maybe even some products that I could design but get made up in other ways. I'd also love to be stocked in Liberty! - it's one of my favourite shops ever.
What is your inspiration?
Colour, pattern and nature inspire me most and I am also a sucker for shiny things, decoration and embellishment, particularly in ethnic art and jewellery. The idea of creating with materials that I think are beautiful, but are usually overlooked, also gives me a lot of pleasure - my work has often involved recycling
I love my bird brooches - I think they embody the combination of my interests in natural forms, embellishment and decoration.
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