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  • Writer's pictureClara Whicher-Grant

Meet the Maker: Oliwia from OI Handmade

This month, we're very excited to introduce you to the multi-hyphen, poly-passionate polymer clay crafter Oliwia. From daring to try her hand across a wide range of projects to inviting you to wear her designs your own way, the fearless Oliwia wants to seep fun and creativity into every corner of her work. Read on to meet September's featured maker!

1. Can you tell us more about yourself and your craft?

My name is Oliwia, I am Polish and I grew up in Spain I moved to the UK 7 years ago. I love eating, cinema, reading, staying home, dancing and of course crafting.

At the moment I am doing polymer clay, air-dry clay and resin jewellery and homeware. My jewellery is mostly earrings but lately, I have been doing rings, trays, ashtrays and plant pots. I try to do raw, bold, funky and statement pieces for everyone. An accessory to decorate your life with.

2. How did you get started?

My journey started about 10 years ago when I did a jewellery course. Once I finished it, I felt like something was missing so I kept my hands busy with “home crafts” like making T-shirts and felt wallets and pins.

When I moved to the UK, I got curious about clay and started to play with air-dry clay making necklaces and earrings. I fell in love with polymer clay and here I am selling my earrings and trying to transmit my passion for jewellery making bold and funky pieces for everyone.

3. Where do you find your inspiration?

I´ve always been an art lover - cinema, music, literature, dance, all of them. Everything is inspiring, we are all always influenced by something that is around us, people, colour, shape or voice when we create our “art” or when we express ourselves through it.

4. What is the biggest challenge you face as a maker/ business owner?

Well, I think for all makers it is always difficult not to compare yourselves to others and feel insecure or that you are not offering anything new.

It seems like everything has been already made and to offer a “never seen” product is not possible but trying to transmit your message through your creation is what we look for, one of the most difficult things to achieve. Finding your own style, to be happy with it and with the quality is the hardest part. As a maker, I think we are all very tough on ourselves and try to be perfect when we should all LOVE the IMPERFECTIONS in our handmade products as they are HANDMADE.

5. What is your favourite thing about being a creative business owner?

Doing the craft itself and also the satisfaction of a good finished product.

6. What does a typical day look like for you?

I work full time at O&L so I wake up between 6.30 and 8.00 depending if I go to the office or not, I finish around 4.30, I get home, tidy up a bit and then I normally craft, finish some earrings, do some resin, or learning a new craft like crocheting, knitting or sewing, depends on how tired I am I can finish doing that around 8.00pm or 23.00pm. On the days I don´t craft I am with my niece and sister, having a walk, seeing some friend, or watching a movie.

7. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to your craft?

Yes, I do. Cinema is another of my passions. I also like to read and learn new crafts, of course!

8. How do you stay motivated? Any advice for your fellow makers?

I try to observe the world and stay positive, there is always a bright side…. My advice is DO IT! Research, experiment and be organized and the most important thing enjoy it.

9. What are your goals for 2021?

For 2021 my goals are to grow as a person and in my business, step by step find my way to make a living from my passion.

9. How can we find you and your products online?

You can either message me on my IG @oii_handmade or have a look at my Etsy shop OiThisIsHandmade

Also, you can find me in physical shops around Richmond: and Twickenham:

10. How are you finding being part of Makers United? How is it helping your business?

I am finding being a part of Makers United the best decision of my 2019 and I am proud to say I was the first member haha!

It has helped me to get myself organized in the admin part, find an easy way to stay on top of my business plan, understand money and how to keep track of it and defining what my brand is and the message it wants to transmits.

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