Itsy Bitsy Imprints has been open for business since September 2014. Since then I’ve created hundreds, if not thousands of pieces for my wonderful customers. But I wasn’t always a jewellery designer!
In a previous life (pre-children) I was a successful scientist at a top London hospital working in haematology and blood transfusion. However, it wasn’t your simple 9-5 job and when I had my first child going back to work seemed unlikely but not impossible. Then I fell pregnant again! With two children under the age of 15 months and two nurseries fees to pay going back to my job was not an option, especially as I would be paying for the privilege of going to work. It was also around this time that I began to realise I was deep within the clutches of post-natal depression!
Having postnatal depression was a very surreal experience for me. It was like I was watching myself being this irrational, short-tempered and broken person but not being able to stop myself. I spent so much energy pretending to the world that everything was ok but inside I was screaming for help and every minute of the day was an effort to get through.
The medicinal route was not an option I wanted to take but I knew I needed to do something as time to spare was time to think and time to think was not good!
I had alway wished I could make a living out of being creative. I had seen these amazing necklaces capturing real fingerprints and handprints and was so envious of the women who had the skills to create them. So I decided to do some research. I found a whole world of jewellery making I never knew existed and the most amazing material which can be moulded and sculpted and made to in anything your mind can imagine. All this research and experimenting was giving me the focus I so desperately needed and day by day I could feel myself slowly rising out of the depth I was previously in.
However much I adore my children it was then I found having something else to focus on other than my children was my key. I decided then that setting up a business creating jewellery I adored and adored making was what I was meant to be doing.
Fast forward three years and I have done numerous courses and diplomas, refined my process and learnt more than I ever thought possible about social media.
If you are suffering from postnatal depression please never think you are alone. Having something like PND does not make you any less of a mother or a person and asking for help, in whatever form that may be, is absolutely strongest thing you can possibly do. I promise, when you open up about your feelings you will realise how many others are just like you and when you look back on that time in your life you will realise how strong and resilient you are. It does get better!
It has been the most amazing learning curve for me and everyday throws up new challenges but I feel like the luckiest person in the world to do what I do and owe everything to my little business as it has given me myself back and given my children their mummy back.
If you are intrigued into making your own jewellery this is a wonderful starter kit and YouTube is an amazing resource to find out the basics. Be warned though, it’s hard to stop once you start.