Mar 1, 2010

Meet The Maker - Elizabeth Jean Jewellery

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I emigrated from England in 1986 with my husband and 2 children. We spent the first 20 years living in Melbourne before we came to Queensland in 2006. Our children are now married and are both living in Cairns and we have 5 grandchildren!

How long have you been creating your products?
About 4 years

What first made you want to become an artist/producer?
I start beading to take my mind of my chronic back pain at night, and then I found that I really enjoyed this hobby and began making during the daytime as well, even when not in pain. Over time this hobby became a passion, I discovered that I loved creating jewellery. I began searching for more interesting and beautiful beads, ones that you cannot find in the local shops.

This then created another problem, my husband is retired, and funds are rather low, and I was spending more and more on beads. I was giving them as gifts but spending too much! Finally I decided that my passion needed to be self-funding, so I starting selling at a local market, then 2 husband Bill started to help and things got busier, we expanded to a double size stall at some markets.

The customers from these markets requested that maybe we could open an on line shop, where they could purchase in between market days, so 12 months ago we invested in our own web site. Now we have joined Peita, and her exciting new venture, an on line marketplace for ethically produced products.

Any new products in the works?
My bracelets are strung on Tigertail beading wire; this is made from seven strands of wire that are twisted together like a very thin wire rope. The result is a very strong medium on which I can thread my beads. Unfortunately ladies wrists come in a range of sizes, so a lot of my bracelets are made to order. This is fine when ordering on line, but a little difficult on a market stall. Very often someone will fall in love with a bracelet, but it is not their size. To help over come this problem I have starting making some bracelets using stretch cord in place of tigertail. This allows for the bracelet to be expandable, and fit a range of sizes.

What are some of your favourite things in life?
Obviously jewellery making for one! I also enjoy seeing our grandchildren, which is not as often as I would like, because they live in Cairns.

We live on a one acre block which my husband has landscaped, and I love the ever changing vista of the plants and the tranquillity of living rurally, watching the kangaroos and the bird life. We also love our holidays, visiting my twin sister and other family in Melbourne, and children in Cairns, and also I love cruising holidays. Our last cruise was around New Zealand, which was absolutely fantastic. We try and to return to England occasionally, to catch up with Bill's family, who all still live there.

Last but not least, why do you believe that supporting ethical consumerism is important?
In these days of mass produced, poor quality, imported items, I think it is very reassuring to know that on a site like Ethikl, the person selling the item is the person who made the item. All my jewellery is handmade by me, and I take great pride in my work. If ever a customer is not happy, for whatever reason, I am more than happy to replace the item, or offer an alternate item, or offer a refund. I am also happy to do custom orders for that special occasion.


  1. Oh, we love these guys, they have been coming to the Handmade Expo since day dot... love what they do and it's nice to find out a little bit more about them. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Good luck with your Ethikl store Jean.

  3. Oh, how wonderful to see one of our very talented stallholders up in lights...Nice work


  4. oh lovely :) thanks for sharing these interviews!