Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Rachel Moore, I am a 41 year old Mother and Wife. I live in Sydney, for now, but am expecting to move to Bribane in the next 12-18 months. I am married to an Air Force member, hence the moving. I have one child, a 10 year old girl who has long since been bitten by the creative bug like me and loves nothing more than to make mess with paper, material and paints.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? I work primarily with Sterling Silver, Copper, PMC Metal Clay and Enamel to add colour and pizazz to my work.
Metal Clay is particles of fine silver bound with an organic material and water to create a clay like substance that can be mold, shaped, stamped, embossed and anything else you can think of to create, once dry the clay is fired in a kiln at very high temperatures to fuse the silver particles together to create a finished product of pure recycled silver.
Enamelling is a technique which has been around for centuries and is based on the practice of fusing fine ground particles of glass to metal to create a glass layer of colour which can be opaque/solid or transparent, allowing the silver work to show through the colour.
I work with copper primarily for my enamel work as copper enamel beautifully.
I also use Sterling Silver with Enamel, but this is more delicate work and requires alot more care and consideration due to the lower melting temperature of silver over copper, which has a higher melting temperature so reduces the risk of buckling and ruining your work in the kiln.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? Inspiration is a very difficult term for me, I am not sure I receive inspiration from any defined source. Realisitically I could not categorically state that I am inspired by nature, photos or anything like that. I can be in the shower washing my hair or asleep at 3am in the morning and will have an idea.
When I am truly in desperate need of inspiriation because I am stuck, I love to type in a search term, sometime generic like 'flowers' or sometimes more targeted into google images and just look at hundreds of images until something catches my eye and gives me an idea.
I like simple designs, I am very personal in my work and creativity, if I don't like something and would consider wearing an item myself, I cannot enjoy making and selling it. I like simple quite ordinary items, I prefer creating everyday jewellery rather than statement items that may come out of the cupboard once a year for a special occasion, which is why my items are often small, simple and wearable for any occasion. I love to know my work is being work all the time, to work, to a party, out shopping, and this is part of what inspires me, the kind of jewellery I would wear all the time.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I am a silversmith and have been learning my craft since early 2000, so consider myself still a very early beginner with a deep passion for creating.
After a couple of moves with my husband's job, he is in the Air Force so we get posted every 4-6 years, I realised that keeping an office career was becoming more difficult, many companies don't want a worker who is likely to up and leave only a couple of years after starting work, so I made the decision years ago that I wanted to find a career that I could do from home, around my family, something creative. I spent a year trying different creative mediums, before discovering the excitement of creating with metal. I initially started traditional beaded jewellery making and only discovered silversmithing after finding myself frustrated at not being able to find good the components that suited my needs locally and started researching the ability to make my own components, after doing a few online and short video classes I was hooked and attended my first weekend silversmithing workshop in Toowoomba, from there my passion for silversmithing snowballed and I reasearch and attend workshops, weekly classes at Goldsmith School's in Brisbane and Sydney and any short courses I could get my hands on as well as buying jewellery making manuals and a great deal of trial and error self taught work.
How did you come up with your business name? My original business name, La Femme Boutique, was based on a business plan developed long before I started silversmithing, when I was still working on beaded jewellery and my website sold both my work and imported jewellery so I wanted a name that was fairly comprehensive so I could expand beyond just jewellery if I wanted to, of course, over time my goals changed and I no longer wanted to sell anything that was not made by my hand and I now have a double sided business, La Femme Jewels came about once I decided I was not longer aiming to sell anything but jewellery to give a more defined indication of what I sell.
My primary business these days is RMD (Rachel Moore Designs) Jewellery, which is named after myself. La Femme Jewels will eventually be renamed so everything becomes RMD Jewellery. I decided to name the business after myself primarily because I now make everything I sell by hand and want that to be recognised, having a generic business name does not personalise your label, and being hands on creatively I wanted the name to be personal.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
I don't really have any particular resources, I use anything and everything to help me, the internet is a very big resource for me, I do attend workshops whenever I can on subjects, and until recently I was attending a weekly class/studio session at a Goldsmith School but as business has increased my time is limited and I had to choose to stop the classes.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Have a defined business plan, have a real idea of where you are going and what you want to do and have not just a business plan, but a creative plan to. I have always created adhoc style, when an idea occurs to me I drop everything and create, but sometimes that means my shop is full of a hodge podge of designs, many of which don't have a cohesive feel and it is only now, in the lead up to my first big trade show attendance, that I am realising how important it is to have a cohesive feel to your work and have had to prepare a creative plan, something I wish I had done a long time ago because it give me direction.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
If you can afford it, pay a professional marketing expert to help you prepare a marketing plan, it doesn't have to be expensive, I found a couple of online experts over the years and have had two marketing plans created for my business, they were very basic conceptual plans but they gave me direction, help me work out how to market my business and pushed me into directions I would never have considered on my own.
I am not great at social media and often go for months and months, sometimes a year, without posting on my blog, facebook or twitter, but despite that I am a big believer in social media and using any free or low cost avenues of promotion.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? The biggest lesson I learnt along the way would have to be 'know where you are going'. When I started this business I had so many directions and really did not have a defined plan for the future, a business plan for the existing idea yes, but not a defined plan for where I wanted to go, I spent alot of money in the early days building a business that was not what I wanted but what I thought I could acheive, in hindsight, I would have been better off waiting until I was sure of the direction I wanted from the future, but I was impatient and wanted to get started to quickly.
What do you like to do besides creating? I love to read, watch movies and favourite tv with my daughter, we love to cuddle up on the couch and watch our favourite movies or the gilmore girls on tv together with a big bowl of popcorn.
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website My favourite TV show is Gilmore Girls, I love the back and forth dialogue and the relationship between mother and daugther, unfortunately it finished years ago and I have content myself with watching repeats on DVD, but right now my second favourite current shows are Bones and The Big Bang Theory.
Books, I am a very bad and avid reader of romances, I grew up fascintated by Geogette Heyer books, my mother had the whole collection from when she was a girl in hardcover and I have never been able to shake my fascination for the Regency period, so love historical romances.
What would be your perfect day?
My perfect day happens occasionally, I spend all morning lounging in bed reading one of my favourite books, have a leurisely breakfast of croissants with my family, spend the days cuddling with my daughter on the couch watching something fun and the evening going out to dinner with my family. That to me is a perfect day, a day of rest, quite time with family and not having to cook or clean.
Who is one of your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?
Jess Van Den from Epheriell Designs and her blog. Jess is an inspiration in creative business and marketing.