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Annie By Design. Who is she? What is she?

Hi.  My name is Leanne and I am the creator, designer, maker and face behind Annie By Design. Annie By Design is my little sanctuary where I create my own handmade jewellery and upcycle jewellery that is in need of a little love.  I try to be as eco friendly as possible including using 100% recycled silver wherever I can and giving vintage pieces back their sparkle so they can live another lifetime rather than going into landfill.  I am in the process of building Annie By Design into an awesome little business and I hope you will come along for the ride. Now, a little about me....  I love vintage and retro.  I am a huge fan of Old Hollywood style glamour and Art Deco style but I also love simple and classic.  I am quite a girly girl but I am also a huge sports fan (they should have offered sport watching as a subject in High School, I would have aced it).  I live with my naughty ferret, Clancy who makes me laugh every day and on my days off from the day job you can find me in my front room creating my little heart out (I still have a day job 4 days a week until Annie By Design grows a bit bigger).
Leanne & Clancy
  Leanne & Clancy
I started making beaded jewellery over 20 years ago after my sister and I did a basic course in our town.  We made simple jewellery using cute beads and learned plenty of new techniques however supplies were harder to come by back then so I put my jewellery making on the back burner because I figured it was just a hobby and I couldn't really make any money from it.  Whilst I was in high school I loved doing metalwork and woodwork because I loved the hands on grittiness and the thought you could make a masterpiece simply by having a vision and wielding a few tools.  Slowly my teachers ushered me towards a more girl friendly path and when I left high school I started in administration.  Sadly, that is where I remained, like a stagnant pond, for the next 20 years. A couple of years ago I pulled out my jewellery tools (the ones I had bought all those years ago) and started making beaded jewellery again.  I liked doing it but it wasn't quite bringing me the joys I had hoped.  I decided to start making resin jewellery but the resin fumes and the dust from sanding were not good for my already ill health.  The other problem was that I liked making pendants using images of old travel and movie posters but it was hard to find images that were not under copyright and although they sold well they were really a niche item and were never going to reach the dizzying heights where I could make a good profit off them.  After a while I realised that I liked making the beaded jewellery and if I could make all my own findings then maybe I would feel like the pieces were something I had made rather than something I had assembled.  I took an online Craftsy class and began making my own findings.  One day when I had logged in to watch another part of the video class I decided to have a bit of a look around at some of the other classes available.  I stumbled across a class that was perfect!  It was called Metalsmithing at home and it had all the hands on, down and dirty grittiness that I was after.  I enrolled in the course, bought some basic supplies and started soldering metal.  Within a couple of weeks I was making rings and pendants and the rest is history.  I am learning new things every week through trial and error, Googling and watching YouTube videos and reading blogs.  My range now consists of pieces made from recycled sterling silver but I have also gone back to my roots and I am making beaded jewellery again. Just recently I decided I wanted to work with vintage findings (and vintage style findings which are often less expensive) and  I have been buying vintage Swarovski crystals and other vintage pieces that I can bring back to life.  I plan on setting the vintage crystals in my own handmade settings so I can keep the quality up to my own satisfaction.                 DSCN9903       DSCN0058 Suddenly I was making all this gorgeous jewellery and I realised how much I loved doing it.  I was a receptionist that made jewellery but I wanted to just make jewellery and not have to work for 'the man'.  I don't know how I found this website but I came across Create & Thrive and it has helped to start the shift from receptionist to business owner.  I still have to work 4 days a week at the day job to pay the bills but C & T is giving me the information I need to steer myself in a new direction.  I had read so many blogs and articles about how to start your own business and I was getting to the point where I had information overload and I didn't know which bits were useful and which bits were just fluff.  I honestly believe that if I had not found Jess and her amazing team I would have either given up or at the very least I would not have been as far down the business track as I am now.  I did an online course with C & T called Set Up Shop and it helped to change my thinking as well as guiding me step by step through the initial stages of putting my products out in to the world, marketing them and setting the foundations for  a great business. My main aim was to quit the day job because I wanted to make and sell cool things and be self sufficient.  That was until I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia earlier this year.  Fibromyalgia is a debilitating illness and it has thrown my life into a small form of chaos.  My vision for my business has now changed slightly because not only do I want to work for myself I also want the ability to work around my illness.  Currently I have to drag myself out of bed on the bad days and still front up to work with a smile on my face.  Having the ability to rest when I need to and work when my illness is not giving me as much grief would be just perfect. I am putting in all the hard yards now so that I can achieve my dream of working for myself.  Wish me luck! ~ Leanne

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