Tips for buying cute jewellery



(Image courtesy of Unsplash)


By Elle Summers


As the nights draw shorter and the weather gets colder, it’s clear the festive season has really begun. With Canterbury’s Christmas lights glowing in our cobbled streets, the need for some joy as lockdown continues, means that many of us have our sights set towards the holidays. Although there remains some uncertainty as to what Christmas will actually look like this year and how many people the turkey will need to cater for, getting a gift for our loved ones is more important this year than ever before. With lockdown boredom setting in and ideas for keeping busy running low, my mind has turned to shopping (much to the dismay of my credit card!). There is always a push to shop local and help out small businesses, especially around Christmas time. But with the lack of craft fairs this winter season, many small businesses are having to rely on their online presence to catch the eye of the consumer. I’m sure many of you have heard of the different online places to head if you’re looking for handmade or personalised items, but as I delved into the world of Esty recently, I was faced with wonders I had not expected. With the thought of jewellery for family and friends in mind, I headed out into the virtual world to bag some great bargains and locate the perfect presents to make this Christmas as special as it can be.


Earrings

I currently have a little obsession with large dangly earrings and so was on the hunt for some quirky and different designs to go with different outfits, whilst thinking of other people who would appreciate something similar this Christmas time. Therefore, I love the dangle and drop earrings section of Etsy (maybe a little too much!).

One design that majorly caught my eye was the floral designs where real pressed flowers are used and then set in resin. This creates such a wonderful look, where each set of earrings is as unique as the flower they are made with. One designer that really stood out to me was ‘ByClaudiaTan’; I highly recommend checking out her products, as her designs are beautiful and UK shipping is free!

There are also many people out there doing their bit for the environment, and so if you fancy checking out some designs that incorporate upcycling then this is for you. ‘Junkyard Gemz’ is one of many Depop sellers who have linked this eco-friendly style into their designs, creating quirky and different designs primarily out of old toys. These unique items of jewellery are sure to catch anyone’s eye!


Necklaces

From crystals to origami to personalised namesakes to birthstones; if you can imagine it, someone out there is making it! Etsy offers a wide variety of different types of necklace and for different prices. Make sure you grab those deals by filtering in your own budget!

My favourite of the personalised necklaces are those with floral links, especially those that allow the design to incorporate the flower of your birthday month. Whilst being a beautiful and elegant design in itself, it also provides the perfect opportunity for pairing this gift with something along the same theme, whether that be an actual bunch of flowers, or something else.


Christmas Themed

Many people have drawn on the festive season as inspiration for their handmade work, creating the perfect Christmas present. With Christmas trees, snowflakes, robins and reindeers influencing many of the designs, I’m sure you’ll be able to find the perfect accessories to pair with your Christmas jumper in no time!

TOP TIP: look out for the pesky postage and packaging prices, they can soon make what seemed like a bargain skyrocket in price.


Looking for something closer to home?

If you want to shop local as well as help out a small business, then ‘Nuance Jewellery’ is for you. Run by a student at the University of Kent, you will also be supporting one of our own. With the beautiful, delicate jewellery on offer, checking out this Instagram page is a must!

I had the immense pleasure of talking to the owner of Nuance Jewellery about the business, giving me a little more insight into what is on offer. The owner’s passion for her products shone through as she told me “I have always been obsessed with wearing lots of jewellery and I believe an outfit without jewellery is not complete.” She went on to tell me that most of her jewellery comes from Turkey and so it was initially difficult for her to recommend places where her friends could find similar items. “At first I started to buy jewellery for my friends from Turkey and bring them to UK to sell to them. Then my friends’ friends started to place orders and it got bigger. Therefore, I got inspired to start a small jewellery business and created my brand ‘Nuance’.”

“Nuance’s jewellery portfolio consists of rings, necklaces, earrings and sahmarans which is a unique type of bracelet that connects as a ring. The material used to produce the jewellery is high quality stainless steel. Each product is also covered in 7-micron silver twice so that the colour will stay the same.”

The jewellery that Nuance sells is very affordable on a student budget (£14-£20) considering their wonderful designs and amazing quality. Designed by the owner and produced in a small jewellery atelier in Turkey, this is a gift like no other!


If you do decide to check out Nuance’s collection, there is currently a 25% Christmas discount to take advantage of and help save some extra pennies!

When we discussed the current pandemic and how this has impacted her business Nuance’s owner optimistically stated “Covid-19 and lockdown influenced people to do their shopping online. This could actually be an opportunity for small online businesses to increase sales.” Although many people automatically think of larger stores for their Christmas shopping, we can raise awareness to ‘shop small’ during lockdown and help local businesses, using this Christmas season to kickstart this trend. Let’s put a smile on the faces of not just those we’re buying for, but also the people who we buy from!


Let us know in the comments below if you have any top tips of your own about shopping small, or if you find any good deals from the ideas discussed above!

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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