Introduce us to you and your brand!
My name is Alyssa and I am a Canadian who now calls Glasgow home. I started Heather and Hills in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as a creative outlet while being back home. I was without a Visa, my Masters program had been deferred until it was safe to be in person again, and I was living with my parents. I decided I needed an outlet to express my creativity and when I couldn’t stop making, I decided to turn my creative outlet into a business. Heather and Hills started with handmade crocheted items, but has now branched out into handmade earrings, hair clips, keychains, magnets, and so much more!
How has your brand developed since you began?
What started as a side hobby has now blossomed into an internationally known jewellery brand. I’m proud to say I’ve had customers from all over North America and Europe.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
My friends have always been my biggest supporters (my first 50+ sales were probably only my friends!). So, when my good friend Mackenzie was in Buchanan Galleries one day and stumbled across SDX she immediately texted me to let me know how well my jewellery would fit in. After visiting myself, I had to agree! That day I filled out the form and (thankfully) got accepted. I’m so proud to have my jewellery in a store that embraces small, unique businesses like my own.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist?
My main job is acting so its needless to say I fully embrace the struggling artist life style. The most challenging aspect is definitely being able to separate yourself from your art. I put so much of myself (my ideas, things I like, things I think other people will like) into my work and really have to remind myself that it won’t be everyone's cup of tea.
,What do you consider to be your most popular product?
My most popular product is definitely my “The Future is Female Dangles”. They started as a limited release on International Womans day, which then turned into having pre orders for the next stock, and I still get messages about when I’ll be releasing them again. First, they were a gold female symbol with colourful roses and now I make them in gold, rose gold, and black. You’ll even find these beauties in SDX Glasgow!
What piece are you the proudest of?
I try to only create accessories I can be proud of and would be honoured to have other people wear, but I’m always extra proud when my mom looks at them and says “wow” - though, she said this about my earliest pieces so I’m not sure she's the unbiased opinion I truly need.
Have you discovered any new hobbies or passions in the last year?
I only discovered jewellery making and polymer clay this year. Last September my school here in Glasgow cancelled my visa due to the pandemic and I had to return home. It was then that I found three packs of polymer clay I had purchased the year prior, but never used. I thought, what better time to learn than when you’re stuck at home with nothing else to do? And so I did. Tonnes and tonnes of polymer clay later, I finally decided I was happy enough with my pieces to let the world see them and that is how Heather & Hills was created.
,"I try to only create accessories I can be proud of and would be honoured to have other people wear, but I’m always extra proud when my mom looks at them and says “wow” "
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Your friends and family are so important! They’re the ones who will buy your first pieces, leave your first reviews, and call you when their package arrives / they’ve just picked up one of your items from a shop. They’re also the ones to lift you up when you haven’t had a sale in a couple of weeks. You don’t get phone calls from random people on Etsy. Be gracious and listen to them. Some of my most popular items came from ideas my friends gave me. And sometimes I only kept creating because my friend sent me a picture of them proudly wearing my jewellery.
Tell us your favourite inspirational quote!
A ship at harbour is safe - but that is not what ships are built for. - John A. Shedd
Thank you to Alyssa for participating in our Meet The Artist blog. You can support SDX and Heather & Hills by choosing to purchase their goods at our Glasgow shop