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In 2014 my partner Alan and I decided we’d change our life by renting out our house in East Grinstead and buying a widebeam 60x10ft canal boat. Narrowboats are usually around 6ft10″ wide and we thought a bit more space would suit us better. Most of our friends thought we were mad but we did it! We took the cat with us too, she adapted well and loved checking out each new mooring. I had lived on boats as a child and have done a lot of sailing, so I guess it’s in my blood.
After 4 years living aboard and trading at organised boat markets, the time came to sell the boat and we moved back to the house. We had travelled as far as we could on the Southern inland waterways. My partner now also has a business, moving canal boats on the waterways for people. The logistics of running 2 businesses became too difficult whilst moving around ourselves.
As a qualified gemmologist (in 1993) my interest in gemstones inspired me to make my own range of bead jewellery. I love the variety of colours and shapes. Designing and making this jewellery in my workshop, has developed into a passion. The beads are sourced from carefully chosen suppliers, where I know the quality will be good, (drill holes can be sharp or crooked) and they are always well polished. I don’t use any glass or imitation beads and the spacer beads are either silver or gold filled, unless otherwise stated. My inspiration comes from the colours in the gemstones themselves and from the colour combinations in fashion.
I have worked in jewellery retail for many years. My dream had always been to build a business using and making my own designs. I started by selling a range of my designs in the lovely silver jewellery shop where I worked at the time, until the shop folded some 6 years later. My jewellery can be found in some lovely galleries around West Sussex and Kent.
I am also a professional stringer to the trade, so the standard of finish is high. Every piece carries a 6 month stringing guarantee.
Please enjoy looking at my past and current work on the site.
Rona Hawes FGA.RJDip