Today in the Spotlight: the talented artisans behind Votum Jewellery!
Votum, Latin for “offerings”, is the design collaboration of jeweller, Bridget Catchpole, and administrator, Michelle Nelson. They make anatomical hearts and bones jewellery to reflect the incredible structure and beauty inside them.
What’s the story behind your company?
Votum Jewellery began with a little block of wax. When Bridget started carving the designs for Votum, her first piece was the femur bone in memory of her father who had very bad hips. He had no less than four hip replacements, so you could imagine his gait! But he was a true Englishman and loved to hike. He believed walking would keep his hips from seizing and true to his nature, he never gave up. His show of determination was admirable and when Votum Jewellery started as a business, we chose to carry a similar intention to not give up, to endure even when the going gets rough. So that’s what Votum is: jewellery imbued with offerings of gratitude, protection, and hope.
What inspires you?
With information so readily available at the touch of a keyboard, it’s very accessible to find inspiration using the internet. With Bridget, you name it and she will find inspiration in it. Currently a huge fan of Pinterest, she loves to discover, share, and pin other artists’ work for inspiration and dissemination. Michelle is more inclined to take a hike for inspiration and you would likely find her wilderness tripping somewhere in beautiful British Columbia.
What is your favorite product to make?
Every Votum piece has its own meaning, but Bridget loves to make the Laughing Heart pendant. It represents everything about Votum Jewellery and is made to order because this piece is constructed using more labour intensive techniques. Bridget thinks like a sculptural artist and designs her work so that it can be seen from all angles. The front and back of the heart are made separately and then soldered together for a seamless fit. When finished, the Laughing Heart pendant is fearless and elegant. Clients who wear it tell us they often hold it because it fits so nicely in the palm of the hand.
In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
Maintaining creative integrity is the keystone to all our business decisions and it’s the best thing for Votum Jewellery. It gives us the freedom to design and handcraft work that captures our imagination.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
It’s true that hindsight is 20/20! But the truth is, Votum would not be what it is today without these past challenges. It’s come to define what we are now.
Any advice for other crafters who are just starting?
Starting a business partnership is a shared enterprise so knowing how to communicate effectively and professionally is the difference between having a good or bad day. Jewellers are notoriously thrifty, so be sure to have a good reason for any extraneous expenses!
*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***