Photo by www.melissapage.co.uk
Hello, I’m Kirsty, welcome to Little Black Cat Jewellery. I specialise in unique, meaningful and personalised jewellery and gifts, and each piece is hand crafted and finished to the highest standard. I craft my designs from British sterling silver and gemstones in my garden studio on the edge of Essex, where I draw inspiration for my pieces from the surrounding countryside.
I create beautiful, wearable pieces, with each item designed to make the perfect gift to give, or keep as a special treat for yourself.
From personalised special occasion pieces that tell your own beautiful story, to that favourite everyday item, I design and make pieces for life’s dreamers, adventure seekers, star gazers and beachcombers, for all those who love to wear something that little bit different.
Custom orders are very welcome, and I’d love to work with you to achieve your jewellery dreams.
Due to the handmade nature of each item, no two will be completely alike, creating jewellery as unique as you are.
So, where did it all begin?
My jewellery journey all began with a bout of Glandular Fever in 2004. At the time, I was training as a lab technician in environmental science- a job I fell into after studying Animal Care at college. I was so severely ill with it, that I was unable to leave my bed, and collapsed at my job while trying to push through the illness. I spent the next 2 years bed and house bound, with what was finally diagnosed as the debilitating chronic illness, M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). I’d always been a very active person, sporty, and outgoing. M.E sapped my energy, my health, my happiness and my life. I became severely depressed and anxious, I lost friends due to my lack of social life, and I was just too tired and ill to manage phone calls and visits. I was lucky enough to be kept company during the very long days being shut inside by our 2 family cats- Sasha and Tigger, but mostly Tigger. This little black cat became my saviour, my best friend, my soul mate. She was my shadow, and made sure that I was never alone when I was struggling. She held my hand, and kept me sane.
I was eventually referred to a private specialist, after a lot of very poorly placed advice from the local GP which had made my health much worse. The stigmatisation of M.E being laziness was very much still rife in 2004 and onwards it seemed. The specialist I saw helped me no end, and referred me on to a local hospital running a program for M.E patients, where I had access to support. During this time, a wonderful Occupational Therapist recommended that I try a creative hobby, something to keep me occupied while I was unable to work, to keep my mind active and to help me feel a sense of achievement. As an avid jewellery lover, and gemstone collector, I didn’t have to think too hard to choose what to try!
So, in 2006, I started to create my own jewellery. Starting with a cheap kit that I’d purchased from the local supermarket, I started to find my new hobby addictive! I could purchase my beads online, which was perfect for someone stuck indoors. The beads began to build up, as did the tools, and I started to sell my pieces online. I named my business after my beautiful little black cat- Tigger, who had been such a huge support to me. My health began to improve, and I was able to return to work part time, but I kept on making. After many years of struggling with my job, I left to pursue my dreams of running my own business. And here we are- from kitchen table, to a freezing cold garage, and in the last 2 years, my own garden studio. I’ve learnt an awful lot about life, struggles, and, of course, jewellery making! We sadly lost Tigger, my little soul mate, 6 years ago, but we now have 2 more beautiful black rescue cats- Bertie and Rosie, who keep me smiling everyday. I also now donate samples to the wonderful M.E Biobank project in London, to try and find a cure for this life stealing illness to help myself and others, it brings me a lot of hope.
My skills have grown a lot since I started, and I continue to grow and learn everyday. I still struggle with my health, my immune system is pretty useless, and I’m always having to be careful to avoid relapses, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come and what I can do. Everyday, creating beautiful pieces for my wonderful customers is an absolute dream come true.
Meet the Team!
I couldn’t very well introduce myself, and leave out my sidekicks and social media stars- Rosie and Bertie!
These two gorgeous troublemakers came to live at Black Cat HQ in 2014 from our local rescue centre. They’ve been causing mischief and mayhem ever since!
Often found ‘helping’ me in the studio (or sleeping in his bed in there for Bertie!), they’re always making me laugh and providing entertainment!