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Shop Spotlight: Jane Cormack

This week, we interviewed Jane Alexandra Cormack. I stumbled upon Jane’s Etsy shop when I was putting together a post on paper recycling. Most of her creations include recycled materials – paper, beads, ceramic, sea glass, silver, shells, pebbles, drift wood, business cards, postcards; a mix of this and that.

Besides creating jewelries, she also writes poems and songs. She’s very well traveled, too, having been in and around Europe, North and South America, Australia – and later Queenstown, New Zealand. I’m sure her experiences, the places she’s been and the people she met in her travels influence and inspire her art. Let’s get to know more about Jane Cormack and her eponymous shop:

What is the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

Well, shop name yeah, not exactly a mystery. I was originally called JAC ART years ago because I was creating a lot of different art works but I thought my own name sounded more elegant and so I chose ‘Jane Alexandra’ for my business for a while.

But then I already had a website called janecormack.com, so I thought things might get a bit confusing with the different names so decided to use all three!! It’s quite long I know and I may change it in the future when my etsy store sells out!!! Then I can open a new one!!

How old is your shop?

I opened my Etsy shop in July of 2008 but just began filling it properly at the end of last year. I began my jewellery and art design business in 2001 after I graduated from Art School and had been traveling for a while and have continued to make and sell my jewellery in a variety of different venues since then.

What inspired you to start your own home business?

I followed my instinct. I wanted to work for myself to create the freedom of doing what I wanted when I wanted. My desire to lead a creative life was strong and still is. I very much enjoyed working with colour and instantly creating completely new designs like miniature art works.

I also like to connect with people and the out-side world through my creativity so it is always a wonderful feeling when someone new finds my works and feels inspired by it. That feeling stays no matter how long I have been making jewellery.

jane cormack necklace
Natural Black Pebble, onyx, silver & swarovski crystal necklace featured in November L’Oreal International Calendar

Where do you create most of the items in your shop?

Well, my studio space changes according to where I am. And I’m moving to Edinburgh tomorrow so currently it’s in limbo in the back of a car!! But I create a space to work in wherever I am, a creative little nook for myself which usually spreads out far and wide and takes over everything in it’s wake. But I’m all packed up at the moment and ready to explode onto my poor future flatmates apartment!

Most recently, I nicked my Dad’s Art Studio whilst he was away on holiday, he’s a painter so it’s already set up with all the necessary bits and bods; he’s back now though so he’s thrown me out again. The good thing about jewellery making is that it is a little more transportable than a lot of other art forms, I’ve hauled my stuff to Australia, New Zealand and back so Edinburgh doesn’t feel that far away really.

jane alexandra cormack
Jane Cormack – in her car, just arrived in Romania

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

Probably the inconsistency of earnings. There’s an ebb and flow so it’s an uncertain path, but isn’t everything!

How did you get over it?

Well, there is still that uncertainty, but I got used to that way of life and trusting that everything would be ok. I set up a lot of different avenues such as selling through galleries and shops and I had a regular market stall when I lived in Australia and I advertised through my website.

Now I have the on-line shop! Also, I enjoyed exploring other creative industries that I was curious to work in such as the film industry which utilised my artistic abilities and writing.

jane cormack statement necklace

Please Name. . .

the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop-

Oooo, creating!! Yes, I’m pretty much creating most of the time. At the moment I’m editing poetry for a collection and finishing paintings too. But I like to cycle around the country roads here and to the beach.

I do yoga and learn guitar. And I love to travel and make inventive, healthy food. I write too and like a bit of adventure on the side as well as meeting new people and spending time with good friends.

stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without-

Mobile phone, natural hand cream, a large purse from Thailand full of all sorts of cards and a pink flower coin purse which was a gift, a mini bottle of perfume, pens, always pens! and a rugged looking notebook covered in sticky post-it notes of ideas, things to do and reminders.

your favourite shops-

Well these are all Etsy shops but there are so many fabulous products on Etsy.

I love labokoff who is a French Artist creating beautiful photographic prints

lacunawork creates amazing wooden books but she’s just had a baby so it’s empty at the moment.

PureMineralsSource
sells completely natural mineral make-up which I love. It’s toxic free and kind to skin. I like to use 100% natural products where possible.

And I’m cheating by mentioning a fourth! which is KnitTwits. My talented friend Lorna knits softy softy cosy funky cashmere fingerless gloves.

your top 3 favorite picks from your shop-

All the items in my shop are one of kind, so my favourites will always be different. At the moment, I love my LILAC ROSE necklace because it’s made with such rare lilac coloured sea glass and I just love the colour combinations of turquoise, amethyst, rose and cherry.

jane cormack gemstone necklace

SEAMOON GLACIER is a favourite because I like the delicacy of it, the iceberg, stormy sky colours. It really does remind me of a glacier but the sea glass is Scottish. The piece has a transparency and smooth-ness that I love and the sterling silver chain adds a nice hint of shiny sparkle.

jane cormack glacier necklace

And OCEANS GEM is another current favourite because it’s quite chunky, yet fragile and interesting and has a real beachy feel. I combined shells that I collected at my local beach in Scotland with chunky white agate, sparkling crystals and big silver beads. I like the organic, natural-ness of this piece.

jane cormack sea shells necklace

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?

I would recommend always trusting your own instinct. I live my life by mine and it usually works out pretty well! (if I listen that is!) Don’t be afraid to take risks and enjoy the process because you don’t know where the end might be. Do what you love and enjoy the ups and the downs because it’s all part of it.

Thanks much Jane!

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