The Sugar & Vice Blog
The Big Move! October 18 2016
It's no surprise to most of our customers that we're a small business, with the emphasis very much on 'small'. We started Sugar & Vice almost ten years ago (!!!) and had worked from home ever since, moving only when circumstances necessitated it.
Over the years we've grown slowly and steadily. Expanding too quickly and expecting instant success are two of the things that we've seen kill small businesses, so we always took things at a gentler pace. After almost a decade and with very little room to manoeuvre left in our home, we chose to move out and into our very own studio space.
Finding somewhere in this economic climate (thanks, Brexit!) wasn't easy but after months of looking we finally found the perfect spot on a business complex that's only twenty minutes walk from home; very convenient since I still don't drive (I know, I know...)
It's been bloody hard work and has meant early starts and late finishes but it's so nice to finally have the perfect work/home balance. Plus, we've had a tonne of fun getting everything the way we want it. Here are some pics from the first couple of weeks.
....because what's a functioning office without Nerf guns, right?
Behind The Scenes : Circus AW15 Promo October 18 2016
The circus is a theme we've both long been fascinated with. There's just something about that brightly coloured, oddball aesthetic that draws us in so we threw the idea out there for a collection, it was the obvious choice for AW15.
As usual, our loyal and talented videographer was on hand to film the jewellery, and we even had some fun filming popcorn in slo-mo, and buying some fun props (which may or may not now live in our office....)
Here are some snaps I took on the day, you can view the full promo on our YouTube channel!
Interview : Baccurelli October 07 2015
It's been a while since I've conducted any small business interviews so I thought I'd bring this recurring post back with a bang!
I discovered Baccurelli on Instagram, some time in the last year, and I've been admiring Meli's designs ever since. Meli has managed to capture a really awesome blend of fun and fab, and even in the short time I've been in contact with her, has been getting better, bolder and brighter and more innovative. Not only that but she is an inspiring and utterly lovely lady, with a beautiful soul that shines through in her work and communication.
In typical Baccurelli style, when I sent my interview questions over, Meli did something a little different and replied in the form of a video. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did!
Massive thanks to Meli for not only taking the time to answer my questions but for making lovely videos to share with y'all.
Sugar & Vice on BBC South East Today September 22 2015
Last Wednesday morning we got an email from a lovely reporter at the BBC asking if we were free for an interview that afternoon, about our fortuitous brush with Miley Cyrus the week before. Since we're both quite naturally shy people who'd rather let the jewellery speak for itself, our instinct was to back away slowly and then throw the laptop into the sea, never speaking of it again.
Once we'd had chance to process the offer though, we knew we'd be idiotic to pass up an opportunity that so many other companies would jump at, and we were immensely flattered and grateful to have been asked at all! Three cups of tea later and there was a reporter and a cameraman in our workspace sitting us on the sofa, calming us down and getting ready to film.
Ten minutes later and the interview was done, and they spent some time filming us in our natural habitat, making jewellery and going about our daily lives. Although it was a daunting experience, it felt good to step outside our comfort zone and score some amazing exposure for the business. It's not something I'd like to do regularly but I'm honoured to have been asked, and proud of how we came across.
Here's the video in all it's awkward glory!
Miley Cyrus Wears Sugar & Vice August 31 2015
I feel like I'm constantly apologising for the radio silence here, and this post is no exception! I've been warring with myself over my promise to blog more, but also to only blog when I have something important or interesting to say, and since the last couple of months have been a blur of prep for the AW15 collection, along with designing a capsule collection for Halloween, this place has sadly fallen by the wayside.
And then last Thursday happened!
There I was minding my own business, when I happened on an instagram post, completely randomly, of a regram from Tish Cyrus; Miley's Mum. I quickly honed in on the ring she was wearing and realised it was one I'd made at my desk only a week earlier!
I quickly did a Google search on the lady who'd placed the order and it was none other than Miley Cyrus's stylist and the rings had gone to LA for Miley to wear during her Jimmy Kimmel appearance. Rocking a gorgeous outfit that would make most folks blush, there she was.
If we had been asked to compile a list of dream celebs who we'd want to wear out pieces, Miley would definitely top the list. She's a talented, eccentric, ballsy, kind-hearted, open-minded individual who also represents a lot of what we stand for so to see her in our designs is a dream come true and we wish her all the best!
DIY : Zen Den June 22 2015
I moved to Canterbury from Manchester in 2007 and have spent the last 8 years looking for somewhere that felt like home. 3 years ago, Matt and I moved into a lovely bungalow, flanked by retirees, which definitely suits our pace of life! Getting to live with my best friend and business partner is not only convenient but a lot of fun at times.
The property we're in has a summerhouse out back but because we'd spent the last few Summers working solidly we hadn't had the time or inclination to use it for anything other than storage, which was a crying shame! At the start of the Summer we made it our mission to create a relaxing space that we could utilise throughout the warmer months. I wish I'd had the foresight to take "before" pictures, but you'll have to make to with the "after" ones.
We did the whole thing on a budget of around £200, which included a chimenea! Here's what we did...
A Message Of Thanks... May 12 2015
Massive apologies for the lack of posts of late. Between working, finding time to be creative (both in and out of the business) and maintaining a modest social life, it hasn't left me much time for blogging. Excuses aside, I haven't been bitten by the blogging urge since our last, rather heavy, post. Until now...
I have one very important thing to say with this post and that's THANK YOU! The last blog post was very dear to us and was a tough one to write, and then to release on the World, so your response was everything. Annoyingly, as our blog is hosted directly on the website, we're not given the opportunity to reply to comments so I wanted to take this time to say that we heard you, and we love you. I'm bowled over (but never surprised) by the love, appreciation and understanding that our supporters have to offer. It never fails to humble me, and to paraphrase Placebo, "without you, we're nothing."
I have a few more posts that are currently percolating, on a range of business-related topics, as well as a fun post about a home-improvement project, but for now I'll leave you with a run-down of some of our newest pieces to lighten the mood, and to show you what's been inspiring us lately!
Thanks again, for reading, for responding, for being a fan! I hope you like the new pieces :)
Defining Your Worth March 11 2015 10 Comments
As anyone reading this blog post will already know, Sugar & Vice is a small, two-person operation. We work very hard and spend a lot of money to cultivate a professional image, one that sometimes belies the humble reality, but at the heart of this business is just two hard-working souls who aren't immune to taking harsh criticism on board. We're grown-ups, we learn from our mistakes on a daily basis and have developed a thicker skin over the years but sometimes something happens that makes me want to speak up and in this case I want to address our pricing structure, and that of most of the artisans that I know too.
The Countdown To The Afternoon Tea Collection February 24 2015
We've decided to make our countdown posts a bit of a tradition now. Those of you that follow us on Instagram will already have seen our weekly tease pictures of what you can expect from our forthcoming collection, and since the launch is only 6 days away we thought we'd collect the pictures here to let some excitement brew.
How To Commission A Unique Piece February 11 2015
We get a lot of emails on a daily basis and around 50% of those are from people inquiring about commissioning a unique piece of jewellery. We're lucky enough to own our own high-end laser cutter so we've done so many commissions over the years that we've literally lost count. Most are something very personal to the wearer, some are private jokes, lots are images of pets and one even featured an anatomically correct penis! Nothing is off the table.
DIY : Daria Is My Spirit Animal January 27 2015
I had the incredibly rare opportunity last weekend to spend two entire days by myself in a work-free environment. Now, as someone who loves their work this isn't something I experience often, usually through my own design, but everyone needs a break now and then and so I jumped at the chance for some peace and quiet.
Abstract Subscription Boxes January 22 2015
As most of you know, we launched our subscription boxes back in October last year, and to the best of our knowledge, they were the very first laser cut jewellery subscription available. You guys seemed to love the concept and the second box was met with as much enthusiasm as the first!
Sugar & Vice And All Things....Argh!...Fire! January 12 2015 1 Comment
On the 29th of December we were faced with the most harrowing experience of our 8 year strong business. I had been in Manchester for Christmas with the family and once I set foot back through the door I was literally thrown straight back into work, as per the life of a self employed jeweller! Two hours later and our beloved VersaLaser was the victim of some incredibly poor luck.
The Countdown To The Abstract Collection November 24 2014
We announced our new collection a week or two ago over on instagram, but we've been posting pictures on all of our social media accounts for about a month, teasing what's in store. With only a week to go, we thought we'd collect all of the sneaky peeks in one place. With a new set of modelled shots and a brand new video promo in the bag we're SO excited to launch!
Interview : Little Miss Delicious November 17 2014
I've followed the work of Maxine's brand Little Miss Delicious for such a long time now that I honestly can't even remember how we first connected but in the last few years she's been a hugely supportive part of my creative network and has grown exponentially. She makes the most adorable kawaii jewellery and has recently created some amazing collections that showcase her art brilliantly. It's been so lovely to see Maxine branch out and develop and hone her already massively impressive skills, and I have no doubt that she'll continue to grow and to carve out her personal and gorgeous niche in the polymer clay field.
Witching Hour Subscription Boxes November 05 2014 1 Comment
Our Witching Hour Collection launched back at the start of September and has proved to be our most loved collection so far! Timed to coincide with the Halloween/Autumnal season, you guys just couldn't get enough of the dark and moody pieces.
Interview : Jen Made This October 16 2014 1 Comment
Jen Thomas has been on our radar for quite some time. A talented writer and, as far as we're concerned, a damn hair icon, she's been adding strings to her already talented bow for a number of years. More recently she's been producing amazing bags and accessories that never fail to pique our interest. Recently we had the chance to ask her a few questions about her fledgling business and here's what she had to say.
A New Collection Takes Shape... October 15 2014
If you've been following us on our social media pages, you might have seen that we finished our next collection in September. The whole thing is now in the capable hands of our lovely photographer Emma, and we've been discussing some insanely exciting ideas for the forthcoming photoshoot.
Interview : Luna Photography October 07 2014
We first came across the work of Emma a.k.a Luna Photography a couple of years ago when she was recommended to us personally. Although we like to be as self sufficient as possible we'd admitted defeat on the photography front and had been looking for someone to take hi-res images of our jewellery for a while. As soon as we saw Emma's work we were, quite frankly, in love, and it was a pretty easy decision to ask her to be a part of the S&V family.
Halloween Picks October 04 2014
Much like you guys, we get INCREDIBLY excited at the prospect of Halloween. As soon as October hits, the leaves turn brown and our bellies are full of pumpkin spice latte, the excitement levels rocket up several levels. I'm a firm believer that Halloween shouldn't just be restricted to only one night a year, which is why I've picked out some of this years seasonal favourites. I hope you like my choices!
Behind The Scenes : Witching Hour Promo September 17 2014
Last weekend I took a train to London to help film our latest promo. With Jamie from Fingercuff Productions on board to wield the camera again, we were all set. We spent Friday evening watching the intro's for True Blood and American Horror Story : Coven in order to make sure we were on the same page, creatively, and we used that time to search high and low for the perfect music to use too...
Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery September 10 2014
Those of you that follow some of our social media accounts or know us personally will undoubtedly already be aware of the troubles we've been having lately but I'm going to try and address it as candidly as possible here. It came to our attention that a number of Chinese sellers on Ali Express are replicating our designs and re-producing them for other people to sell. I don't think I need to tell you how heartbreaking that is for an independent designer to have to go through...
The Witching Hour is upon us... September 02 2014 1 Comment
If you're a frequent visitor to the site then you'll no doubt have noticed two recent changes. The first is that we now offer Subscription boxes and the second is that we've launched our new collection...
Totally Tropical August 18 2014
As the Summer is drawing to a close (boooo!) we thought it would be only fitting to eek out the last precious rays of sunshine and create some seasonally appropriate jewellery to add to our Mermaid Collection and Tropical Collection. We've been asked for a Flamingo necklace so many times over the years that we literally cannot count, so we decided it was time to finally listen to you guys...
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