I’m sure she’d be embarrassed by the Super Mum moniker but if anyone I know has earned the cape its Alex Stone. Alex is Mum to three boys aged 5 and under and is the sole proprietor of her own jewellery making business – Alex Stone Jewellery. Her husband Adam an IT contractor, is working full time as well as building his own software development business. Juggling two enterprises and three kids is tricky enough but the Stones who have recently emigrated from the UK, are doing it all without help from the extended family.
Alex is a trained silversmith and her work is mostly sleek, streamlined and contemporary. Yet she is not afraid to have fun with the colorful and quirky using beads, buttons and gem stones. Every piece is unique and hand crafted in her home studio. The business began in the UK in 2003 when Alex decided to turn her passion into her livelihood. She quit an unsatisfying position at the National Health Service to study jewellery design and silver smithing. After graduating Alex was awarded a grant from the Princes Trust which enabled her to set up a studio. Before long she had built up a regular customer base and formed relationships with a number of retailers.
In 2006 the Alex and Adam made the huge leap of emigrating to Australia in search of a more easy going lifestyle. It wasn’t long before their first son Hayden arrived with Bradley and Bobby following in quick succession. Alex’s own dreams went into hibernation as she focused entirely on her young family. Around the beginning of this year Alex felt herself itching for a creative outlet, to find herself again. Serendipity paid The Stones a visit. Whilst Adam was sorting through some storage boxes in the garage he uncovered a box of her old stock that she didn’t realize she still had. Alex put photos of the rediscovered items on Facebook and people started asking if she was back in business. It was all the motivation she needed to set up a shop once again.
Alex currently runs a stall at the Rocks market in Sydney once a month and sells through the retailer Free Range Living at Kurnell ( http://www.freerangeliving.co/index.html). Naturally she operates an online store and is happy to ship anywhere in the world. The business is experiencing a slow build mostly through word of mouth. Alex is a self confessed social media junkie, obsessed with Pinterest and these platforms are giving her brand extra legs.
Trying to work at home whilst juggling the needs of young boys is difficult and Alex is the first to admit that the frustration often gets to her. However her extremely supportive husband, reminds her that her business is “a marathon not a sprint”. Working at a steady pace and not allowing the stress to impinge too much upon her family life is the key to keeping her dreams alive. Whilst she thrives on the creative buzz of the Rocks markets she’s had to wind her participation back from fortnightly to once monthly as she simply did not have the time to produce enough stock. Also family life has impacted the way she works. In the past she would spend days developing intricate pieces whereas now she generally goes for a bold, streamlined look which are quicker and easier to produce.
Eventually Alex would love to open a studio space outside of her home where people can watch her in action and where she can teach her art. For now she’s enjoying taking every day as it comes and finding inspiration all around her. She describes herself as being “obsessed with creativity” and driven to make beautiful things.