Handpicked jewellery: 16 Natural and nature-inspired jewellery finds from statement to subtle

Jewellery from nature

These fine specimens of jewellery are made with real natural materials such as wood, flowers, lichen, feathers and raw stones. Handmade jewellery made using gifts from nature tend to be unique, often beautifully unusual one-of-a-kind pieces. Natural jewellery isn't always rustic in appearance, Mother Nature knows a thing or two about bling as well as you'll see from my picks below!

I hope you too adore the specimens I've hand-picked from the jungles, caves, and gardens of Etsy - click through the images for a closer look or to nab one for yourself!

Nature inspired jewellery

Jewellery inspired by nature, incorporating flora and fauna and all the details of wildery goodness!

Find even more unique jewellery inspiration in Etsy's own Editors' Picks collection: Natural Jewellery Looks.

Enamel pin for David Attenborough lovers by WrenandWilson













A post about nature wouldn't be complete with a mention of Mother Nature's most awesome creation: Sir David Attenborough!

If you've finished gawping at these beauties, please relish in the moment that David Attenborough said 'boo' to a wild sloth!

Are you a nature-loving Attenborough fangirl/boy? Join the club with a fabulous David Attenborough Enamel Pin by WrenAndWilson!

All of the items featured in this blog post are from small businesses. Feel free to check out their shops, and support them via social media - keep the creatives creating!

Do you work with natural materials or glean inspiration from nature? Or do you have a favourite item from my collection? Please do let us know in the comments!

This post contains wee affiliate links so I can keep my tea jar topped up at no extra cost to you. You can read my affiliate policy here.

National Stationery Week picks from UK Etsy sellers!

National Stationery Week 2017 - 10 handpicked stationery finds from EtsyUK shops

10 handpicked stationery finds in pretty pastels from Etsy UK shops

I've curated a collection of gorg stationery items from EtsyUK shops for National Stationery Week!
As an illustrator, I'm seriously excited about stationery. I don't just use any pencils, I use special pencils. My pencil cases are one of a kind, my pencil pot has a cat face on it. There are so many awesome ideas being imagined by small business owners like the ones I've featured below. Click on the images to view the shop listings:

Are you a stationery addict too? Which is your favourite item? Feel free to pin and share items from this post!

This post contains wee affiliate links so I can keep my tea jar topped up at no extra cost to you. You can read my affiliate policy here.

Etsy attributes for item listings - what are Etsy attributes and how do they affect search relevancy?

What are Etsy Attributes and how do they affect search relevancy?

What are Etsy Attributes?

Etsy has developed 'attributes', an additional listing tool for sellers that will help shoppers find relevant results in search. When listing an item, you can now select extra details such as colours, dimensions, an occasion, and/or a celebration from dropdown menus that are used along with keywords in item tags and titles. Etsy says: "Adding this specific information will make your items more relevant in search results, so buyers can find them more easily."

There are a variety of ways to shop on Etsy. Shoppers can browse the categories, the suggested listings/shops on their home page, utilise the search bar, and/or filter by location, price, or colour in the sidebar. Soon there will also be filters to narrow down searches by way of attributes.

Etsy suggests you "use a combination of item tags and attributes to help show your items in a variety of searches."

How do I add attributes?

When listing an item, simply select as many relevant attributes as possible to maximise your item’s reach in search results.

Etsy attributes - Etsy seo tips - get found in search

Use the 'add attributes' tool in your Listings Manager to edit your listing attributes consecutively without having to open and edit each listing in full. It also keeps track of listings that haven't been edited for attributes yet. See screenshot below:

Etsy attributes tool in shop manager

How will using Etsy's Attributes impact the discovery of my items in search? 

From an Etsy admin discussion post recently: "Think of your attribute as an additional keyword. In the future, the attributes will help you appear in filtered results. But starting March 27, they'll act as keywords in text searches."

If you select an attribute, you don't need that keyword as a listing tag as well. "If you simply use "birthday" as a tag, you can definitely remove it if you have selected the matching attribute. Because exact-phrase matches perform best, I recommend keeping complex phrases like "birthday soap set" should you have them.(Source.) 

In my opinion it's important to add attributes to your listings now to stay ahead of the game in search. Attributes provide extra opportunities for your listings to be found - as every tag helps! Once the attribute filters are ready, even more opportunities will open up - provided that shoppers actually use the filters.

Admin quote from a discussion: "In the future, we will build search filter options based on information provided through attributes. At that time, selecting an attribute option will ensure that your item appears in at least one filtered set of results for that attribute (or filter set)."

If you haven't added attributes when the search filters are live, your listings won't be found when shoppers filter their searches. Your listings will still appear in general text searches as previously.

Will shoppers use the forthcoming attribute filters? The popularity of the filters cannot be known until the feature is launched. When I worked at Etsy a few years ago, many people were using the search term 'uk' when there was a perfectly functional location filter in the sidebar, so I guess the impact of new filters will depend on how obvious they are to shoppers, and how well they work, etc.

Custom variations will also be considered in search. "Each option you offer in your item variations is an individual attribute that will be factored into search in the future. For example, if you offer 5 different necklace lengths, your listing will appear in results for each individual search of those measurements, assuming you have stock for each. However, adding these variations won't create additional listings so the listing will only appear once in results for relevant searches." (Source.)

Some sellers are disappointed by the lack of attribute options relevant to their items. Hopefully this shortfall in options will be remedied in future:
"Over time, we’ll introduce more and more relevant attributes to each item category to help you describe your item and connect it to buyers looking for it." Quote from a recent Etsy admin announcement.

Want more Etsy tips? Grab a cuppa and read my other posts here.

Further reading:
Etsy Help article explaining attributes

Small Business Spotlight Interview: Of Alp and Ash

In the Small Business Spotlight: Debs Slater - designer/adventurer based near Blackburn, invites a behind-the-scenes peek into her brand of laser cut wood and acrylic gifts inspired by the great outdoors!

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hey! I’m Debs, and I live in a little village just outside Blackburn with my husband, in a chaotic mess of a home that we’ve been renovating for far too long.

I’ve loved making things for as long as I can remember, took a degree in Graphic Design, a Masters in Children’s Book Illustration and get excited for the outdoors (mainly hiking & camping), documenting life in photographs, beautiful coffee-table books, mid-century modern decor, plant-based cooking and strategy-based board games.

Debs Slater from homeware brand Of Alp and Ash, in Digibloom's Small Business Spotlight

Describe your business

I create under the name ‘of Alp & Ash’ and make laser-cut products in a workshop at the bottom of my mum’s garden (which is conveniently located only two streets away from where I live!)

My Contoured Coasters are aimed at those that love adventuring in the UK as they depict the most popular hiking spots, and I’ve recently introduced map art to allow customers to select their choice of location (in the UK) to be recreated in wood and acrylic.

Topographical contour map art - laser cut wooden gifts by Of Alp and Ash

What inspires you?

I’m mostly inspired by my adventures outdoors. The idea for my Contoured Coasters came about whilst I was undertaking a personal challenge: to hike all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District to mark the tenth anniversary of my dad’s passing.

All that time spent studying maps during my challenge gave me the idea to recreate popular hiking areas in coaster form, with blue-tinted acrylic to represent the lakes and tarns.

Why did you decide to start a business?

Bad bosses! Not all my bosses have been horrendous, but the majority have. The last terrible encounter I had, working for a startup in Toronto, was the last straw for me. I came home to England vowing I’d never work for anybody again, used my savings to buy a laser cutter, and then had to think up something to make with it!

Has the direction of your business changed over time?

My products have definitely changed since I launched. The first products I designed were wedding frames, Christmas decorations and matchbox-style greetings cards that weren’t at all related to my business name. Some of them can still be found in my Etsy shop, but since developing my coasters I’m trying to be more conscious of my brand, so all the products on my website are now related to the outdoors.

What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?

I think the hardest thing about being a small business owner is having to wear all the hats, at least until you can afford to outsource some jobs. I particularly struggle with marketing as I’m not confident enough to shout about my work, and I’m also much more excited about the design stage of the process; when it comes to repeatedly manufacturing the same products I struggle to stay motivated.

I’ve faced many challenges during production too. My coasters took quite some time to prototype and even now the focus of the laser or the thickness of the acrylic can throw some things out. It’s a constant learning curve, and I’m always trying to think of ways to improve the process, but I’ve come a long way since I first started.

What's the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?

Not having a boss, a tiny commute to work, being able to time my lunch to align with Neighbours ;) Top of the list though is the fact that people are parting with their money to purchase something I’ve made. Regardless of how many meltdowns I may have had in the production stages, popping a set of coasters in a box and packaging them up for someone is an amazing feeling.

Feedback is also wonderful to receive, especially when a customer tells me that their dad loves their coasters, as I’m pretty sure my dad would have loved them too :)

What advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting out?

If you can afford to outsource a job in an area you’re not skilled in, do it! Also, use social media as a tool to inspire you and to connect with other business owners, rather than to compare yourself to other sellers.

You will always find people that are more successful than you are on the internet, but it’s important not to let this put you off your own journey. You’ll never truly know the backstory to these businesses... they could have been working on their craft for years longer than you have, have had more money to invest than you, got lucky with a marketing opportunity, etc.

Focus on your own work and one day you’ll be that super successful business that somebody just starting out is in awe of! (This is definitely something I have to remind myself of.)

What's next for your business?

This is a question I wish I knew the answer to! I know I definitely need to get the word out as I’m still not where I’d like to be in terms of sales. I’m also hoping to add more products where I can outsource the manufacture.

Debs Slater from giftware brand Of Alp and Ash, laser cutting contoured map coasters in wood

My coasters are extremely labour-intensive to make, which means I can’t sell them in shops and that makes it harder to scale the business up to where I’d like it. I’d love to get drawing again, and come up with some products featuring my illustrations.

I also have some other business ideas that aren’t related to ‘of Alp & Ash’ at all, and will be exploring those this year too. I’m excited to see where my journey takes me, the opportunities are truly endless when you’re creating your own career path, and that’s one of the most incredible things about it!

Debs Slater of Alp and Ash with one of her topographic coasters

Shop for 'of Alp and Ash' products - click through images to see more:

Learn more about Debs and connect with her online using these links:

Website: alpandash.com
Etsy Shop: alpandash
Instagram: @alpandash
Pinterest: alpandash