Small Biz Shout Out #2 Love Gwen Jewellery

The first time I spoke to Corinne, and heard her story, I just wanted to reach out and hug her. However, due to social distancing and all that, I am only able to show her my love by sharing with you, her story. This is not only a tale of bravery against the odds, determination and love, it is a story that will make you realise exactly why shopping small is so damn important. Keeping talented people like Corinne supported should be the first thing we think when we are looking to buy.  Here is Corinne’s story!

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Corinne – Love Gwen Jewellery

I have always been an artist, I did sculpture, painting and in my 20’s I started as a young apprentice under my now mentor Lisa. I worked with Lisa for 13 years, after begging her to hire me! I learned from a strong woman doing it on her own and have now followed in her footsteps.

After having my two children Beau (7)and Gwen (4) I was inspired to create jewellery that made me and my customers capture the love that our children, siblings and partners had brought us.

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My little Gwendolyn inspired most of the pieces you see on my online shop.  Gwen is a free spirit and from the minute she was born, my desire to create and inspire kept growing stronger. Don’t get me wrong cleaning up my 4-year-olds vomit while breastfeeding my 6-month-old DID also inspire me to do something more with my day to day too BUT mostly I have always been a maker.

I had been dreaming about starting Love Gwen Jewellery for years but the universe decided to give me one giant kick up the ass to get my jewellery out there.

I was working for another jeweller in a tiny shop when I was robbed, in broad daylight, on my own. 5 men smashed through the windows and threatened to kill me with hammers. It was the most terrifying moment of my life. In an instant I thought I would die and never see my family again. They left with jewels and money and I was left coping with PTSD and raising 2 children under 4, whilst my husband went to work. It was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced.

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After that, I could never work in a shop again, I could barely cope with my day to day.  My work was always such a huge part of who I was creatively, so how would I work again and heal? Love Gwen Jewellery was finally born. It healed me from my trauma and made me see how much making others happy with my jewellery is what I have always needed to do. I could breathe when I was making and I could learn to be a good mum again too. 

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Two months later, I hit another bump in the road. Cancer. I had grown a tennis ball size tumour in my armpit. It seems my stress and anxiety from the robbery had manifested into a huge lump. I still remember when the doctor told me. I skipped into the office thinking I was untouchable, I’d been through enough yeh? Wrong. Apparently I still had some battles to go. In the coming weeks I had major surgery and survived. Now missing an armpit and with one boob slightly lower, I was ok. I still kept Love Gwen Jewellery going and I remember doing all my Christmas orders 1 month later in a sling after surgery. Once again Love Gwen saved me.

It has been 3 years and between routine scans, anxiety, and support from family and friends Love Gwen Jewellery has thrived.
I shared my love and made pieces that people truly cherish – Corinne
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I’ve had Abby Gilmore, Constance Hall, and Celeste Barber all tell the world they loved their Love Gwen pieces and it has been an amazing ride. My hubby and my kids are so proud and they tell their friends at school, that mum will make them jewellery.  My son Beau has brought home a few little girls bracelets for me to fix which I love.
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All the jewellery I make is made with my own two hands, and every piece is personal. I promise it’s made to last.- Corinne
I do a lot of custom pieces which I LOVE and engagement rings.
My jewellery is sterling silver and gold, nothing is plated and all links are soldered, it really is made to last a lifetime. My jewellery won’t change colour or snap, never to be seen again the junk jewellery pile!
I make pieces for baby to adult, that will last their whole lives and it makes me so happy that something I made will be with them forever – Corinne
Another thing I do at Love Gwen which I really adore, is I get kids, or adults to write their own names or even the writing of a loved one that has passed, and I turn it into a name necklace for them. That is truly rewarding work.
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In times like these

Unfortunately jewellery is generally one of the first things to go when times get tough. It gets pushed to the back of the to do list. My customers are mostly Mumma’s who deserve to treat themselves and want to honour their families in jewellery. So when Mumma is trying to survive, she puts her wants and needs last.
It’s also a very hard thing to promote when you know people are struggling. We are all struggling.

Changes

I like all small business owners have had to make changes to the way I work. I have recently eliminated postage costs to customers. For now, I will pay for that. I have also made sure I offer sales whenever I can. My product quality will never change. The price of gold keeps going up but I’m keeping my prices as they are. I have been offering to send gifts directly to the receiver, so no one needs to leave the couch (the best part of online shopping!). A lot of mums won’t be out shopping for birthdays, and Mothers Day, so I’m happy to wrap it up and pop it in the mail on their behalf.
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To all my customers I want to let you know I am still here! I will be here for that birthday you can’t celebrate, that mum you can’t catch up with on Mothers Day, that 1st birthday that got cancelled. That Christening that you couldn’t go to.
What better way to show someone you love, you’re thinking of them, than a piece of jewellery that will last them their lifetime – Corinne
You can support Corinne by checking out her beautiful range at Love Gwen Handmade Jewellery 
You can also find Love Gwen Jewellery on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest
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You can also email Corinne Barlow if you have something you may like to commission – corinne@lovegwenjewellery.com.au
WORLDWIDE SHIPPING AVAILABLE

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx