As part of our continuing series of posts about the talented designers who supply The Shop in the Square, today we’re taking a moment to meet the seller!
Q. For those who don’t know, could you tell us who you are and the name of your business?
A. Hello! My name is Ellen Schrijver and my company is called Ellen’s Fingerprint Jewellery.
Q. And what kind of products do you make and sell?
A. I design and create unique, personalised pure silver and bronze keepsake jewellery using children’s fingerprints, hand & footprints, children’s drawings and even your pet paw prints to wear and treasure for time to come. As well as my range of personalised jewellery, I also make bespoke jewellery using organic matter as my source of inspiration, such as leaves and shells to create unique pieces of 99.9% pure silver jewellery.
In the Shop in the Square I regularly hold casting sessions where customers can come in and have the impressions taken of their babies and children’s fingerprints, and hand and footprints. We even have had some doggy friends come in to have some jewellery made! I welcome commissions and like to create pieces of jewellery as bespoke and unique as the person wearing them. I help run the shop on a weekly basis.
Q. So how did art become such a big part of your life?
A. I really enjoyed art at school and when younger was keen to be become an illustrator, however became distracted and headed for a career in the NHS. On the birth of my third child I wanted to capture those special memories forever, while they were all still little, which is when I came across the idea of keepsake jewellery. Having attended a metal clay course, I started making jewellery of my own three children fingerprints and handprints, and whenever I was wearing these pieces of jewellery, I kept getting asked to make them for friends and family. This led me to think about setting up as a business, which is how Ellen’s Fingerprint Jewellery came into being in 2008.
Q. Just for fun, could you tell us 7 things we didn’t know about you?
1. When I was little I used to be able to hold my breath till I turned purple, and nearly frightened my poor granddad to death when he was charged with looking after me!
2. I was born and bred in Holland, immigrating to the UK when I was 12 years old, and spoke about 10 words when I first arrived in the country.
3. One the eve of a Holland v England football friendly game, I met the whole Dutch football team in a nightclub and partied the night away with the players, although I did tell them to have an early night, as they had a big game on the next day! Sadly Holland lost 5-1!!
4. I am a vegetarian.
5. While at school I had a Saturday job training greyhounds.
6. I am a crazy cat lady, have seven beautiful cats, not to mention three wonderful children!
7. Another interesting job I had alongside my “proper” job was working in a bingo hall, although not often as a bingo caller but in ticket sales and later as a treasurer!