A quick scroll-through of Giselle‘s Instagram account on her business Shaker and Co. Designs showcases some of the funkiest and most vibrant ear candy that seems to have no limits whatsoever, in terms of her creativity and ability to flawlessly combine a range of contrasting colors to present with something that just works! The diversity in her range of jewellery can easily appeal to individuals across a wide age bracket, so you can be certain to find something for anyone who simply loves eye-popping statement earrings. Not afraid to push the boundaries and experiment with various designs and patterns, the designs by Giselle is sure to be a great conversation starter and will undoubtedly serve as a fantastic addition to your overall look – whether it’s for a formal set-up or a casual catch-up with friends.
Giselle will be participating at the upcoming Gathered Design Market (Virtual Edition) during the weekend of April 18 and 19, 2020 and I was fortunate enough to have an e-questionnaire with her – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Giselle: My name is Giselle. I’m a single mother to two beautiful boys – Asher (11 years old) and Korben (8 years old). I tell everyone that I’ve had three children, as my first born – a little boy named Hudson – was full term stillborn. Today, Hudson would’ve been 13yo. It was by far, the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life. Korben has special needs (he has an Intellectual Disability and ADHD). He takes up so much of my time and energy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I reflect on my short 38 years of life, I realise that I have gone through so much already. Five years ago, I found my husband deceased at home – he took his own life. Although these devastating events changed my life forever, they didn’t change my personality. I’m still that bubbly, outgoing person who is always laughing out loud and can see the positives in a negative. What I also discovered was my level of resilience. This is what I’m most proud of. I grew so much stronger as a person and as a mother. More so, I found that I could manage life independently after such adversity.
When I left high school I wanted to become a Graphic Designer. I had a passion for creating different designs on the computer. After a year into the degree, I deferred due to personal reasons and started studying Enrolled Nursing, as I was working in a supportive care facility as a carer. I’ve worked in many different roles as a nurse, but the one area that I’ve found a real passion for is Community Nursing. I’ve been working in this field for 2 years now and love every minute of it! Helping people in the community is very rewarding. Even though I love my career, I was always seeking a path that involved creating or making beautiful things. I tried scrapbooking when it was all the rage and painting, but that didn’t last long. When I discovered jewellery making, it was like my passion for creativity was reignited. I love that the possibilities are endless and there is no barriers to what I can create. When I’m making and creating, my imagination goes wild and I’m just so happy. That’s all that matters to me.
Tema: What made you decide to set up your own business and what has that journey been like, so far?
Giselle: Shaker and Co Designs was established on my birthday, October 8, 2018. Initially I made earrings as a hobby and saw it as a way to showcase my creativity. But, when I started to get more orders (from friends and family and also from the wider community), I decided to take a leap of faith and expand it to being a business.
Tema: What attracted you to building your business around earrings in particular?
Giselle: I’ve always felt that a statement pair of earrings makes an outfit! Creating something so beautiful and unique that not only makes someone feel good but makes them stand out in the crowd is the bees knees!
Tema: What inspires you to come up with the versatile range of designs that you’ve got via your business?
Giselle: I’m always researching different platforms and mediums for inspiration. I’m not afraid to try new techniques. I look at different craft items and imagine how I can transform them into a pair of earrings. I feel that there are no boundaries when I create. Each and every person has their own individual style – what one person likes, wouldn’t be the same as another. I like that I can cater for all walks of life, not one particular niche market.
Tema: How would you describe your style of earrings to customers who may be new to your business? Eclectic
Tema: What would you like your customers to experience, when purchasing your fun and colorful accessories from your business?
Giselle: Euphoria/happiness/contentment /satisfaction
Tema: Do you primarily operate Shaker and Co Designs by creating earrings or do you have other options of accessories that you are offering to your customers?
Giselle: Other than earrings, I also make pendants. In the past, I used to make broaches, necklaces, and lanyards as well, before focusing my interest around creating different collections of ear candy.
Tema: What do you think helps Shaker and Co Designs stand out from the rest that may be pursuing a similar business model?
Giselle: I try not to fit into the norm, or do what everyone else is doing. I try and be as original as possible, which further pushes my creativity and lets my imagination run as wild as possible.
Tema: What do you think has been rewarding about being a small-scale business in Adelaide / SA?
Giselle: A number of things! I live on the Peninsula in Adelaide and have several stockists in and around the Port Adelaide district. These businesses have been so amazing because they are supporting a small local business like mine. The other fantastic aspect is the market space – at each and every market that I’ve participated in over the past year, I’ve had customers return to my business for more purchases, as they love my products and want to continue to support local within Adelaide.
Tema: What do you think has been challenging about being a small-scale business in Adelaide / SA?
Giselle: The level of competition from bigger businesses that have built up their brand and their following and also, the struggle for loyal followers, who may feel that they would be ‘cheating’ on these bigger businesses if they purchased elsewhere.
Tema: How are things going with the recent COVID-19 outbreak – how has it impacted your business?
Giselle: Because of the outbreak, all of my upcoming markets have been postponed or cancelled. I found that my business is more successful when I’m at markets as opposed to online, because customers can see and feel my products as well as meet me in person.
Tema: What are you hoping from the upcoming virtual design market that Gathered SA is putting together?
Giselle: My goal last year was to take part in Markets. I didn’t have the guts to apply for Gathered last year, fearing the rejection, as I thought that I wasn’t good enough. However, I took a chance and applied this year and was accepted and to say I’m thrilled would be a massive understatement! Being a part of the Gathered Virtual Design Market is a whole new concept to me. I’m hoping to show a wider audience my unique designs and sense of style. I’m also hoping to expand my following on both my social media platforms.
Shaker and Co. Designs will be participating in the upcoming Gathered Design Market (Virtual Edition) during the weekend of April 18 – 19, 2020. Please head to her official website and support local by purchasing some funky earrings for yourself or a loved one, in addition to helping in keeping the business afloat.