Sarah Meredith, the incredibly talented fine jewellery and pin designer, sits down to give us all the tips needed to make it through anything.
How did you get into your creative journey?
I went to uni back in 97’ to study jewellery design. Once graduated I was lucky enough (and eager enough) to land a job working for a fab jewellery designer in Notting Hill. I worked my way up through the company until I was managing the production. After seven years I was really missing designing, so quit my job and moved to Brighton to launch RockCakes.
What made you want to start pin designing?
My initial training and love is for precious jewellery, but keeping it fun and playful. Obviously working in precious metals with diamonds and precious stones is a slower market than cheaper pieces that I make.
I first got into making laser cut pieces so that my designs could reach a wider audience. A few years ago there was a mega pin craze and I was lured in. It is super satisfying to make bright colourful pins that are super affordable and still have a precious feel. They are also great to collect and make little stories with.
What pin design are you most proud of?
Ooooh that’s a tricky one!! I guess I love the “Brain” the most. I’ve found that life can throw so much at you and back when I was young, mental health was never mentioned. We all have our struggles and the little brain reminds me (and hopefully others) to look after their most precious asset, use it and nurture it. A close second is the “Slug” and my cheeky, yet silly “Porn Stars” have to be up there at the top too.
What is your favourite pin design at the moment?
Do you have any favourite designers?
I’m loving the HUMAN KIND heart pin by HelloDODO and I’m a sucker for anything that Adam JK produces. Sally at Hand over your fairy cakes can also do no wrong in my eyes. I like feel good designs that carry a little message and happiness.
Any advice for anyone that is thinking of starting their own independent brand / pin designs?
My main piece of advice, when doing anything creative is to let go of what others will think. It’s one of the hardest things to do but also the biggest ball and chain. The only way you can be original is to be your authentic self.
What inspires your designs?
Do you have favourite themes you like to focus on?
I get my inspiration from all over. I’m a magazine and book junkie, I love mid to high end fashion, inspiring quotes (especially the ones found on the tab of a “Yogi Tee” tea bag. I also get inspired by the silly things that we say to each other like “The pen is mightier than the sword” and “Every cloud has a silver lining”. I’m more inspired by the manmade (including language) rather than nature, maybe because I grew up in the countryside so I had a nature overkill!
Any big plans for the future? What are your next steps?
Well, I’ve just moved from Brighton to Hastings in probably the biggest move of my life. It was time for a massive life change, divorce is imminent (there’s gotta be a pin badge in there somewhere?). I’ve gone from tiny third floor flat to three-story house with a garden studio. I just want to sink my teeth into my little business and this new town and get making some new pieces to help keep others inspired and smiling….
We hope this beautiful insight into Rock Cakes' story has given you inspiration and hope that you see, in this crazy rollercoaster of a ride we call life, there's always a way to make it on to your right path, even if you have to take a few detours first!
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