Apr 17, 2015

Welsh Week: Interview with Kay from Ronin Designs

An interview with Kay from Ronin Designs


What inspires you?

 I gather together colour combinations that I love all the time, that I can then refer to when I am designing new ranges. I find Pinterest really useful for gathering images of great colour combinations. I think my degree has helped a lot as far as colour combinations as well. I pick colourways each season. We do 3 ranges, 3 times a year.



You're using gemstones, is that because they all have a special meaning?

 Gemstones are amazing things – formed over millions of years in the earth, some in volcanoes , they are natural wonders. People have valued them for thousands of years and believed they have powers. I find them inspiring in their beauty.



Is making jewelry your dream job?

I did a degree in textile design but never studied jewellery design. I started making jewellery for myself and it went from there. I really enjoy designing jewellery. We have been making jewellery for about 8-9 years now. We employ three part time staff to help make the jewellery. We are proud that our jewellery is handmade in Wales. In the U.K. people do seem to appreciate that a product is made here rather than mass produced abroad.



Do you have any advice for people who are just starting their jewelry business?

 Firstly I would say to anyone wanting to start their own business –go for it!

But also be aware that the nice things you imagine doing: designing pretty things etc., are a tiny part of what you end up doing. Some aspects of running your own business at not much fun: loads of paperwork and administration, chasing customers for payments, plus you never stop worrying – if you are really busy you worry that you are taking too long with orders and if things go quiet you start thinking nobody likes your designs anymore, so you can’t win!! 

You need to have a clear idea of how you are going to get your jewellery seen by people too – will you have your own website? Sell at craft fairs? Do trade shows? We do 3 trade shows a year – they are very expensive to do and also hard work but for us they are invaluable – they are how we find shops and galleries who want to stock our jewellery. I would recommend visiting a big trade show before doing one yourself.

How did you learn to promote your shop?

Marketing and promotion are things we have had to try and learn as we go. It is actually quite hard ‘selling’ your own product – to say: ‘buy this, it is wonderful’ always seems big headed when it is your own work!! More and more of our customers (e.g. shops) use the internet to find new products to sell in their shops, so having a good website is well worth it. We do some advertising in trade magazines. We also use Facebook. We photograph all our new ranges (good photos are essential) and we have a trade catalogue printed, which we then hand out at trade shows and mail to existing customers.


You can find the beautiful Ronin Designs items in the following online shops:

Blue John gems

Have fun shopping!


  1. Very beautiful work! I love working with gemstones too, they are natural wonders indeed. Also, that last question gave me some amazing new insight on how to promote my own work. I will try some of that advice, thank you so much!
    Wishing Ronin Designs a lot of success, as well as to this lovely blog. :)


    1. Thank you for your great comment and I'm glad the interview has given you some ideas to promote your own shop :).

  2. These are fantastic. I could spend hours looking at all the fabulous items.


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