Woman's business started after bizarre encounter with a Lands' End pirate - Lancs Live

Summary

A woman from Chorley has broken the habit of a lifetime and created her own business based off of an unusual encounter with a pirate from Lands' End.

Ellen Trainer has always been a serial hobbyist, dabbling in the creative world in whichever way possible. The 29-year-old found herself with hoards of items accumulating at her home in Chorley as a result.

A woman from Chorley has broken the habit of a lifetime and created her own business based off of an unusual encounter with a pirate from Lands' End.

Ellen Trainer has always been a serial hobbyist, dabbling in the creative world in whichever way possible. The 29-year-old found herself with hoards of items accumulating at her home in Chorley as a result.

But now the market researcher says she's "finally found something to stick at" and launched her very own jewellery making business named Wild and Freesia. Just months into the venture, the jewellery-obsessed magpie says she's now thriving with her silversmith passion.

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In July 2021, Ellen headed down south for an annual trip to Cornwall with her family. While venturing around Lands' End, she came across an idyllic-looking farm. She took a closer look and came across it's owner: a man dressed up like a pirate.

"We were at the post where is marks Lands' End and towards the left was a little farm and there was this man there, he's dressed like a pirate, not as in a pirate outfit, they were his real clothes and we met this men who had a lovely cat, and he was a silversmith," Ellen said.

"He invited us in to have a look at his work shop, he was very lovely and he all of the tools and sold all these different types of pieces. I remember going in and looking around- I could never find a ring that would fit my thumb - I saw a ring that I really loved, it was just a plain band with a design and he told me he could stretch out a little bit and it'll fit perfectly.

"He did, he stretched the ring out about a half size for me and I went away from that thinking that was amazing, what he does in his little workshop and I came away with something that I really loved and that is perfect for me. It left an impression on me and then I found a company who do ring workshops around the country and there was one nearby."

The meeting with the pirate resonated with the 29-year-old who jumped at the opportunity to join one of the silversmith workshops in her area. FA single Friday night in October 2021 soon changed Ellen's life after she booked onto the course at 5pm and was taking part just hours later.

From then on, Ellen made rings for friends and family, as Christmas gifts, to practice and purely as a hobby until one day she took the plunge and decided to set up her business online.

"I just walked away from the workshop and thought this is me now. I came away with some really personalised rings," she said.

"I became addicted immediately, ordered all the supplies that I needed and I started out at the end of last year, making them as Christmas gifts for everyone. Obviously it was a lot of trial and error- as gifts, family and friends loved them too and it was them who said to me, you need to start selling them."

Ellen moved from there and has set up shop in her home alongside what she does during the day.

"Currently our spare room has my big office desk in it. On one side I have my work which is where I do my full time job and them I've got a rolly chair which I just roll to the left and I've got the other half of my desk is my workshop," she said.

"We are currently in the process of getting a proper little work bench set up but I do actually make it all from the same desk I work at full time. It takes a little shuffling around the room but we've managed to make the small space work for now so it's kind of like a moonlight job."

Ellen soon attracted a handful of sales on Instagram and business improved from there. Taking another step into her new venture, she set up shop at a local independent business pop up in Chorley town centre which helped to improve her confidence alongside promoting her skills.

While she makes all kinds of jewellery, including earrings and necklaces, it was rings that kicked-started her creative ideas, not just stemming from her encounter with the Lands' End pirate.

"I have a friend who has teeny tiny hands and she's never been able to find rings that fit her, especially in things like silver. Even when she looked for her engagement ring they were told it had to be made special and it would cost so much more, in the end she didn't actually get one, she just got a wedding band," Ellen said.

"She's bought about 10 of my rings and she's finally found ones that fit her perfectly. Size inclusivity was always important to me because everyone should be able to get beautiful jewellery that they love, it shouldn't matter what size your hands are. Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes.

"When I'm making something I put a lot of time into to, probably a lot more time than I need to. It's so amazing to think that someone has seen my work, and they think you know what I like that enough to buy it and keep it and it goes away and it gets its own little story.

"I've always been quite creative and I've done painting, knitting, cross stich, air dry clay, embroidery, basket weaving so it's the first thing I've stuck to for more than a month. With making jewellery there's always a new design you can come up with- already with the pop up shop I've come up with seven more ideas."

Ellen says she's found her labour of love and between her Instagram business page and the pop up business events she attends, she'll continue to focus on the here and now and continue to do what makes her happy.

"I don't make a whole lot from this, it kind of just pays for s the silver and the gems to carry on making but it's more the happiness for me, when someone has it and they're happy with what they've got."

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Woman's business started after bizarre encounter with a Lands' End pirate - Lancs Live
Photo Credit: Lancs Live

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