Meet our Designer Avril
At these strange times, many of us have a bit more time on our hands to reflect. I thought I would use a spare half an hour to share the story behind Fresh Fleeces.
As a child, I loved making things. My Granda was a joiner and I spent many hours with him in his workshop. I must have only been about 5 when I joined him in hammering nails, chiselling wood and varnishing. I'm sure health and safety might have had something to say about my adventures, but I loved every minute. The first piece of jewellery I remember making was a ring fashioned out of a piece of tinfoil!
At school I was quite academic and found that teachers guided me away from my real passion for art and towards the more traditional subjects. In the end, I studied law at university, and while it was a useful subject, my passion for creating was still there. It was while studying for a Masters that I decided to take up a night class in jewellery making in Belfast. I loved it and enjoyed moulding, cutting and soldering silver into a wide range of creations. My Mum still wears a silver ring I made then...bless her, as it looks more like a washer!
My work led me to Manchester, but I still kept up my jewellery night classes. I studied for a City & Guilds in Trafford College and loved meeting and working with like-minded creatives. At the weekends, I would go in search of inspiring designers in museums and exhibitions.
So that's the background to the silversmithing and the love of sheep has been there from an early age too. Growing up in Northern Ireland I have had the privilege of living amongst the most beautiful scenery full of agriculture and animals. I have always loved sheep and remember being the proud owner of a Shaun the Sheep backpack in my late teens. There is just something about the contrast between the seemingly oversized fleeces and tiny head and legs that makes me smile!
Fast forward a few years I was a full-time jewellery maker with a successful business turning children's drawings into silver jewellery. It's quite a thing now, but back in 2000 I was the only silversmith in the UK providing this service to order.
After my daughter Eve was born in 2011, I was asked to make a range of jewellery for a local exhibition. It was then I had the idea of merging my passion for animals with silver and the first sheep was created. I soon had requests for similar pieces of sheep jewellery and so Fresh Fleeces came to life!
The business is constantly changing and I think it's really important to keep adding to the range to ensure there is something for everyone and that the jewellery remains up to date. While I now have a team of silversmiths and others who help with the business, I am very much 'hands-on' when it comes to designing and manufacturing.
While we don't stock tinfoil rings, I hope I have carried on some of the passion, love and quality that my Granda put into his woodwork!
- avril manderson
Baa Baa, Black Chunky Sheep!
We launched our chunky range of sheep jewellery last year and they have been a real hit. One word our customers use to describe them is cute...and we have to agree!
Now a black sheep version has joined the flock. With an oxidised sterling silver body and soft leather legs, this little sheep will bring a smile to your day!
Available as a black sheep necklace, black sheep charm and black sheep Pandora-style charm. Prices start at £89, including insured worldwide delivery.
Share the Love!
Here at Fresh Fleeces' HQ we're busy making lots of Valentine's orders for some lucky men and women. In order to guarantee UK delivery by 14th February, you'll need to place your order by midnight this Sunday 9th February.
So if you want to treat yourself, or that special someone, enter LOVE at checkout before midnight this Sunday evening to receive a 10% discount on your order.
- avril manderson
Honesty is the best policy
Here at Fresh Fleeces we like to think we are an open and approachable company...after all, who likes nasty surprises! That's why we're letting you know we are raising our prices from 1 Feb 2020.
We haven't changed our prices for 3 years, yet during that time our costs have risen significantly. So from 1 Feb most of our current stock will have a price increase to reflect this.
Now for the good news!
If you are a regular reader of our emails or visitor to our website then you'll have seen we have discount codes for email subscribers and others. The good news is that these are set to continue to help make treating yourself, or someone else, to a piece of our jewellery that bit more affordable! We'll be adding new designs to our website in the coming weeks, so be sure to come along and have a look.
Silver Sheep Bangle
Our experienced silversmiths have designed the perfect sheep gift for her in the shape of this silver sheep charm and chunky bangle.
This handcrafted charm is chunky by name and nature! Created from a chunky sterling silver bead that is textured to recreate the look of fleece this is a really striking piece of jewellery. The weighty little sheep has a black enameled silver head and two supersoft leather legs making it very comfortable to wear.
This weighty charm is finished with a fleece textured finish and makes the perfect sheep gift for her. The charm attaches permanently with a silver ring to our heavyweight silver bangle measuring 7cm diameter. This sheep bracelet is based on the Suffolk breed of sheep and matches other items of sheep jewellery in our range.