Having always had a passion for crafting, Louise Goodburn decided to turn her jewellery-making hobby into a small business almost two decades ago.
Establishing Nu-Gems in 2002 after being encouraged to do so by her friends and family, Louise hasn’t looked back.
She said: “It was my friends who initially wanted to buy my work.
“I then secured a trade order and attended my first event at the Christmas market on Belmont Street.
“Nu-Gems has been my employment for the last 19 years with the exception of a part-time job I had for a few years.”
Lousie, who became pregnant six months after setting up Nu-Gems, said juggling her jewellery business and being a single mum has been challenging.
She stated: “I had a business taking off and a newborn baby.
“It was hard and exhausting juggling the two and I spent many late nights catching up on work.”
Louise, who is based in Peterculter, decided to attend a jewellery-making course at the beginning of her creative career to enhance her skills.
She said: “I did a glass course at Gray’s School of Art as I had purchased a kiln and I was making my own dichroic glass jewellery at the time.
“The rest of my skills have been self-taught.”
The talented maker offers a wide range of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Louise designs and makes her jewellery using gemstones pearls, silver and ceramic silver.
She added: “I have also been working with stainless steel as I am trying to create a selection for a younger audience.
“I would describe my jewellery as beautiful, elegant designs made from quality materials and my pieces are also very affordable.”
Prior to coronavirus, Louise would often be seen selling her jewellery at many north-east fairs and markets.
She said: “I usually sell in Union Square all Christmas with The Crafters Roadshow and I also attend local events like the Banchory Show, Aboyne Highland Games and more.
“It’s a very hard life being on the show circuit and it’s very expensive to attend the events.
“This last year has made me look at my life and quality of my time and I would like to cut back on doing so many shows to have a better life and work balance and take the odd weekend off to travel for enjoyment.”
However, Louise would still like to attend some shows due to her loyal customers.
She said: “I would like to think my online business will bring me that income so I can cherry pick the shows that really work for me.
“Plus, I love seeing my customers – I have gained a lovely following in the last 19 years and it’s like seeing old friends when I see them.”
Like many other businesses, Louise’s Nu-Gems has also been affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
She said: “Coronavirus made a huge impact on my business as I usually attend events in shopping centers all over Scotland.
“I actually ended up gardening this year and have a few customers – I love garden design.
“I spent most of the last summer getting my head into going online – I am not very ‘technical’ so I put myself on Etsy and my photography has improved.
“I have done my best to try to get tech-savvy as much as I can to meet this new world that is unfolding.
“The financial implications have been hard as I am a single mum.”
Louise also set up another business called Sunshine Aromatix, selling soy wax melts and home fragrances.
She said: “I have used some of my pension to launch another stream of income with the Sunshine Aromatix.
“I love these products because they are totally sustainable, vegan and I use eco-friendly packaging.“
Visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NuGemsJewellery for more information and to shop