The Derry mammy with a very Derry business
Natasha Simpson started her own business Adoire & Eden during the pandemic.
She had to leave her job after coming back from maternity leave and not having any childcare due to the pandemic so she decided to get creative and start her own business. She started first with handmade Christmas baubles with Free Derry Corner, a singer sewing machine and a tiny picture of the Peace Bridge.
She said, “Business has been going great. I thought it would be quiet after Christmas but it hasn’t stopped - I’m not complaining though!
“I started the baubles in October 2020 because I couldn’t find any Derry-themed Christmas decorations so I started to make my own. I had a feeling that they would be really popular so I made one and it went mental! They’re all handmade, I use empty glass baubles then I paint and construct everything else myself using clay.”
After her success with the Christmas baubles, Natasha had to go back to the drawing board to figure out what direction she wanted to go with the business for the other 11 months of the year.
She said, “I was always interested in making jewellery so, when I made a bracelet for my mammy and everyone was asking me to make one for them too, I decided to take the business there then.
“I originally started making bracelets with peoples names on them in March 2021. They were very popular at the start but I think it was more of a trend that is dying down a bit now. People are looking for birthstone bracelets at the minute with a plain band. I also have Derry necklaces that I make in a collaboration with Derry-based silversmith Silkie Silver. I had wanted to make them for a while but I don’t know how to do silversmithing so I chatted to Laurie from Silkie Silver and told her what I wanted and she was able to come back to me with a prototype that I absolutely fell in love with. So she makes the pendants and I source the oak leaves and the sterling silver necklaces and they are sold exclusively through me. I would love to learn how to make them myself but at the same time, I enjoy being able to give Laurie the business. I absolutely love them and I am so proud of them but they have been so popular I haven’t even been able to get one myself yet! I have people constantly in my inbox telling me they want one so they are basically all sold out before they’re even released! I do have more being made now for this batch but I don’t want to put too much pressure on Laurie so we don’t make too many at the one time.
“I have jewellery with crosses and holy medals for sale too that I always have in stock. There is a while want for them at the minute which I didn’t expect but they are flying out the door. People are going mad for the bracelets with the miraculous medals on them.
“The support I have received has been immense. I really didn’t expect it. I also wasn’t prepared for the amount of repeat costumers I have - I thought people would buy once and go but I have so many people coming back for more and it just blows my mind.
Natasha is a founding member of the Derry Business Collective, a group of business owners in Derry who support and promote each other’s work.
She explained, “Last May I put a post on Instagram asking if any other local business owners in Derry would like to get together and start a wee group. I got loads of people interested and they all happened to be women so I set up a group called the Derry Business Collective. We have a few group chats and we are all behind each other in everything we do. We all buy each other’s products and support each other whether that be sharing posts, advice or anything else. It’s a great group of women helping each other out. There is absolutely no competition there which is great. Michaela from Derry Mood Melts always says, ‘There’s enough sunshine for everyone.’”
“Instagam is such a community and it has been so great that I don’t even have to work on my website. I think every business will be on Instagram on the future. It is at the forefront of everything at the minute in terms of businesses and influencers and things and it’s a way for people to see everything in the one place so I do think it is the way forward.
“For Derry people starting out with a new business, I would tell them to drop Derry Business Collective a wee email and we will advertise for free for them. We will share what they need us to share and we can add them to the group. It is all women at the minute but men are more than welcome too, just come to us and we will help push your business as much as we can.”
Natasha’s jewellery can be found on Instagram at @adoire.edan