My story really started about 2.5 years ago at the secondary school where I work. I work with pupils aged between 12-18 in what is called the Alternative Education Base. We are a very large school of approximately 4000 pupils and the pupils we have in ‘The Base’ are ones who, for many, many reasons, cannot be in a mainstream class. In the Base they have a bit of space, a bit of peace and quiet and are able to do their normal school work in a less hectic environment. Many of them are not with us for long, some are with us off and on for years and many come back to visit after they have left school altogether.

Anyway, part of my work there is to do projects with the pupils and one idea I had for this was to make jewellery with them and sell it to raise funds. Firstly however, I had to learn to make jewellery : ). This I duly did and proudly brought my spoils into school to show them off. I was more than a little amazed that some members of staff wanted to buy them from me, and then they wanted me to do jewellery parties. Beadybird was born!

Fast forward a year or so and I had begun a love affair with gemstones and around the same time was off work for approximately 4 months after an operation. This gave me more time to concentrate on my jewellery and I realised I was having much more fun! Consequently, I gave up one full day a week at school and now spend that day solely on jewellery. I sell in two shops in Edinburgh, I have two Etsy shops The Silver Starling, I do regular Craft Fairs (which I LOVE!) and this year I’m organising the classes for the second Edinburgh Bead Fair which will be held on 26 September Edinburgh Bead Fair

My longterm goal is to be able to give up another day at school next year. In the past 2.5 years I’ve completely turned what I thought was ‘my lot’ on it’s head and become involved in something fantastic which I had never even thought of! I’ve met so many lovely, talented people via my jewellery business and even now, every single sale is a little thrill and a personal achievement which gives me the enthusiasm to get into my workshop with my lovely beads. Long may it continue!

Avril Scott
The Silver Starling
Beadybird – Handmade gemstone jewellery