One of our shop favourite jewellery brands is the local The Midnight Deer run by Jennifer. Our customers love her rings especially, which sell like hot cakes and we also have a lovely selection of necklaces and earrings. We've been asking her lots of questions to get to know the woman behind the brand and find out what makes her tick.
How long has Midnight Deer been going and where did the name come from?
I’ve been making jewellery for years but established Midnight Deer around 7 years ago. Initially it was more of a hobby and a creative outlet, however over the years it became my part time job and now my full time job - I love being able to create for a living! The name stems from my main inspirations - nature and mystical creatures, magical starry skies, rainbow galaxies and working late into the night (I’m a bit of a night owl!) I wanted the name to reflect the little dream world I’m inspired by and spark the imagination a little.
What made you start your own business and what is your background?
I’ve always been quite creative, whether it was handmade gifts and cards for loved ones or making my own clothes and accessories - I studied Art and Fashion at Uni but the majority of my work is self taught. I tend to draw up designs and then work out how I can make them, which also tends to expand my techniques and lead down even more creative routes. I stumbled into running my own business a little - first setting up an online store selling the jewellery and hair accessories I was making at the time, then setting up the Midnight Deer stall at markets and festivals which then lead on to also selling through independent stockists. It’s been a great way of creating whatever I want and I don’t think I can imagine doing anything else as this is too fun!
Where do you find your amazing stones from and what are the stones made of?
I source stones and materials from all over - with a real mix of crystals with naturally fascinating colours and shimmers. I love using Moonstone, which flashes with beautiful subtle blue tones, Pyrite which is full of golden sparkles and Aura infused Quartz, which glistens with rainbow or iridescent tones. I love using natural elements in my work - whether it’s crystals, shells or even just unusual beach pebbles - even these can be full of the most beautiful tones and just as fascinating.
Do you know much about the mystical properties of the crystals?
I love focussing on the hidden meanings of the components I use - whether it’s a crystal with particular associations, a birthstone, or even a piece of sea glass from a place in the world that holds a special place in your heart. Labradorite for example, which I use in a lot of my statement jewellery designs, is associated with the imagination. It truly is a really inspiring stone - it shimmers with natural flashes of green and blue which just feel so incredibly magical, almost like watching the Northern Lights.
Of course crystals can just be beautifully sparkly which can be just as enticing, but it also fascinates me that something so beautiful could be formed deep in the earth over millions of years. I think there’s also something extra special about wearing a piece of jewellery that has a secret meaning to you and I really love creating bespoke pieces for customers looking for something that resonates with them personally.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs?
Midnight Deer has always been quite focussed on the magical and mystical, folklore and fairytales. Most of my inspiration comes to me when working late into the night - whether it’s the lack of day time distractions or the night time itself. I also get a huge amount of inspiration from my customers - I love seeing how they wear my designs and merge in their own personal styles. Instagram has been incredible for this and has become a real community to both share my designs @themidnightdeer and see it all worn by my customers.
Which artists/designers inspire you and whose work you follow?
It’s a bit of a random mix! Definitely fashion designer Ashish Gupta who makes these incredible rainbow sequin covered garments, but then more 70’s and 90’s fashion and the art of Alphonse Mucha who painted these incredible Goddess like women absolutely adorned in flowers, floating gowns and jewels. Really also the carefree style embraced at Festivals - which I’ve been able to really be part of through selling my work at different events through the years. Festivals are a great excuse for people to just dress up and have fun, express themselves with glitter and rainbow colours and be that magical being they deserve to be.
How do you find running your own business and what have been your greatest challenges?
Working for yourself can bring a lot of challenges when it comes to things like focussing on both the creative elements along with the business / paper work side of things - which is a struggle and requires more discipline than I sometimes want to give it! Midnight Deer is almost every moment of every day for me - so maybe the challenge is to sometimes NOT work and create things constantly. It’s not really a business for me, just a way of life - it is my absolute passion.
What would you like for the future of Midnight Deer?
Aside from jewellery, I’ve been expanding the home decor side of things with our decorative Crystal Specimens which are perfect for adding a little sparkle to your room or study area. My next project for Midnight Deer is more focussed on hair accessories again, then some more home decor.. there’s a bit of a list! I’d like Midnight Deer to just continue to grow as this magical universe I get lost in, and I just hope I can continue to expand and create everything I want to - that’s always been the dream.
Her jewellery can be found in the shop with only a few pieces online as each piece is unique and handmade.