Dolly Cool is our Misfit of the Month for September. Rockabilly brides and grooms, walk this way and you'll find all sorts of jewellery and accessories ideas for your wedding day!
Can you please introduce yourself?
I'm Clare, from Bolton, near Manchester, and I am the Designer/Maker for my own brand, Dolly Cool
How long have you been doing this?
I have been running Dolly Cool as my full time business since 2008. I started making jewellery however about 15 years ago, as a creative outlet from my regular office job, selling at small fairs in church halls and it gradually became more and more involved, until I went fully self employed almost 8 years ago.
What sort of items do you offer?
I make all sorts of jewellery from my own illustrations including brooches, necklaces, earrings, collar clips and cufflinks. I also make hair clips, hair ties, sew on patches, and decorate wicker handbags for when I trade at summer shows.
Why rockabilly and tattoos? What inspires you?
I am passionate about my interests, and I think that it shows in my work. I love everything about the Rockabilly/Rock and Roll lifestyle, Darker Sci-fi B-Movie and Zombie imagery, and super cute Japanese Kawaii Culture. Dolly Cool is a real mixture of all of those things!
Which items/designs are most popular?
Anything Cat related! People really do love their pets.
Do you have a favourite design?
I love anything Mexican - so my Sugar Skulls, Papel Picado and Cactus Designs are current favourites.
Without giving away your secrets, can you tell us a bit about your work process?
Almost all my jewellery pieces are made from my own illustrations, so all my creations start life in my sketch books... My process and materials used however are a guarded secret! It's taken me 15 years of much trial and error to get the process I use finely tuned into the finished products you see. I've pretty much taught myself how to do everything from scratch though, and there's still lots of different things I would like to make.
Do you take custom orders?
I certainly do! I make lots of custom pieces for lots of different types of people and events.
Which or your items are particularly suited to rockabilly brides?
I would say the personalised tattoo heart jewellery - which can have their choice on name or word on it. They also make great bridesmaid gifts too. Also, the single and double swallow necklaces are a classic choice for a Rockabilly Bride.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The fact that people love my artwork and want to buy it! It's lovely to make custom items for people, and for them to message me saying that it was just what they wanted, and they are really pleased with it. You can't beat the feeling of a happy, satisfied customer.
Can you talk us through what you feel makes Dolly Cool stand out from the crowd?
I would say, my illustrations are my trade mark, and my USP. A lot of people run Rockabilly Jewellery and Accessories brands, but they buy in all their charms, have basic fabrics and one often looks just like another.
I really do strive to be different by making things that people just can't get anywhere else - that's including having some of my own fabric designs printed, offering custom, one off pieces, and designing and making all my jewellery and sew in patches in my home studio.
What can customers expect from you and your work?
Because I'm a one lady show, I know exactly where I'm up to with each and every order. I pride myself on exceptional customer service and am very proud of my 5 star feedback on Etsy.
Do you have any tips or advice for brides/couples planning an alternative wedding?
Try smaller independent shops and craftspeople on Etsy for something bespoke and different to what you see in every bridal magazine and high street store. If you can think of something you would really like but can't find it, there's likely to be someone who can make it for you on there.
Thanks Clare! We're huge fans of your designs here at Misfit Wedding :)