Bella (above), is an eight-year-old Labrador, who happens to live in my lovely granny’s old house in Tunbridge Wells. Thinking about that house brings back so many happy memories!
A bit of background to my Tunbridge Wells shop
Hello, I’m Catherine and I design and make jewellery from my shop and atelier (a fancy word I’ve always liked for a designer or artist’s workshop) in the heart of the historic Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells.
After graduating from The Royal College of Art in London I was lucky to find my first studio at the wonderful Cockpit Arts in Holborn. So when I moved out of London with my young family, I loved the idea of creating a space to make jewellery where I could also showcase my finished collections – as in a Victorian workshop.
A place to call my own
It’s just me, and I open up the shop part of my atelier on Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week. I use the rest of the time to juggle family life with designing and making jewellery commissions and my collections. One thing I didn’t anticipate when I opened the shop was how much I would enjoy being connected to the local community.
I’ve always loved animals and I welcome dogs (and their owners!) into my shop. My family has had a succession of three wonderful Gordon Setters. Chatting about dogs is always such a great way to break the ice and I really enjoy photographing the dogs that come into the shop for my social media.
I thought it would be fun to share with you here some of the dogs that have visited the shop over the last year. Many are local dogs from Tunbridge Wells who have then enjoyed a run around nearby Tunbridge Wells Common but I’ve also had plenty of visitors from across Kent, Sussex and London.
Those eyes – Oscar, a four year old Labrador had a good look around my workshop to see if I had any food going!
Dagan, a seven-year-old Springer Spaniel, came to check that his owners’ bespoke engagement and wedding rings fitted and were to his taste. He preferred the window seat to the rings!
A friend, Juliet, popped in so I could alter her wedding ring. She brought the beautiful one-year-old Nala – look at those long legs! Her mum is a Labradoodle and her dad is a Red Setter.
Meet Colin, a long-haired Jack Russell, who belongs to my neighbours Rod and Pia who run 31B Hair just along the Lower Pantiles.
My shop had been unusually quiet on the doggy front until I had a visit from Juno, who was rescued from a dog pound in Cyprus. She has one blue and one brown eye and is a total beauty! Her owners think she’s a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog.
Sugar is a Maltipoo (a 50/50 Maltese Terrier / Poodle cross) who belongs to the wonderfully talented Lara from Darling & Wild, my favourite flower shop, conveniently just around the corner in Tunbridge Wells on Nevill Street.
Rufus, Sugar’s son and another Maltipoo, also stopped by.
This is Bert, a Whippet, who has such a kind and gentle nature. He visited me just before the start of Crufts (my guilty pleasure).
Violet, a two year old Tibetan Terrier, paw’sed in the shop, having had a good look round.
Meet Bertie, he's a three year old Tri English Setter with amazing eyes.
How could you say no to this face? Archie, a six-year-old Norfolk Terrier, stopped by to say hello.
This is Bijoux, a French Bulldog who belongs to my neighbours Gastronomia.G, the lovely Italian restaurant at 7 The Pantiles. I just love the fact that she’s called Bijoux (French for jewellery). She was so at home when she visited the shop.
Eric, a one-year-old Jack Russell, had such a playful nature but did sit still for long enough to have his photograph taken!
Pepper is a nine-month-old show Cocker Spaniel. She had such a beautiful coat and kind eyes.
Lucy, a six-year-old Collie, visited me on the same day as Pepper. It felt like a day of just doggie customers!
Gilli, a Bolonka Russian lap dog came in while her owner tried on my new gemstone ring. She was very good in the shop - she never leaves here owner's side.
Handsome Monty lives with Beau! Looking smart by the bespoke cabinet.
This week's four-legged visitor…. Hello Beau!
Patriotic pooch Betty popped in to check out the sale on Saturday!
Next time you are in Tunbridge Wells do stop by and say hello. You can find my atelier and shop at 21 The Pantiles, TN2 5TD.