I'm Mhairi Mackenzie, designer and founder of acrylic accessories company Bonnie Bling.
What do you do?
We create laser cut acrylic jewellery and accessories. My main job is to come up with the new collections and design the artwork for new pieces each season. I really enjoy the creative process and having our own laser machine allows me the chance to really experiment and work out ways to turn my ideas into finished products very quickly.
How did you start?I set up Bonnie Bling when I had the idea to create acrylic laser cut jewellery featuring Scottish Slang words! I then ran a crowd funding campaign to see if people were interested in my idea enough to part with their own cash to raise money to buy our own laser cutting machine. The campaign was successful and we now do all our own in house manufacturing from a wee island off the coast of Scotland. The products are always evolving and we have launched several new collections since our original Scottish words. We also recently started expanding our range to include wooly hats, coasters and greetings cards. I've been really lucky and have had a lot of celebrities including Sir Elton John, Laura Whitmore, Lana Del Rey and even Usain Bolt all snapped in our jewellery.
2014 is a big year for Scotland with the Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and of course the Scottish referendum so this years collections have taken inspiration from close to home. My grandfather was from the Scottish Highlands so I've been doing lots of research into our folklore and traditions. We have a range of unique tartan jewellery in production and have our own modern take on some traditional Scottish and Celtic pieces all ready to launch later in January.
I've been very busy designing and all of this year's collections are already sketched up and ready to be converted into the artwork that is then passed over to our laser operator for manufacture. All very exciting!
Just keep going! Make sure you have great friends and family around who are supportive of what you're trying to achieve, it can get lonely setting up your own business. Surrounding yourself with positive people can really help you stay focused and motivated when the going gets tough.
Just look at all the pretty! What's not to love with this quirky and interesting company. Do you have some of Bonnie Bling's work, let us know in the comments below, or #livelovemake on Instagram or Twitter so we can have a look for ourselves.
H and Sammy, xxx