The lady I’m featuring today is someone I’ve known for years. I’ve known Kelly for years ever since we met working our first jobs in a supermarket. I’ve found in life, it’s rare to have a friendship survive the challenges Kelly’s and I’s has; and it gives me so much joy to interview Kelly about the wonderful business she set up earlier this year in this supplier spotlight feature.
The Interviewer: Hazel of SayIDoOnABudget
The Supplier: Kelly Mills
Kelly is a Commercial Coordinator for Neptune by day and a creator of beautiful hair accessories by night
The Business: Sparkle Vines (est August 2018)
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Hey Kelly, please can you tell everyone the story of how Sparkle Vines came to be?
I’m based in a small town in Wiltshire, called Calne. My day job is as a Commercial Projects Coordinator for Neptune, at their head office in Swindon. In basic terms I coordinate kitchens into building developments. Its very hands on with each day different to the last. I have always been creative, very hands on and enjoy making different things. I know how to croquet, how to sew and now I know how to make hair accessories!
Sparkle Vines started with my own wedding. Since before getting engaged when I looked through bridal magazines or scrolled through Pinterest, hopeful and dreaming of my big day, wondering if my man would ever pop the question, I always had a love for beaded hair vines and knew I wanted to make my own for my future wedding.
Kelly’s fiance whisked her away for a surprise weekend trip to Venice for the August bank holiday in 2016, and whilst they were there he popped the question!
After I got engaged I did a lot of research for
inspiration on what I’d like my own hair vine to look like, and I decided to hand make hair combs for my Bridesmaids too! I started with crafting hair combs for my two Bridesmaids using white, grey and pink fresh water pearls. I also used clear cracked quartz to give them a bit of a sparkle. Using just precious gemstones would have been expensive, so to save costs I padded the design out with white and grey beads with silver plated leaves to give them the finishing touch. I was really happy with how they turned out, and this gave me the confidence I needed to tackle my own hair piece using the same style and materials. I designed 2 just in case I preferred one to the other on my hair trial.
You got married in Venice on 9th June 2018 and created a lot of your own stationary for the big day; what were your favourite DIY crafts from your wedding?
I loved all the DIY’s I made for my wedding. I made everything from our save the dates & invitations to the place name cards and table plan. If I didn’t get married abroad I would have made a lot more, but I was restricted to what I could get into a suitcase! As it happens I had 4 massive suitcases to try and get to Venice, so I had to restrict myself with what I could make. The craft I found the hardest to make was the order of service.
Why was the order of service the hardest DIY?
It’s easy to get tied up with all the small details of a wedding and that’s exactly what happened with my order of service. I think if you ask any Bride-to-be there will always be that one detail that she obsesses’ over to get right. For one of my friends it was the cake toppers for her wedding cake, for me it was my order of service. I designed and printed them myself. It was a booklet consisting of 4 double sided A4 pieces of card folded to make an 8-page booklet. I wanted each page to be slightly smaller than the outer page to make it easy for guests to turn. I also had embroidered (by my fabulous Sister) handkerchiefs which sat inside the front page held on by tabs. It took my 2 Bridesmaids and I a whole bank holiday weekend to complete 34 order of services. I was so proud of them. It took a lot of time but they probably cost me less then a £1 each.
That was an amazing saving to make! What were the other ways you reduced the cost of your wedding?
Aside from making what I could myself, I had a very close family friend do my photography for me. Trying to find a photographer in Italy would have been very tricky, so aside from saving me a lot of money Richard saved me a lot of time and stress by taking care of this detail. Richard Chappell is the husband of Shirley Chappell who is Callum’s God Mother and they are both close family friends of Callum’s parents. We were both over the moon with our wedding photographs and can’t thank them both enough for everything they did for us on our day.
What advice would you give to other couples who are considering getting married abroad?
My main advice is to do your research. Research and contact several different venues and book appointments to visit them. It might seem counter productive with saving costs by having to go and visit them but by getting the right venue you will save more in the long run. It is so much easier to negotiate deals in person, plus being in person means you can form a relationship with the people who will be responsible for your special day.
Sometimes just researching online isn’t enough and you may feel completely different when you are there. One venue might be slightly more expensive but will include a lot more such as your cake, drinks and table wear. So many Brides/Grooms don’t realize that with most venues your tableware is not included. By doing your research and going to see them you will find details like this out. My husband and I knew our venue was the one as soon as we entered through the front doors.
It’s been lovely to find out a little about your wedding and how Sparkle Vines came to be. How can someone get their hands on your lovely hair pieces?
I sell my ready made hair pieces through my Etsy shop and I can create custom pieces on request. Everything is made to order, whether it be a design showing on my Etsy shop, or a fully custom design. The best way to contact me for a custom order is via the Sparkle Vines Facebook page, or to email me to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If someone wants to order a custom piece I would like to know a bit about the Bride-to-be, has she seen anything on Pinterest or the internet that she likes? Where is her wedding venue? When is the wedding date? has she brought her dress? I would like to see a picture of the dress too so I can tailor the hair piece to the style of the gown. What is her colour theme, and does she want this included within the hair piece? What is her budget?
I can tailor a hair accessory to any budget. Like my own, I used a mixture of precious gemstones and beads to keep the cost of creating it affordable. If someone was on a tight budget I would use maybe one type of gemstone and use more beads. I conduct some research based on the information the Bride gives me to send some inspiration images back. This will help me get to know what she does or doesn’t like so I can tailor the hair piece to her.
Once a design has been agreed I send the Bride a full quotation which will include the cost, description, any notes I need to make and full payment details including deposits etc.
As standard I aim to send the hair piece out within 30 days of receiving the deposit. If the Bride is on a tighter deadline then I would need to know this information too.
You have so many amazing hair pieces on your Etsy shop, my favourite of which is pictured above, but which is your favourite?
Oh, no, I really can’t pick just one favourite, but if I had to choose, then I could pick three pieces that are my personal favourites from everything I’ve made so far.
You’re really new to the wedding biz; what has been your new biz win so far?
The whole experience has been amazing, and I have formed some close relationships with people who are like minded and have the same interests. However, my biggest win has to be the first order, I made a stunning gold-plated head-band with white fresh water pearls, clear crackled quartz and beads for the Bride and navy blue and white hair slides for her Bridesmaids. They can be replicated for another Bride as advertised on my Etsy shop.
That’s next for Sparkle Vines?
I have an order for 2 gemstone/ beaded hair slides which I will be making in the next couple of weeks. I’m doing my first Christmas fair on the 1st December at Calne’s light switch on. I would also like to do some wedding fairs next year so if anyone knows of any good ones in and around the Wiltshire area then please let me know.
So, what are you waiting for, go show my girl some love:
Like Sparkle Vines’ Facebook page
Follow Sparkle Vines on Twitter
Follow Sparkle Vines On Instagram
Go to the Sparkle Vines board on Pinterest
and go check out the Etsy shop