Sue Hailstones is a designer and producer of unique handmade glass jewellery. The pieces are so beautifully eye catching and different than any other jewellery that I couldn’t resist a very early Christmas present to myself!
From corporate life to developing what started as a hobby into a thriving business, here is Sue’s story.
I have been very lucky in my life in that I have been given opportunities to do something I love and I am passionate about twice!
For over 25 years I worked in a variety of positions within social housing. This was my first passion, being lucky enough to live and work in some areas of the most outstanding natural beauty in Staffordshire and to work with some of the most inspirational customers who despite many challenges, never gave up hope and made such a difference to the communities they lived in.
I became a consultant/head of independent living before deciding to take time out to spend some time with my mum who’s 90th birthday was approaching and to see what other things life had to offer …and if I could develop more of my love for art/creative side….I had sketched birthday cards if and when I had the time and people had often told me that I should do more with my art.
This is from a card I sketched for my husband’s birthday, he played rugby and basketball and likes jungle book!!!
Over the first few months I have to say it was very difficult, deciding where and what I was going to do, having to think about every penny spent but more importantly what can I do that makes a difference? I was a little lost if honest! the initial months I spent supporting family with a number of medical issues so I was kept busy, I then volunteered to use my skills and knowledge , I was offered a number of opportunities as a consultant , but every time a read the proposals I knew my heart was not in it.
A chance meeting with a new neighbour gave me a focus; we would walk and talk early hours in the morning before my now wonderful friend went to work.
This was one of my key changing moments that lead me to what I am doing today.
My friend’s special birthday was approaching and during our conversations she had said ‘I would love to work with glass’ I arranged a half day workshop as a surprise and we both went.
I made a few pieces of jewellery and I was often asked where I had purchased them from and again I am lucky to have a very talented and supportive husband, he made me a kiln and this gave me the opportunity to explore working with glass. Over the next 12 months I designed and made glass jewellery and developed knowledge on glass temperatures and techniques.
My key areas of inspiration are landscapes and seascapes I have a number of collections already and continue for each collection to get inspirations from places I have lived or I visit. I live in Staffordshire which is such a creative county with the most beautiful scenery – the moorlands, downs bank, the beautiful trees arboretum close to where I live all are inspiring.
I am a new and small business with ambitions to get brand recognition for contemporary handmade quality jewellery designs. People told me that my designs were different, that they had not seen any like this on the market and within the first 12 months I had made a small profit as a sole trader.
I now have more kilns, numerous pieces of glass, bespoke findings, sold my first collection to The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and travelled to Vienna as a British designer to showcase to other countries.
I am passionate about the quality and the design and now focus all my designs around the inspirational collection which has become my signature range.
In the future I want to continue to develop my collections and my brand and to love and enjoy what I am doing. Any financial success will help me support my first opportunity and passion in life – communities and people.
Founder Hailstones Glass Jewels
Sue and her unique creations can be found at: