Makers Corner: Mariyam Khan

We are once again delighted to bring you another talented maker, Mariyam of Oh Panda Eyes.

Read on to learn more about Mariyam who creates jewellery based on literary works.


After a long day designing and making, what do you do to switch off and relax?

As I work a part time job and make jewellery when I get home, if I can get the chance to switch off I like to do as little as possible, I tend to live in my pyjamas and watch Korean dramas or read a book.


Can you tell us what is it like juggling your passion whilst holding down a day job?

It’s actually a lot more difficult than people think, on your days off you’re not able to wake up late, because you still have deadlines to keep. So, the best advice I can give someone thinking of starting their own business, be organised, make lists, remember sometimes you’ll have to let people down especially in the beginning, but it’s ok because once you get over that hurdle you’ll be back out enjoying yourself and more than that you’ll be your own boss!


What has been your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievements to date are having a piece in every continent, having a stall at London Film & Comic Con and more recently working with publishers to include a book with my pieces of jewellery! The challenge is being in charge of everything, it’s nothing like working for someone else, but that’s what makes it so rewarding.

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Makers Corner: James Nicholls

In the lead up to Etsy Made Local Tottenham, we’ve been catching up with the amazing makers who will bring their handmade items to market on 1-2 December.

Today we caught up with fellow creative, James Nicholls and his amazing graphic designs.


What inspired you to became a maker?

I have always been interested in art, and I studied Graphic Design with Illustration at art school. It took a few years to get my graphic design career in the sort of place that I wanted it to be, and so a couple of years ago I was able to devote a bit more time to devote to extracurricular projects and started selling products online and getting my own personal work out there a bit more.

After a long day designing and making, what do you do to switch off and relax?

My main way of switching off is to go out for a run. I run about 20 miles a week and I feel that this time outside, on my own and away from anything digital is the best way to clear my mind (and actually a useful time to think about some things that need working out, finding solutions to problems or fresh ideas). My over passion is reading, I like nothing more than sitting down with a book purely for enjoyment, as well as occasionally I can have the bonus of this informing my work in some way, or giving me some ideas.

Can you tell us what is it like juggling your passion whilst holding down a day job?

It is quite difficult. After a hard day at work, it is often difficult to be motivated to do stuff in the evenings and to find the time, however my personal work does offer an extra element of creativity that my day job doesn’t always provide. That’s the main thing that makes it so easy to do; it’s my passion and I will always find some time to do it.

Can you share with us what has been your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement was being commissioned, along with a couple of friends, to produce a 90 square metre mural for an advertising agency in Dubai. It was our first real project together and also our biggest by a long way. We had a few months to plan it all out and then they flew us over there to create the mural on site over the course of a week. It was hard work and the days were long, but I think we all learnt the most we ever have done in such a short space of time; working out logistics, planning ahead, and working with the client in a different country.


Thank you so much for speaking with us. You can find the lovely James Nicholls on Day 1 of Etsy Made Local Tottenham (Tottenham Town Hall) along with many other talented local makers and don’t forget, this is a two-day bumper handmade only market! Find us on Day 2 at The Beehive Pub on 2 December. See you then!!

James Nicholls