Shalain Gregson Interview

‘ It’s the process of creating that I enjoy, more than the end result’

Shalain Gregson, 32, is an underwriter. She lives in Edenvale with her husband Paul, and son Ethan, six. She runs quirky jewellery company, Turkey Dimple. In my spare time, I have always enjoyed making projects that involve working with my hands, as I find it therapeutic, as well as creative. Usually, I’d do this in the kitchen by cooking and baking: it was the process I enjoyed more than just the end result, whether it was kneading dough, mixing batter, or sculpting miniatures from fondant to decorate a cake.

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The only problem was that my creations were short-lived and temporary. One evening, while scrolling through Pinterest looking for some inspiration for a DIY jewellery project, I came across a polymer clay tutorial. Finally – I’d found a way to create beautiful things that didn’t have a limited shelf-life! I’ve always worn quirky jewellery – it’s become part of my signature style – but often I couldn’t find jewellery I liked in the shops. I knew that if I could figure out how to make jewellery from polymer clay, I could make anything I wanted. First I made a cupcake charm for a necklace, then a pair of earrings with a fox design. Soon my jewellery box was overflowing with my creations, and when my friends and family saw the items I’d made, they wanted to buy them – and it didn’t take long for orders to trickle in.

So in October 2013, I officially started my business. I called it Turkey Dimple – years ago I’d come across a paint swatch and my favourite shade on the sheet was a gorgeous pink called Turkey Dimple. Often people giggle when they hear it – I can almost see them trying to work out if turkeys even have dimples, but it suits my unconventional jewellery. With a full-time job and a young child, I’ve become strict about dedicating time to my business. I do all my jewellery making after hours, and on weekends I set up stands at markets. I also take orders on my website. Some weeks are busier than others and it gets a little insane, but my family is amazingly supportive. Although I’m earning money from my jewellery, the prices I charge don’t really take into account the amount of time spent sculpting each individual piece – sometimes I think that the joy I get from making my products is what ‘pays’ that portion. But I’m hoping that in the near future I’ll be making enough money to focus on Turkey Dimple full time.

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