‘My Story’ by Shrubbies & StringEffects
They specialise in using upcycled materials
Take a look at the uber quirky & equally lovely Shrubbies and StringEffects. These are 2 very original business’ that specialise in using upcycled materials. Both these business’ are local to Manchester and if you are looking for a great gift you’re are in the right place!
Read their stories and follow their journey on our ‘Instagram Story’ feed this week (12th June).
Where it began
Chilli plants! We had so many we had to start selling them before they took over. We are environmentally aware and recycling tins into plant pots not only looks cool but is also cheaper than a clay pot and better for the planet.
I began looking for guitar string jewellery when we started up an online guitar electronics business in 2013. I wanted to be different from the other guitarist websites, steer away from the heavy metal image that many of them have and not just be all about ‘blokes with guitars’. I noticed there were a few guitar string jewellery makers on Etsy but they were all in the US, so I ordered a few pieces just for the website. I had the idea to start selling at artisan markets, not only to sell the jewellery, but to publicise our start-up, which was the main focus at the time. The jewellery was more popular than I imagined so I started making it myself as buying from the US was cost prohibitive in the long term. Initially my pieces were inspired by the jewellery I had purchased but has evolved over time.
Where I work
All of our products are made, painted and potted at home. Shrubbies has taken over the house!
I work from home but don’t have the luxury of a workshop or studio, so the dining room table has a dual purpose. It does mean I have to make sure the guitar
string offcuts and craft wire don’t find their way into our mealtimes but my husband always manages to spot something I have missed!
Work in Progress
Our airplants are super popular at the moment so we are trying some new ideas out with these.
My pieces change all the time, depending on what gemstones, charms and guitar strings I have at the time. Bass string bangles are popular but bass players don’t change their strings as often as guitar players because they last longer and are also quite expensive to buy. The majority of my pieces are made using electric (silver colour) and acoustic (bronze colour) strings and I have a basic range that I maintain, although generally none of them are exactly the same.
Our best seller
Recycled beer cans are a favourite with our customers. They are colourful, quirky and look even more awesome with cacti in them.
My best seller is the silver tube bangle, which is popular because it can be stacked with other silver bangles but looks simple and elegant on its own. I also sell a lot of my bee necklaces, which I make using an acoustic string wound into a circle and hung with a golden bee charm.
My stall & favourite markets
You can find us (Shrubbies) most weekends at the Makers Markets, some of our regular faves are Northern Quarter, Chorlton and West Didsbury.
It can be a bit hit and miss finding markets where my quirky jewellery appeals to customers, but my favourite markets are currently Manchester Northern Quarter, Urmston Artisan Market and Levenshulme.
To recycle and grow more.
I am not looking to grow this business too much as I always have to remember that I am a partner in our main guitar accessory business to which I devote most of my time. But I will continue to attend at least one market a week, although it is easy to get carried away and book up the whole weekend (not to mention bank holidays and the run-up to Christmas!).
We wish our 2 stall holders all the success with their business’ and hope that you could share this blog or follow them on social media.
Click the links below to see more images of their work & to be able to contact them about an order/commission.
- guitar strings