In the studio with jeweller and My Bubba founder Rebecca Wilson
What have been the main challenges of starting My Bubba?
Right now I have two jewellery businesses, two children, two “day jobs” and unfortunately only two hands! It’s especially difficult finding the time and motivation to promote my business. Like most creatives, I want to be at my bench the whole time, immersing myself in stories of treasured teddies and tatty bunnies, and bringing them to life in silver.
What’s your background?
I have a master’s degree in ceramics and have enjoyed a decade-long career of exhibiting internationally. I came to jewellery after a break from the studio while I had my first baby, as a way to challenge myself and feel inspired to make again.
What inspired you to make such personal products?
I first became interested in the deeper meaning of comfort objects during my undergraduate degree, when I was examining the imaginary relationships children build with their toys. The idea of a comfort object resonated with my own childhood experience. Much to my parents’ embarrassment I was very attached to a pair of frilly pants, the kind you put over the top of a baby’s nappy under a nice dress. I couldn’t sleep without them and dragged them everywhere with me, even down the aisle at my aunt’s wedding!
Now, as a parent, the idea continues to resonate. Lily, my firstborn, now six, has a black bunny that has been everywhere with her since birth; he’s her best friend, her emotional crutch, her everything! He’s been lost and found too many times. Lily told me with tears in her eyes one day “Bubba is part of my heart”, so I cut out a tiny silver heart and pierced his silhouette into the middle, so she could have his likeness with her always. Then I made another for a little friend who was struggling with the challenge of starting school, and another for a friend’s teenager as a little source of strength when she was suffering from anxiety and stress. I haven’t stopped making them since!
Do you think there’s a greater demand for items of lasting personal value in an increasingly disposable age?
I truly hope so! It must be time to start challenging the throwaway culture, taking time to appreciate things that have been made just for us, by the hands of someone you can make a connection with. I’m enjoying the slow fashion movement that is emerging through Instagram right now, and am making an effort to buy from independent makers.
What does a working day look like for you?
My day starts with cajoling the kids out of bed then getting them off to nursery or school. I enjoy our morning walk, it gives us a chance to chat without distractions.
Then home for a lot of strong coffee and a quick check of the emails before donning my pinny and tottering down the garden to Bubba HQ. I choose two bangin’ tunes, dance like nobody’s watching and tidy like my life depends on it, then stop and get on with the task in hand. It’s the ultimate anti-procrastination tool, and the only way I can keep on top of the mess!
With a nice, clean desk I can get doodling, capturing the character of the day’s subjects before sending them off for the client’s approval and immortalising them in silver.
Later, after a flurry of tissue paper, tiny boxes and ribbons, I dash to the post office with all my little envelopes before picking up the kids. At home, I swap my jeweller pinny for my house pinny. I really do have a pinny for every occasion. I love a pinny!