Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen that it’s more important than ever to support small businesses. Local entrepreneurs have been on the rise and it’s been really heart-warming seeing the talent that has emerged recently. One of these incredibly talented small business owners is Mae Lynch – owner of By Mae, a West Cork-based jewellery business. Mae hand makes earrings and bracelets using beautiful gems that she finds on beaches in West Cork, making each piece unique to the buyer. I was lucky enough to chat to Mae about the ins and outs of By Mae, which you can find on @bymae.ireland on Instagram!

What inspired you to start By Mae?

I started By Mae because I had always wanted to try and work independently, growing up my parents have always been self-employed and I wanted to try it at some stage in my life but By Mae came along as a surprise. Partly due to Covid I had time to try something new.

How did the Covid-19 pandemic impact your business?

The Covid-19 pandemic actually helped my business because people wanted to support small/local business and also couldn’t go to shops and so online shopping became more popular. I think people wanted to work together and so I got a lot of support. It also helped me to keep busy and earn money in a challenging time.

How long does it take you to produce a piece of jewellery?

Producing the jewellery can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the piece. I spend time deciding the background I want to present the piece on so it appears as a little piece of art. 

What’s been your favourite thing about having this business?

My favourite thing is the photography and advertising element. I’ve always loved photography and so getting to do it with a purpose has been great. Equally the flexibility and being my own boss are great plusses. The customers make it too, they are so kind and I have been blown away by the generosity and kind words of the public.

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Any advice for other budding business owners or jewellery makers?

My advice: go for it! Presentation is KEY, especially as the world becomes more and more social media based. Think what you would like as a customer, be precise and give meaning to your product so that people return and also remember your product over other peoples’. Sentimentality is huge. You want to create a following like a community so identity and personal touches are fundamental too.

If you’re interested in purchasing a beautiful, handmade unique piece of jewellery, make sure to follow Mae at https://www.instagram.com/bymae.ireland/ and DM her when you see a piece you fancy!

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