new beginnings

Following finishing my book earlier on this summer, it was really quite strange not to have such a large project to work on. Don’t get me wrong it was a great relief to know that I had finally come to the end of the writing, checking, checking again, sending and then re-reading, but after the relief, I’ve felt a little lost. After expending such a lot of energy into something that I had so much passion for and was so determined to stay enthusiastic about until the end, it was quite some feat to come out the other end with a retained amount of boundless creativity for a new project. In all honesty it’s really taken me the rest of the summer to really redefine what it is I want for my business going forward and how I will reach the true ambitions I have harboured all along.

Of course as predicted I spent much more time dedicated to the book than I thought I ever would when undertaking the commission but me being the perfectionist that I am, I just wasn’t going to let any of it fall below the standard I wished and hoped it could achieve. With that in mind, I really realise that the rest of my business has ultimately taken a patient back seat whilst I fulfilled a lifetime goal of having my own words, creative thoughts and visual ideas published in a book with my very own name on the front.

Sarah Kelly's Paper Jewellery Book Cover

My ‘paper jewellery’ book now available for pre-order on Amazon! Including work from some of my design heros: Wendy Ramshaw, Rob Ryan, Jum Nakao and Nel Linssen.

As I come out of the other side, realising that I am no longer carrying the heavy burden of any more editing, photographing, emailing, writing, styling, decision making, I can see that I can now actually give my business the attention that it deserves. The one strange thing is that somehow the burden had seemed even heavier at the finish for other reasons.

With all these thoughts in my mind and my ever over-thinking brain working in overdrive I decided it was time for a designer clear out, of my office, my paperwork and ultimately my head … all of which I find happen in sync whilst undertaking the activities as one. I wanted to revisit what it was I set out to do in 2008 when Saloukee first came into being. To reestablish my values in my own head and focus on what will really take Saloukee to where it deserves to be. So with this is mind I wanted to record my findings as reference and commitment to my both myself and my business.

so … Sarah’s values for Saloukee and herself:

  • To pursue my creativity though my business
  • To continue to innovate within my designing
  • To challenge myself and my concepts through problem solving
  • To maintain the highest quality of output in my products
  • To continue to be determined and conscientious in all I do
  • To achieve measurable success and be proud of it
  • To articulate my visions and work intelligently
  • To endeavour to always learn and expand my knowledge
So just a couple to keep me going there! I also decided to do some looking and taking note of those who inspire me, whose companies I admire and whose achievements I could aspire to. The obvious choice for me was the amazing portfolio of work created by the ingenious  Zoe Bradley. Her sculptural creations using traditional tailoring techniques in paper are to die for. With Liberty, Alexander McQueen, Vogue, Missoni and Tiffany’s all on her client list, why would I not dream of such things! Here’s some little trinkets of inspiration for us all to ogle…
So with these thoughts, I sign off feeling optimistic and happy that I actually gave myself time to have one of my ‘creative rambles’ (ie. vents) and write a blog entry.
Here’s to new, exciting things and focused vision 🙂
With best wishes,
Sarah x

At Christmas, after a hectic year I decided that I’d given Saloukee a huge amount of my love and energy and on boxing day I made the decision it was high time to find me, Sarah Kelly again.

Sometimes as a designer (especially someone who is self employed) it’s often hard to see the wood from the trees, to look outside of the box when you are so enthralled, engulfed even in your business everyday. It’s amazing how easily your perspective on life gets warped and how appreciation of what often are the little things, get a lost somewhere along the way.

For me, I was lucky enough, to leave responsibility behind me and take a trip to South East Asia … 5 weeks of time away from reality was heavenly!

China, Vietnam and Thailand were independently conquered by just me and my trusty rucksack. I can truly say that this time was utterly priceless … for both myself and my business … and I would more than thoroughly recommend it … if you get the chance!!

I found the love, the inspiration and the determination that had weakened in the few months previous … and I came back so revitalised. I accept the cliches and I now realise my full reality … but feeling such freedom was life changing.

And in my first blog since my return, I wanted to include some photos which I enjoyed taking … these were all from all over … what an amazing place …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I think it’s perhaps the way my mind works (or perhaps a little strand of secret OCD!) that draws me to multiples, repetition and carefully ordered groups … either way, I like them all the same  ; ) x

It’s hard as a designer to always ‘keep the love’ for what you do. Sometimes after you’ve spent months working towards what you’ve hoped for, for years … you get there and you realise that perhaps the simple things that always made you buzz, you lost along the way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2010 for me (Sarah Kelly – at nearly 27) and for Saloukee (at nearly 2!!) it’s about retaining ‘the love’, ‘the buzz’, ‘the inspiration’ and ‘the creativity’.

Simples : )

Though the old site was pretty lovely and a lot of time was spent putting it all together with ‘my mate John’, the time came where I wanted to have more direct input to it myself. Now I have a beautifully simplistic website which I can update and change to my hearts content. (I am a indecisive Aquarian after all!) New editions include a news sectionwhich I hope to update regularly and a fully stocked up gallery which also has a ‘new’ section … here you’ll get a sneak peek at whats to come in the world of Saloukee.

May I take this opportunity to applaud, thank and high five all those around me who support, empathise, listen and eat pizza/drink wine with me on the days where I need sanity and encouragement. Believe me … this business would be nowhere without every single one of them!

But before you hear tears … here’s to Saloukee , friends and my shiny new website 🙂



new website home page

new website home page


So christmas has come and gone and new year was some what more of a blur …

and getting out of bed on a Monday morning seems to get more difficult … especially when it’s so cold outside … but crisp, pure white snow was a pleasant surprise as I drew back my rather crumpled curtains at some ungodly hour.

Today I took down my work from my first ever Saloukee ‘real’ exhibition i was nicely surprised at how much I liked it. Crazy how when you take yourself away from your design and come back to it how different it can look … some how you can view it with a more objective perspective and dare I say appreciation!

So I spent the rest of the day in search of inspiration … trawling the net for a deadline, submission, brief to drive my beginning quarter of 09 … and now at 9pm I’m all giddy with excitement of all the possibilities this year holds … and although for sure it will be a tough one (with probably the continuing budget of a poor student and the rather understanding nods of my folks, a little closer than ) thought they would be at the age of 25!) I hope that this will be the year of ground work and recognition that puts me good stead for a successful business … and with that I remember why the heck I do what I do … because i love it and whilst it drives me insane with thinking … I just wouldn’t have it any other way … the tears, tantrums, sleepness nights are what drives the thrill … or so i’m attempting to tell myself!

After viewing just a handful of my inspirations, maybe others can appreciate my passion for all things paper-ee : )

molo design

Image extracted from Molo Design – these guys are wicked…I saw their designs first hand at 100% Design in the summer, great close up and fantastic to look back at what makes you stop in your tracks…well this is one of them for me- people worry about paper being fragile…I say not!

Jum Nakao

Image by Sandra Bordim extracted from Jum Nakao – I found this designer when I was studying for my BA Honours but what jaw dropping design to revisit and for me to display on the catwalk, with as much statement as this, would be a dream come true!

Heather Smith-Jones

Image extracted from Heather Smith Jones – beautifully intricate, delicately feminine designs; pattern and texture is something i’d definitely like to explore in my designs come 2009.

Rob Ryan

Image extracted from Rob Ryan … amazing … one day I SHALL make the cover of Vogue with my Saloukee designs ; )

w a t c h  t h i s  s p a c e …

love saloukee . . . x

Today brought a small accomplishment … a whole article written about me and my business … how very exciting!!

A rather embarrassing picture too which made it on to the front page on the Worcester News with the Slogan ‘Stories of Success’…the picture was then featured (too large for comfort) on the front page of the business section followed by a well written and for once, actually factual article on me and my business … result 🙂

Check me out …


Ok so it’s was a bit strange at first … a group of gals dropped into a room with 30 shiny display cases, exhibiting their hours and hours of hard work, all hanging around nervously, not entirely knowing what to expect or really even do with themselves …

And as the VIP’s arrived, more chatting commenced and although you want to shout and sing to everyone about what you do and how you do it and that ‘yes of course you can buy it!!’ You realise that everyone at an exhibition has their own thoughts. Though you want to be helpful, you don’t want to seem intrusive. I assume this game playing, feet shuffling, word choosing thing is a something you do/have to get used to after a while in ‘the industry’.

After shimmy-ing towards other display cases as opposed to mine, and drinking orange juice just so that my hands were busy … I did get the chance to chat to a few people … nice ones and all : )

The first lady that went all ‘Dragon’s Den’ on me asking, made me completely lose all my guff, prowess and confidence. She wasn’t being mean … it’s just that initial …’oh my god, someone is talking prices to me’ thing!! I’m completely froze! She wanted to how exactly I price my product, how do I work out what ‘paper‘ is worth and what would be the price connotation if buying several in for a retail outlet/gallery??!! EEk, ahhh, ummm!!

So after her pointing at specific pieces and me fluffing every single word that came out of my mouth, I resigned myself to the fact that I was better to claim defeat, offer to send her prices at a later point and attempt to turn the conversation around by asking her what she did instead … not ideal. However after speaking a little further, I took her card and she promised to pass on my details to a colleague who dealt in exhibitions specifically with paper. Less than ideal but lesson learnt!!

I was left at the end of an evening speaking to a ‘Business Angel’ who after some chat claimed I was ‘pretty gutsy’ and would be very interested to ‘follow my progress’. So after feeling a little deflated, feeling the need to justify the use of paper in my work (I assume this will be a never ending battle). I realise that you have to remain positive, even when on the inside you may be screaming for help!

So, we hope to see ‘Mr Business Angel Man’ once more as we invited him to our private view, at this point cue ‘my mate Clare’ looking glam and getting straight to the point by asking this fella for his business card : ) I guess I could or SHOULD have done it 10 minutes earlier but hey, as a team, we got there in the end!!

So next time, at least I’ll be a little more prepared!!