A Belper jeweller making custom designs from scratch with a nod to the town’s industrial past

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If you ask most people about their working environment they might describe unnatural lighting and ringing phones or noisy machinery and boredom.

Quality of life comes becomes so insignificant in comparison to the pursuit of a living that we forget all about it and then wonder why we are so unhappy.

When Belper jeweller Zoe Adamson decided to give up the 9-5 she was lucky enough to enjoy her work as a 999 call taker for the ambulance service.

But 12-hour shifts meant she was missing out on seeing her one year-old son and four year-old daughter grow up.

And so deciding to set up in business, Zoe, 35, identified a gap in the silverware market.

She said: “I wanted to run my own business and was always artistic as a child and teenager but I just could not find jewellery I liked anywhere.

“I have always gravitated towards the steam punk genre - I like the use of chains, cogs and washers in recycled jewellery.

“But steam punk is not big everywhere - especially if you want a little piece of jewellery you just want to wear everyday.”

The mum-of-two, who studied archaeology at Bradford University and had always had a keen interest in Belper’s industrial past, had been a tour guide at Strutt’s North Mill Museum and takes inspiration for her designs from this heritage.

Her passion for creativity and recycling means Zoe only works with silver grain - small bead-like pieces of the precious metal rather than big sheets which often leads to waste.

“I like making something from scratch and the reason I started making jewellery was I could not find anything I really liked.

“My target audience is someone who wants to buy for themselves.

“I would rather sell to someone who really likes the piece they are wearing.”

As a mum-of-two, Zoe currently works from a workshop at her home, and though she misses the camaraderie of a busy workplace at times, she is sure she has made the right decision.

“There are other ways of meeting people,” she said.

“And I get quite engrossed in the work. I was making some jewellery recently and had my husband playing with the children in the garden as the sound track.”

For more information visit www.adamsonjewellery.co.uk.