How crafts helped my depression and became a business


How crafts helped my depression and became a business

By Laura Rutter (Vintage  Princess)

Suffering from depression for approximately two years, after having cut myself off from the world, feeling like there’s nothing to live for, I realised that I had to do something to get myself out of this.

I needed to help myself; I couldn’t bare feeling so down and hopeless. So I thought I’d try to make some jewellery. I’ve always loved jewellery and making it meant I’d be doing something nice, whilst helping myself at the same time.

I was making it just for myself, not to show anyone. Just to make something pretty, and get myself off the safe haven that was the sofa and out from under my blanket! I didn’t think I was any good, but I enjoyed making pieces and it was a way of distracting me from all the bad thoughts that were swirling around in my head.

I have to admit that sometimes it was a struggle, that it definitely took some hard work, but it was so worth it. Once I got over that hurdle and started making, I really got absorbed by it. Even on those days that I was really low and I didn’t make it off the sofa, I still made some jewellery, or I did some sewing- just something to try to distract myself for a little while, something to take the edge off how I felt.

I made pretty jewellery for myself, but my friends and family encouraged me to show people- so I put an image of a few pieces on Facebook and things just developed from there. The support and kindness people were showing me was wonderful. It really lifted my spirits, and made me feel so much better about myself.

Gradually I put more pieces on Facebook and people wanted to buy it, and they even asked me to make custom orders. To make sure I got out of the house, I also went to markets where I sold my jewellery and I met some lovely people- it just made me feel worthwhile.

I was one of those people who believed they were worthless, that couldn’t achieve anything, but now just after making a few bits of jewellery to distract myself from the torment of my depression I have my own business making and selling jewellery.

I set up Vintage Princess Jewellery three years after being diagnosed with the illness. Since then my little jewellery business has just grown and grown. I now have a website,, and I have my own shop in the centre of Durham. I’ve even been nominated for a Retail Award! Everything isn’t always all plain sailing, but I just work through it. Just doing that little bit of crafting has changed my life.

Vintage Princess Jewellery is a world of prettiness and girlyness. My shop has been described as a ‘haven of gorgeousness’, and every parcel I send out from my website is full of glitter and Vintage Princess sparkle! Just a little something to brighten people’s days. I make jewellery that is limited edition or one of a kind, through reworking broken, unused and unwanted jewellery with new materials. I want my jewellery to be extra special and unique, just like those who wear it.

I’m also using my business to support Samaritans. They helped me when I was at my lowest, and now I’m on the road to recovery I want to give something back. So far I’m selling bracelets where all the proceeds go to the charity, I have made Limited Edition Sterling Silver and Amazonite necklaces and bracelets which are sold in aid of Samaritans, and I’ve also held charity events to raise as much money as I can to enable them to continue their lifesaving work.

For more details please contact Laura via email at [email protected], or pop into the shop: Vintage Princess Jewellery, upstairs in City Attic, 76 North Road, Durham, DH1 4SQ.

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