Pamela makes jewellery
“You meet lots of people, your English improves, you make contacts, you learn how to sell. This is what SisterWorks has done for me.”
Hello, my name is Pamela, and I from Chile. The first time I came to Australia was in 1996 when my husband and I came here to study English. After having two children and living here for nine years, we returned back to Chile. In 2010, a 8.4 shock earthquake destroyed our home. We returned back to Australia to rebuild our lives.
For a long time I did not work and just stayed at home; I was still too afraid from the earthquake. For about a year I knitted and crocheted from home, something I learnt as a student in convent school. At this time I did not know how to make jewellery but had always wanted to learn. I knew two sisters, Alejandra and Anite, who were already a part of SisterWorks. They asked me to come to a Design Lab.
SisterWorks helped me focus at a time I felt confused about what I wanted to make. A volunteer helped me decide and choose on what were my best skills. I learnt how to make jewellery, do some very difficult stitches and how to develop my own style. I started by using fabric, beads and crocheted wire. Now I use sterling silver wire which is better for people with sensitive skin.
When I first began selling in markets, my mind went blank, which is funny because in Chile I used to sell wine. It was hard for me to sell my own jewellery. A SisterWorks volunteer taught me how to talk to people, because when you make things you have to sell them, and you must have the passion to talk about what you do so people listen to you.
Now I go to markets often. I love it. You meet lots of people, your English improves, you make contacts, you learn how to sell. This is what SisterWorks has done for me.
I now sell my jewellery at SisterWorks, markets, Global Sisters, Hawthorn Gallery and the Bini Gallery. I was contacted through Instagram to take part in RAW Verve, a place where independent artists can show their skills and work. This provides me with good opportunity to travel and sell my products.
Now I am building up my online brand, my Instagram and marketing skills. I am always being shown of opportunities that I didn’t know existed.
In the future, I see myself in a small store, selling not only my products, but also other items imported from Chile, including wonderful jewellery made of wheat, a native Chilean product.