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Chapter One

our story

  

pleased to meet you
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My name is Ellie. I'm twenty seven years old and live in sunny Birmingham, England.
I have two house rabbits named Baxter & Royston and I’ve been working on a little project called Bug since 2010.
I now run things from our very lovely, slightly messy workshop in the completely awesome, legendary Jewellery Quarter.

However. 
It wasn’t always quite so.

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SHALL WE START
AT THE BEGINNING? 

Too far back?
Okay. Even so, I was a
creative little sprog. 
Lego over Barbie any day.

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ellie ingram

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Ever since I can remember I wanted to draw stuff, I have many a pencil sketch of Brad Pitt in my Mom’s loft. I loved art since school and when I went to 6th form college I made sure that I took subjects with zero coursework so that I could spend all my time on my art and jewellery making A-levels. I remember bunking off maths lessons in the art room and my unamused maths teacher coming in to find me. It paid off - I was over the moon at failing maths but gaining As in art (the important stuff). I’ll never forget my tutors Jeff and Jim, they were generally just ace, a big thank you to the both of you and apologies if there were any animosities with the maths department! I didn’t realise at the time how lucky I was that the college ran a jewellery making A-level as that is where I got my first taste.

After college I went on to complete an Art Foundation course in Bournville. After road testing various specialisms I knew that my heart belonged to jewellery - I loved making stuff with my hands and using big messy, noisy tools. I’ve always been a tomboy and I love DIY. I get it from my Grandpa - he was always making bits and bobs and I definitely inherited his workman’s sausage fingers. A trait that I wasn’t always so grateful for as they never did look pretty in nail polish. We’ve now come to a mutual understanding - they have proved their worth in the workshop!

 

school of jewellery class of 2010

school of jewellery class of 2010 


After Bournville, I went on to study a BA(Hons) degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the School of Jewellery for three years. As most people would say about their uni days - I had an absolute whale of a time. It shaped me in to the person that I am today and it sounds corny but I really found myself. Obviously I learnt a lot about jewellery (yes I did attend lectures in between David Attenborough marathons and discovering a wonderful little thing called techno) but I learnt a lot about myself too. I made real friends for the first time and it's those friendships that helped build the foundations of Bug.

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kitchen utensil necklace

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The very first piece of jewellery that I
made outside of uni work was a kitchen
utensil necklace for my partner in crime
Laura Corbett. You may recognise a
somewhat scaled down version in
our La La Land collection.

This is the necklace that started it all!

Another thank you to you Laura...
(whom also goes by the alias Laura Bug) 
Bug owes you! After this initial piece
the requests started. (Laura proved to be
a very enthusiastic sales rep). This is
how my collections were born.

 

 

I would never have believed anyone if they’d told
me that one day Bug would be my full time job.
It’s been a steady, organic progression (with
a lot of blood, sweat and tears thrown in).
I definitely questioned my sanity on numerous
occasions! I think cabin fever may have struck
somewhere around the third year of working
full time and until the early hours in a freezing
garage with zero social life and only my Mom
and the dog for company.
(no offence Mom and Ted -
you are both lovely!).

bug workshop
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Don’t fret! There was light at the end of the tunnel! I gained invaluable experience working as a jobbing jeweller and I was lucky to be able to set up a jewellery workshop in my Mom’s garage (thanks Mom). I adapted to the heating issues! A floor length purple fluffy dressing gown and hot water bottle (think Joey from friends in that jumper episode) does just the trick and the alone time did have it’s benefits. I had a clear head and no distractions to fully through myself in to Bug. I have learnt to be patient and I now believe that the right things happen at the right time and not necessarily when you’d like them to. I’ve learnt to enjoy the now and to try not to worry about the future. Things have a funny way of working themselves out, and if they don’t then maybe it wasn’t meant to be. My advice to anyone else following their dreams - just go for it and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, there’s enough pie to go around. Keep going, going, going. With enough determination any of us can do anything. I’m sure of it. (Within reason. Don’t take that too literally, I’m not saying we can all be Olympic shot putters).

 

 

 

 

bug jewellery ellie ingram
You may have noticed that I’m slightly obsessed
with making miniatures. I pondered for good while as
to the significance of these objects and finally came
to the realisation that the purpose of Bug is simply to
celebrate life and to share my stories via a
miniature metal world.
I realised that each collection represents a time
of my life - illustrating a passion, a friendship,
a discovery, an experience. La La Land tells tales
from my uni days, La Discotheque celebrates
my love of music and unforgettable adventures
travelling to the far corners of the earth in search
of the best festivals. Most recently Summer Farm
was born from a friendship and becoming a
vegetarian. 
(Thanks Krissi!)

 

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I have butterflies thinking about what the future holds and what collections it will call to life. It’s so important to me to feel connected to the objects that I make and nothing beats the feeling of bringing an idea to life (okay maybe a couple of things do beat it). In a nutshell - unless it tells a story it, it doesn't make the grade! It’s also a good incentive to get out there and explore all of life’s little wonders. After all, no one wants a collection inspired by Jeremy Kyle and ironing (we can safely nip that collection in the bud).
 
 
If you’re still here give yourself a pat on the back and a very big thank you for taking the time out to listen to me waffle. We're almost there so bang the kettle on and crack open the hobnobs
(I can sense those sugar levels depleting). It’s been nice to share my story with you and I hope you feel like you’ve got to know me a little better. Bug is my life and I’m here for the long run! (“no bingo for me tonight dear, I must complete that miniature zimmer frame” said a 91 year old Ellie from the depths of her workshop) and I’d love you to share the whole journey with me.
Here's to loving life & chasing dreams!
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