“I’m one of those people who likes everything,” smiles Gem Freeman, when I ask about the inspiration for her bespoke jewellery designs.

Which explains why her creations are so varied – from names stamped onto simple silver washers and made into pendants, to intricate gold rings and a set of bespoke, wine bottle-shaped cufflinks.

Her first Sail Away collection was based on the sea and boats, while she also has a children’s range and is now considering branching out into dog tags.

“I’d like to jump out of a plane or do a bit of travelling, I often have too much going on,” said Gem, who lives in Walkford.

“I get inspiration from a lot of things like that.”

Gem decided in 2005 that she wanted to make jewellery, and set about getting as much experience as she could through apprenticeships, work experience and courses.

“I did a year in Salisbury with a jewellery designer and maker, she taught me a lot, but I always wanted to make my own jewellery,” said Gem, who is mum to three-year-old Beau.

“I had my first collection in mind while I was working in Salisbury, but I developed it in 2007. I hit the ground running and started selling stuff straight away for family and friends, mainly birthday presents and bridesmaid gifts, christenings presents.”

A year later, Gem had “a tiny little shelf” in a display cabinet in the Captain’s Club hotel in Christchurch, which set the precedent for her favoured stockists.

She now has work on show at the Langtry Manor and Chewton Glen, as well as a range in Beales in Bournemouth and her children’s jewellery in Belle Enfants in Ringwood and Lymington.

“I was aware of locally saturated shops and galleries, but thought there was no handmade jewellery in hotels,” said Gem, who won the Daily Echo’s Business Mum of the Year award at last year’s Venus Awards.

“Last year I wrote to Beales to ask if they would consider having local hand-made jewellery in their jewellery department. I went to meet them and they loved the jewellery but were not sure how to sell it, because it’s all concessions. They introduced me to Sands of Time who have a big jewellery and sunglasses concession. I met them and he has taken me under his wing. That went in in November.”

Gem, whose forthcoming dog tag collection has been inspired by her own two pets, prices her jewellery from around £18 up to £350.

She added: “I’m not working with platinum and diamonds, so I wouldn’t class myself as fine jewellery. But it is bespoke, handcrafted, high end. I do gold and silver and I work with moulds and casters as well. I work with rough diamonds – I’ve got a collection called A Bit of Rough.

“I’ve always appreciated art and design and I love being abstract with the rough diamonds. I’ve just had my website redesigned, it’s going to be really big and have all my products on. It’s scary, but I just love it.”

  • gemfreeman.com