Claire Simmons – C-Glass Devon

Why did you become self-employed?

I became self-employed because I became ill with Arthritis and had lost my self-worth.
I had to reinvent myself so I decided to start making beaded items.  This led me to find out that mass-produced beads weren’t made as well as I’d expected. I then heard of someone making beads and I knew I could do it.
I don’t know why, but I did.
So my lovely husband sold his quad bike and started me on my journey of lampwork.  I had a welding torch, some glass and taught myself through trial and error, practice, practice, practice and reading lots of books. Since then I have had a one day lesson in silversmithing and I am continuing to incorporate the two… I’m still on a journey.

What main challenges have you faced whilst being self-employed?

Managing time, negative thoughts and the house.

So firstly negative thoughts can affect my creativity. Working from home doesn’t allow you to leave your negativity behind. I combat this by writing in a little book about what is beating me up that morning.
Then I feel a fresh state of mind.
I tend to tidy my home in the morning, not always, but then I can go to my studio with my brain buzzing with things I need to do.
I have to also manage how well I am and if I am able to go and work that day.  Did I sleep at all? How sore am I? Do I need to sleep? Will I be able to sit that long?
I have learnt now that I can do other business related things when I am not able to make. Either social media, listing work to sell,  doing my books, taking pictures or making up beady things from my bed.
It is a one-man/woman show working on your own.


How do you make it work? (Are you full-time self-employed, or part-time?)

I work mostly full time and also have a job that I do one day a week, which fits nicely alongside my lampwork. I find having another job gives me ideas, from what people wear, colours of their jewellery and of course it provides extra money.

Do you have one piece of advice you would like to share about being self-employed?

Being self-employed is hard work whatever you do.
It’s just you, no work colleagues to bounce ideas off,  no cheer team apart from family, of course, to tell you the decision you made was right.
So the advice I’d give would be…
 Don’t beat yourself up, whatever went wrong it happened so you can grow and learn.
Small businesses do not become large overnight (unless super lucky).
Also, think realistic goals, but keep reaching for those stars!


You can find Claire’s work on her Instagram @cglassdevon

Or head to Claire’s Etsy Shop – CGlassDevonuk Etsy Shop 

If you have a question for Claire, you can email her via