Interview with Sian McLachlan of Shoorah Shoorah
Sian McLachlan is the founder of Shoorah Shoorah and the maker behind our colourful and distinctive rope necklace kits, a best-seller at Yodomo. We caught up with her to find out more about her journey, learn about her processes and soak in some creative wisdom.
How did you start your journey towards creating your label, Shoorah Shoorah?
About 6 years ago, I came home from a trip working in Australia, where I lived with a woman who ran her own mini boho fashion brand. Whilst away, I started playing with making rope necklaces and made a couple for myself and friends. Whenever I wore a necklace I had made, I would always get comments from people asking me where they were from.
When I came back, I thought I would take what I had picked up from my flatmate from running an online business and the recent crafts I had been working on and pulled it together to create Shoorah Shoorah. I had always enjoyed bold, colourful fashion and statement jewellery and I wanted to create designs that were unapologetic and really sculptural.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
I like to work with rope and cord. I like to adapt traditional macrame and knotting techniques, switching out thin cord for large colourful braided rope. Through repetition and contrasting colour, functional knots become highly decorative and start to replicate the forms of traditional jewellery. The designs illustrate how careful crafting can turn simple materials into something quite remarkable.
How do you source your materials and decide on your jewellery designs?
Originally I worked with polyurethane rope, as I liked the smooth finish and the ability to stop it fraying. I had a wonderful family-run supplier in the US who created utility rope in lots of different colours and sizes which was a great fit for my designs.
However, in the last few years, I have put a lot of effort into ensuring my materials and supply chain is more sustainable and this has actually really benefited my designs.
I took a long time testing out different cotton rope suppliers and now use a family run cotton rope supplier in the UK who are able to create all my rope to order in so many wonderful colours. One of the hardest things is settling on the final palette I want to work with.
What makes Shoorah Shoorah and your necklaces different?
Whilst the technique I use is knotting and wrapping, at the centre of my designs really is colour. I want my jewellery to brighten someone’s day by brightening up their outfit. Through keeping the designs and shapes really simple, it allows me to push the boat with my use of colour. I want to show that sustainable style doesn’t need to be neutrals and serious - you can have fun with it too.
What is some advice you have for aspiring makers?
Don’t spend so much time trying to make something perfect - just get stuck in.
Before I launched Shoorah Shoorah, I spent far too long trying to get the designs / materials / packaging just right. And I learnt that you don’t know what just right is until you start sharing and doing and discovering. And you’ll change your mind and taste all the time, so just get going before you get stuck.