Aeternum: Latin; "Forever" "Always" "Eternal"
My name is Patricia Bloczynski, born of a Polish Father and Scottish Mother, and I'd like to tell you a bit more about our family business...
I was in my mid 30’s before I visited Poland for the first time with my children and accompanied by my Father, Stepmother and my Sister Caroline, and although I returned each year to visit family, it was nine years later that I was finally able to bring some of the Crafts back to Inverness in Scotland where I started to sell to family, and friends.
I have been sourcing beautifully handmade crafts for 20 years now, including Baltic Amber Jewellery in different forms and designs, such as Amber on Linen threads, Leather thongs, and of course Silver which is more affordable both for the Artists and Our Customers.
I have sold our Crafts in many Locations and Venues and in 2004 I opened my first Shop in the Crown District of Inverness. Although small, it combined Handmade Crafts along with a small Polish Restaurant which won fame across Scotland as it was the first of many Polish Restaurants to open in Scotland after Poland joined the EU. My daughter Laura began working in the Shop which was called “Ziozel”, and my Son Daniel, who was very accomplished on the Computer, designed brochures and leaflets for our Business.
During the time of “Ziozel”, we accomplished a lot, growing our business, and helping the first 1,000 or so Poles who had come to the Highlands to start a new life. We found them jobs and accommodation and I set up a Polish Association with the help of the Highland Council, so that we could set up a Saturday School for Polish children or children of Polish decent, to enable them to keep up and learn about their Culture. The people we helped told their friends back in Poland and word quickly spread and within 12 months we had about 10,000 Polish people residing in Inverness. It was an amazing experience and one I am proud I had a hand in.
Nine years ago I went to work full-time for NHS Highland and I am still employed there on a part-time basis, work which I find satisfying and very worthwhile, and it's great to feel that I can help as part of a Team, to make a small difference to people's lives and give something back.
We have based our Business around the naturally beautiful Baltic Amber, often classed as a Gem stone but more commonly described as Fossilised Resin from Pre-historic Pine Trees which eventually formed what is now the base of the Baltic Sea. Most of the World’s Amber is 30-90 Million Years Old and is renowned for it’s Deep Healing Qualities, Striking Colours and Beautiful Effects.
Being so, we decided to Name our Shop “Aeternum” with the idea that this Ancient Gem is as relevant as ever...
About Baltic Amber...
Baltic Amber is thought to be the Purest, it’s Healing Properties come from it’s high Succinite Oil content which is about 9% being the highest in any Gem stone. When you feel Baltic Amber you don’t directly feel the oil but it’s when it touches your skin it has an anaesthetic effect which is when the magic happens. Babies love it as it helps calm them down and gives pain relief when worn in bracelet form or necklace form. This works for Adults who also suffer from Pain.
Baltic Amber is also worn for Protection, is known to give the wearer a Feeling of Wellbeing. It is also thought to help with Thyroid problems, and Epilepsy but does not take place of necessary medication.
Baltic Amber is renowned for helping with the Throat and Chest areas and in Eastern Europe it is common to place raw Batlic Amber chips into a screw top jar with water and left for 3 weeks, after which time a teaspoon of liquid taken in a cup of tea will help with chest infections, which I myself can vouch for, as it worked for me.
Each layer under the Baltic Sea is a Different Colour of Amber and each Colour is a Different Age.
I have learnt a lot from the Artists whom I meet twice a year on my visits to Poland, from knowing what Amber is real and what is plastic, and that the Oldest Amber under the Baltic Sea is the Yellow Creamy Butterscotch Colours. It is also often more expensive, as are the pieces with Insects which are normally bought and sold at Auction In Gdansk.
Gdansk in Poland which is the largest City situated in the Centre of what is known as the Golden Triangle which consist of Gdansk/Sopot/Gdynia where most of the Baltic Amber is bought and sold and turned into Jewellery which is then sold to Countries like Prague e.g.
We’d love to talk to you more about our Artists and the benefits of Baltic Amber, please get in touch for more info!
Our history with amber...
With great connections throughout Poland we are able to offer fantastic jewellery from many Artists from Eastern Europe and these include 3 of Poland’s Top Designers, and it's thanks to a combination of their innovative designs, my being always on the look out for different and Unique crafts to add to our Collections, along with Laura and Daniels design flare that have helped us achieve two brilliant awards with Scottish Business Awards for Inverness area. These were for Best Craft Shop and Most Unique Gift Shop, which we are very proud off.
The first of our Top Designers is Mariusz Gliwinski of Sopot, Poland, and his wife Danuta of MG Ambermoda with the help of their Team, they are continually creating innovative designs using mainly Silver along with Amber and other Gemstones which capture the light in the way they cut and polish the gems. Mariusz who used to be the Head of the Amber Council in Gdansk, Poland ensures that all their creations include Amber which is ethically sourced, cut and polished and of the highest quality. They became so popular with the Japanese and one of their main exporters, that they opened a Shop there. We have been co-operating for 17 years and we still have regular customers who have been with us from the beginning.
Next we have Tadeusz Dobkowski of Galery Bursztyn from Gdynia, Poland, who is a Brilliant Woodworker who specialises in combining 1400 year old Black Oak layered using specialised techniques along with Baltic Amber and Gold Leaf. His creations which range from tiny stud earrings to large pieces of Jewellery are of the highest quality and finish and again we have been working with him since 2011 with a big following of his pieces.
Then we have our most Unique Handmade Craft which is our Baltic Amber Tree Collection made by a Wood Craftsman Tomasz Skubaszewski based in Lodz, Poland, who has been creating beautiful pieces of Art for more than 40 years. Tomasz is Unique in that he is the only Artist who creates these beautiful "HappyTrees" combining Wood and Amber or other Gem stones brighten everyones day lifting low moods and the energy from the Amber seems to repel dust when kept in a well lit place. We have been working closely with Tomasz for 10 years now and we are privileged to be his main Stockist in the UK.
Although we specialise in Baltic Amber, we do love to stock work created by local Artists and have beautiful Harris Tweed Collection created by our very own local lass Irene Macleod of Castle Hill Crafts.
Also we have 3 Collections created by Two Skies who are based in Fife in Scotland, these comprise of “Forever Leaves” “Green Marble” and “Lewisian Marble”. Please look at our website for more information.
Along with a fabulous Collection created by Dawn Macciocia Also based in Fife, who we met whilst selling our wares at The Ideal Home Show several years ago, but we had to patiently wait a while to Stock her goods so we are delighted to now sell her Unique Collection.
Dawn has created a range including Cards, Pictures, Mugs, Lampshades, Cushions and lots more......using her creative flair, she has taken pieces of Torn Paper to form the Animals in her pieces and hand paints the background to form her beautiful works of Art which you can see in our Store at Aeternum, in Queensgate Arcade, Inverness.
We are always adding to our Collections by local Artists so please contact us if you would like to sell in our Store, by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
My daughter Laura works in the Shop, and as well as being an experienced Sales person she also has an Artistic flair for displays and Photography and has even modelled for our Website on occasion.
Her Son and my Grandson Krystian may only be 15 years of age, but he seems to be following in his mum and Uncle's footsteps helping with Photographs and assisting Daniel put Display Units together etc.,
My son Daniel is also Artistic with a flair for displays and photography as well as being an IT expert, and he maintains our online presence. But has also been known to help out behind the Counter when needed and shows great flair for selling also.
The latest member of our Team at Aeternum is Irene Macleod, who is a dear friend of many years as well as being the Creator of our Harris Tweed Collection of Castle Hill Crafts. Her Artistic flair and attention to detail as well as good Sales technique means that she has fitted right in perfectly. Irene has also accompanied me on my visits to Poland and has met all the Artists which is also helpful to building her knowledge of Amber and our products.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about our journey and about our Business. We truly are a Family run Business.
We love to meet new people and source beautiful handmade Crafts with a Unique twist for our Customers so pop in and see us at Queensgate Arcade, Inverness if you are visiting the Highlands and you will receive a warm welcome!