WEDDINGS aren’t the only speciality for Barnsley’s Jessica Steele as she has earned herself a national award for her environmental work.

Owner of Jessica Steele Jewellery in Leeds, the Old Town resident has confessed to having a love of ‘shiny things’ for as long as she can remember.

She said: “When I was a kid I used to collect these mineral kits – you see them quite regularly in gift shops.

“Me and my brother would play with them, but while he kept them properly in the boxes I’d rip them out and use them to make things.

“I ended up studying at Barnsley College and did a mixed art and media course.

“I was welding this big sculpture when a jewellery tutor came up to me and said that this is just a bigger version of jewellery work and asked if I wanted to try.

“It all just came together – I’ve still got that first ring I made.”

This passion has proved successful, as only last week Jessica won the sustainability award at the first ever Quirky Wedding Awards.

It came as a great surprise to the jeweller, who has been working hard to fight the outdated methods of her industry.

“The jewellery industry is pretty archaic when it comes to sustainability and being eco-friendly,” Jessica added.

“I’m trying to encourage customers to use existing materials – they can bring in any jewellery that is sitting in drawers and we’ll turn that into new pieces rather than using new gold or silver.

“It’s also about transparency, I like to follow back sources and ensure sustainability.

“I’m very pleased to have won, I honestly didn’t expect it.”