Two’s company

The TN card is the Tunbridge Wells loyalty scheme that rewards our community for supporting local. This month Jess Gibson chats to TN partners Sylvia Kus and Caroline Smith at independent boutique The Silver Sheep in Chapel Place


You are both incredible talents – Sylvia is a Knitwear Designer and Caroline a Silversmith.  How did you come to own a shop together?

We met on The Pantiles craft market some years ago. We loved each other’s work and took a pop-up shop in Ely Court for about a year.  We then moved to Monson Road and five years ago we opened in Chapel Place.


Caroline, your jewellery is beautiful, fun and unique. Have you always worked in silver and what are your influences?

I started working in silver over ten years ago. I get my inspiration from lots of things. I especially love big statement earrings, so sometimes I need to remember to make things that are a little less ‘out there’!


Sylvia, you design and make gorgeous knitwear, what are your favourite pieces to make and do you take commissions?

I have a few favourite garments that I knit. One is the simple ‘Sloppy Jo’ which has a distinctive cuff in a contrasting colour. The other is my Alpaca multi-patterned cardigans.  I do a lot of commissions, with customers able to choose the colours of their knit and they are always delighted with the result!


You not only sell your own brands but champion other local artisans. Was this always the plan or has this developed over the years?

We have showcased other artisans since the very beginning, but of course over time it has naturally grown and we are constantly renewing our range.


Which artisans are you currently showcasing?

We have about twenty artists showing at any one time. Prominent in the shop this December are Alison Alldis and Jane Tyler with their wonderful quirky ceramics, Fran McCaskill with her recycled glass decorations and the hugely talented Jeni Cairns who does amazing metalwork.


“We have showcased other artisans since the very beginning, but of course over time it has naturally grown and we are constantly renewing our range”


You’re based in the shop so customers can watch you both at work. What are you creating at the moment?

Sylvia has been making a commission using mohair kid silk with an embellishment design on the sleeve and shoulder. Caroline has been making some star earrings in lots of sizes as well as jewellery featuring silver acorns.


Your shop is a celebration of local talent. Are the workshops you run a natural extension of this?

Yes, workshops have been a part of our shop concept for a long time, and we have a regular hand knitting group on Tuesday mornings.   We are currently putting together our workshop timetable for next year which will include felting, Lino cutting and making a terrarium with another TN partner, Terrapy.


Which unusual gifts can we find at the shop as we head towards Christmas?

Decorations which are locally handmade are really special this year. We have an amazing selection of ceramics and gorgeous new knitwear for men from Eribe.


Thank you for being part of our TN community. How do you reward members for supporting local?

We offer our TN customers a handmade soap by Susan Quekett with her beautifully designed wrapper, when they spend over £30 in store.


What can we look forward to from The Silver Sheep in 2023?

In 2023 we have wonderful bright coloured summer linen arriving in our clothing section as well the new range of Eribe Alpine knitwear. We will be featuring Annie Graham and Anna Wilson among other artists during the year too. Lots to look forward to!


Where: 10-12 Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1YQ

Visit for: One of a kind silver jewellery and beautiful knitwear created on site, plus unique hand-crafted products with distinctive style

Member reward:  A complimentary artisan soap

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter