I’m not really on board with Valentine’s Day or god forbid, Galentines Day or even worse, Palentines Day. That’s definitely an American thing, right? But I do love any excuse for a bit of self gifting and whether you are alone or together, this ‘love’ season is a perfect excuse to get yourself a bit of jewellery.
I thought I’d do just a quick rundown of 7 of my favourite small, independent jewellery businesses. All owned and run by women, so you know that the money you are spending is going to a real person, not just into the pocket of a faceless conglomerate…
Before starting her own company, Louise Wade spent many happy years designing jewellery at Vivienne Westwood. Every one of her pieces is made by hand, never mass produced, Louise Wade’s collections are made with sterling silver and solid gold. I have 2 pieces by Louise, Her signature gold Bowie Flash Ring and the Crescent Moon Signet Ring. I fully intend in the future to save up and have one of her rings on each of my fingers. that’s how much I love them.
KIRSTIE LE MARQUE
Founded in London in 2017 by friends Kirstie & Claire, KLM jewellery is a treasure trove of modern-day heirloom pieces, all with a cool mixed-metal edge and pavé diamond sparkles. I know Claire from old as she worked at Warner just before I did (doing the exact same job no less), I always love it when ladies break free from the Major Label mould and start up on their own. My favourite pieces from the KLM collections are the necklaces, they are great worn alone but even better when layered up.
FRENZY BY ZARA
Zara used to live down the road from me and our children were in the same class at nursery school. She relocated to Cornwall with her family a while ago and started making jewellery in her garage in the garden. Each piece is handcrafted using traditional silversmithing techniques, hand tools and wherever possible recycled or eco silver or gold. My most treasured piece from Frenzy by Zara is a gold plated Hare coin pendant. Just like this one above.
Verno Jewellery is my latest find. Thanks to Instagram. Say what you like about social media, but it’s become the place I discover most small independent brands. Claire started her jewellery making business while on maternity leave and decided not to go back to work. I’m glad she made that decision as the pieces are so lovely. All made from Vintage Victorian and Art Deco objects, Claire will rework these little pieces of history into beautiful wearable necklaces, bracelets and earrings for modern lifestyles. Watch out though, items sell out quick as they are all one of kind.
Loel is an independent jewellery brand that was initially set up by Andrea’s mother, who has always had a discerning eye for great design and a passion for beautiful jewellery.`5 years ago Andrea decided to quit her job in marketing to follow her heart and join the family business. They seek out designers in Italy that fit with their brand and their ethos is simple…’to choose jewellery we ourselves would love to wear.’ My favourite items from Loel are the excellent chunky gold and silver bracelets.
Another new one for me. A great story behind this brand too. Founder Sarah bought a beautiful ring while on holiday in Jaipur, India. When she returned to the UK all her friends wanted to get their hands on one too. But as much as everyone loved it, no one knew their ring size. And right there, SVP was born. Designed in the UK and handcrafted by her craftspeople in Jaipur, Sarah’s adjustable rings are all designed in 18-carat gold vermeil and sterling silver, with gemstones that you can shop by colour or meaning.
HOOPS AND CHAINS
Launched by Katie in October 2019, Hoops and Chains has gone from strength to strength. They are now stocked at ASOS and Urban Outfitters. The story on their site just reads
Started this to impress a boy who didn’t deserve me.
Now I sip champagne when I’m thirsty.
Now, THAT’S good business! My favourite piece from Hoops and Chains is still the original ‘Fuckit’ necklace that I love wearing.
Hope you find something you like. Or, alternatively, just send this page to someone you think should be treating you.
P.S. if you’re looking for more small business recommendations, I did a couple of posts in the first lockdown. Here and Here. I will update this in the coming weeks as I’ve found more since then!