Job: Jewellery designer
Welcome to DEER BRAINS, How are you today?
I'm very well, thank you. Thanks for having me!
You run a vintage jewelry business, Can you tell us how it all started out?
The business part started by mistake really! I'd been looking for a creative outlet for a while after feeling thorough drained by my office job, and decided to give making jewellery a go. I've always loved history, so working with vintage made sense to me - I've always liked the idea of taking something old and making it new again in totally different way. Whilst on holiday on Edinburgh, I decided to stock up on lots of vintage and antique parts to get me started. Have you ever been to Edinburgh? I love it there. It has so many incredible vintage and antique shops. When I got back home, I made my first few pieces and started my blog. My first post was about some of my favourite vintage shops in Edinburgh, so I emailed them to check that that was ok. Jan from Trinket, an adorable boutique in the West End, wrote back asking to see what I'd made so far, so I sent her some photos. Turns out she loved it! She was my first stockist, and I'd been making jewellery for less than a month. Since then, people have been so kind and supportive of my work - I've been very, very lucky.
Where do you find all your pieces?
It varies depending on the sort of thing I'm looking for. I've found some amazing stuff online on ebay and other places like that - the web is a great place to bag a vintage bargain. When I feel like getting my hands dirtier, I'll have a dig around some markets or antique shops. Charity shops and car boot sales are great too - one man's rubbish can definitely be another man's gold!
How long does it take to make your creations?
That varies too, depending on the design I'm imagining in my little head. A piece can take anything from an hour to several, especially if I'm individually linking freshwater pearls or hacking at sharp bits of hardware. It's always a labour of love though.
Does jewellery signify something in your life (special ring from a loved one) or is it just a fashion accessory to you?
I think jewellery can be something very powerful and significant, especially if it's a gift from a loved one or something truly unique. While costume jewellery can be a fun way to dress up an outfit, I find there's something off-putting about wearing something that lots of other people have too. For me personally, I like my jewellery to have a story. I think that's why vintage and handmade pieces appeal to me so much.
Whats your take on all the vintage inspired clothing being highly fashionable from the tea dresses down to the scarf head wear?
I think it's great that vintage style has become popular and fashionable, but I don't understand why people don't just buy vintage! That way you'll own something unique and special, and it'll probably be half the price of a high street copy too!
What's the biggest success you've had with your jewelry?
Swell Vintage is growing all the time - I've been so fortunate! Today I'm finishing my collection for my fourth stockist, a gorgeous boutique in Stockholm, Sweden. Soon I'll be adding a fifth to my list. I can't quite get over how lucky I've been, and I can only hope my luck continues!
What fashion statement do you love/hate?
I LOVE huge statement necklaces. They make you look instantly powerful and confident. The more chain the better!
I've never been a big fan of leggings. I'd rather just wear tights!
What is next for Swell Vintage?
That's a good question! I've got some interesting projects on the horizon, and hopefully a few tricks up my sleeve. Watch this space!
Who inspires you?
I'm always inspired by people who work for themselves and are living their dreams! My friends Josefine Wing of Mint Siren lingerie (http://www.mintsiren.com/), Natasha Bailie of natashabailie.com (www.natashabailie.com) and Lindsey Roberts of Be Gorgeous (http://www.begorgeous.me/) are doing just that. If I can be half as successful as them, I'll be a very happy bunny.
Which websites do you visit regularly?
Apart from DEERBRAINS, it has to be:
Etsy for beautiful and unique goodies
Flickr for photography inspiration
Formspring.me/swellvintage - you can ask me anything!
Where is your favourite place to be?
I love living in London, so probably right here. Especially on a beautiful day when the sun is out (but it's not too hot - I'm not a big fan of heat), and I'm with great people. Sounds good to me!
Any thing else to say?
Keep up the excellent work, my lovely DEERBRAIN friends! Thank you for supporting Swell Vintage - we love you!