Colour, pattern and 60’s kitsch; a groovy new jewellery brand inspired by all things retro – we’re sold! Lorelai shares her future ambitions, guilty pleasures, and what she’s learned about running a creative business, with Bibelot.
1. What was the first piece of jewellery you ever made?
In primary school, I used to make earrings and necklaces from small toys and other bits and bobs. Once I dismantled a necklace full of fruit charms to make in to earrings, which I then sold to my friends for £1 a pair. So I guess it’s only natural that I gravitated back towards jewellery making as an adult.
2. The 60s and 70s clearly influence your work. What is it about the past that captures your imagination?
I have always loved vintage styles in clothing and homewares and I particularly love the Sixties and Seventies because of all the bright colours and psychedelic patterns. I shop in vintage and charity shops for all of my clothes and home decor, and I take a lot of my design inspiration from my own collection as well as from museums and other vintage collectors’ Instagram accounts!
3. What is your creative space like?
I currently work from my bedroom, although one day I would love a studio! My desk is filled with an entire rainbow of pens and pencils, stored in vintage glasses and cups. I keep all of my jewellery making equipment and stationary in my mini collection of jelly bags, they’re so versatile! Although I do love my desk, I’ll often design on my bed or my floor because I work on loads of sheets of paper rather than a sketchbook and I like to lay them all out.
4. Tell us about your typical working day.
I start the day with a good breakfast and a strong black coffee and take some time to catch up on emails, social media and check on my Etsy shop statistics. I’ll also run through my to do list and prioritise my tasks. I’ll pack any orders and run them over to the post office.
Then I’ll usually put together an image or two for Instagram to keep my fans and customers in the loop with what I’m up to. I like to post outfit pictures every now and then to show off the latest pieces of my vintage/charity shop finds and give my customers styling ideas.
As my brand is still relatively young (I’ve just celebrated one year!) I have an online job, and tasks generally pop up through the day, I am at my most productive when I can flit between several tasks so this is perfect. I have just finished assembling my tropical SS16 collection and once that is all photographed I will start designing AW16, my head is buzzing with ideas at the moment and I need to get them all down on paper!
5. When are you happiest?
I am at my happiest when I’m by the seaside, the sound of the waves and the sea stretching out in front of me give me a deep sense of calm. I would love to live somewhere like Brighton in the future.
6. What items of jewellery are you wearing right now?
This evening I am going to the Look Lane launch party, I am wearing one of my favourite designs, Bella the cat who was inspired by a vintage ornament. I have paired this with a heart pin from CouCou Suzette and the Girl Gang pin from January’s Lucky Dip Club box, topped off with some of my glitter daisy earrings.
7. You’ve just started designing patterns for Print All Over Me. Tell us more about how that came about and the processes you used to create them.
I have always had a love for printed textiles, textile design was my favourite part of my fashion degree at university. I stumbled across Print All Over Me on social media and loved the idea that I could put my own designs on to clothing with no risk. I already had my jewellery designs saved as vector files in Illustrator, so I transferred them over to Photoshop to turn them in to brightly coloured repeat patterns. The process of adding them to clothing on the site is super easy, I have also got a Society6 account with my prints on a variety of clothes, accessories and homewares.
8. What’s your guilty pleasure?
In my down time I like to watch a good old trashy teen movie like Jawbreaker or Mean Girls, or have a solo dance party to Britney and the Spice Girls!
9. What’s your ultimate ambition as an artist/designer?
I’d love to set up some sort of collaborative, bricks and mortar shop with other designers and artists which would include workshop and gallery space which could be hired out and used by everyone. Then people could try out new things without having to buy all the equipment first and then put the results in to the gallery and/or shop.
10. What advice would you give to aspiring crafters wanting to start their own businesses?
- Make sure you have savings or part time job as you’ll need those extra pennies to begin with.
- Test the water first by producing small runs of your designs; when I designed my first collection, I got really carried away and wanted to make every design in every colour and style. That can get expensive.
- Social media is your best friend, platforms like Instagram are invaluable for their free advertising potential and the ease in which you can communicate with your fans and customers in a more informal setting.
- Try and get to a few markets, they are a great way for your customers to see your designs in person and you can get feedback on new stuff.
- Collaborate! If you work with other designers and creatives on projects, you can help each other build up your brand exposure and customer base.