• An Interview with Alex Monroe

    Alex Monroe

    We tracked down the lovely Alex Monroe for a quick chat...

    Tell us about how you became a jewellery designer. By mistake! I was working as a groundsman in Suffolk and dreamt of becoming a fashion designer (I had to keep that secret from my work-mates!). So I tried to get in to a fashion course but failed miserably. The nearest thing (and a way to escape from Suffolk) was a jewellery course, which I immediately loved and I haven't stopped since!

    What’s your favourite jewellery piece that you’ve designed so far? Always the next one. I'm working on new collections right now so I'm only thinking about the new pieces. They get all my attention. But we just made a twiggy ring peppered with diamonds which I love. I love it all really, but if pressed I'd say the Vintage Bike, or the pear, I really like the pear, and the Bee of course. And those Peacock feathers... oh and what about the Watering can and the key and.... I'd better stop now.

    How long does it take to design a collection? What’s the process? Argh! It takes forever and it's really hard! I say that because I'm in the middle of doing it right now and I'm at a stage where everything is hard and I'm panicking. Ask me again in September at London Fashion Week and I'll say 'Oh it was sooo easy dwarling'. But that would be lying. I start with a concept, go out on research (usually at Chelsea Physic Garden or Kew or into the countryside), then I develop my sketches, do some finished drawings, make mock-ups, work these in to finished pieces, then cross my fingers that someone else likes it too!

    Who is a typical Alex Monroe customer? There's no such thing, except they're usually nice. More Marie-Claire than Dazed and Confused. But we sell to women from 16 to 90, and lots of nice blokes buying pressies too!

    What do you enjoy best about what you do? Interviews. Only joking! Making jewellery at the bench no doubt. I'm a maker. That's what I do best.

    The ever popular Bee necklace!


    And a few questions about you:

    What’s your favourite...

    Food? Japanese. And proper British. Plum Jam on crusty white. Or a big bowl of shrimps, bread and butter, and a pot of tea sitting outside.

    Place in the world? A secret place on the river in Suffolk.

    What’s growing on the allotment this year? You name it.... Loads of soft fruit. Just had the last broad bean. Salad, Cucumbers, Toms. Lots and lots.

    What’s on the iPod? At the moment a big pile of drawings and a sketch book. And some biscuits. Musically it's probably a bit embarrassing, I'll have a look.... Podcasts; the Archers, Desert Island Discs and the The Bike Show. Songs; A, Abdul Abulbul Amir. Z, Nothing so I'll skip to Y. Y, You ain't going nowhere from Sweetheart of the Rodeo (love it). In between; Eric Clapton, Messiaen, Don Ellis, Bowie and Belle and Sebastian. A real mix. You wouldn't want to put it on 'shuffle' in public! It's a proper Dad's ipod.

    Thanks Alex! AO x

  • Les N?r?ides - A Behind the Scenes Video Interview

    Fans of Les N?r?ides jewellery might enjoy watching this behind the scenes interview with Sophie Couret-Delegue Sales Manager, and Pier-Paolo Amaddeo Art Director. You'll find out what the name 'Les Nereides' means, where the creators get their inspiration for the amazing jewellery they create and interestingly why the family behind the brand all have a tattoo of the number 18...

    The video's in French with English subtitles.

  • An Interview with Marcia Maizel-Clarke, Founder of Dogeared

    Dogeared is one of our favourite brands! We've been selling Dogeared jewellery for over 5 years and it's become a firm favourite with our customers too. The company was founded back in 1991 out of Marcia Maizel-Clarke's wish to create jewellery that makes a happy and positive statement. We caught up with Marcia, owner and founder of Dogeared, to ask her a few questions....

    What’s the story of Dogeared ? how did you come up with the name and how did it all start? What was it that inspired you to become a jewellery designer?

    marcia_dogearedI picked the name Dogeared out of the thesaurus. I’m serious! It was 1991, and I had started selling my jewellery at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena- and eventually a big department store wanted to start carrying it. So I realized? we needed a name! My best friend and I got out the thesaurus- opening random pages and saying words out loud to see how they sounded. Dogeared sounded different, and I liked it. Over the years the name has begun to fit more and more? When you dogear a page, it’s because you want to remember. Dogeared jewellery is the same way. It’s something that speaks to you, that you choose, and everyone chooses for different reasons.

    Designing jewellery evolved for me out of a desire to create something meaningful and share it. I like to make things with my hands- I believe the thought and intention I put into something stays within it. That’s why everything is handmade in our California studio. I love the process- designing the castings that become our charms, watching jewels come together with words and turn into a Dogeared piece. It means a lot to me that so many people appreciate that and want to be a part of it.

    What’s your all-time favourite piece of Dogeared jewellery and why?

    not_to_worry_beadsThat’s so hard! I’ve had so many favourites? Some of our limited editions styles have been my favourites, like the collectors hearts we design for One Voice. I think those are really special. I don’t just design for myself, there are a lot of creative points of view that go into Dogeared jewellery. Right now I’m really happy with our 100 Good Wishes line of necklaces, cuffs, and bracelets. And I wear my Not to Worry Beads stretchy bracelets practically every day!

    But if I had to choose one thing, it would be our original Karma necklace. It’s so simple in aesthetic and meaning? Anyone can connect with it. It’s a great daily reminder to be mindful of our actions and the energy we put out into the world.

    Who is a typical Dogeared customer?

    She’s a lot of things? She is young, or young at heart. She’s a daughter, a sister and a friend- she might be a Mom. She is happy, vibrant, and conscious. She cares deeply about the planet and the people in it? Her insight and awareness inform her jewellery choices. She experiments with different looks and has her own unique style. She is creative, she finds beauty in everything, and she is a free spirit. She lives by the motto, ?live, love, laugh.?

    Are there any exciting developments for Dogeared that you can tell us about?

    sex_and_the_city_jewelleryHow much time do you have? We have so much going on at Dogeared right now... We recently dove into the world of licensing- creating a line for Sex and the City. That’s something new for us? And it’s an authentic alignment with who Dogeared is, which is so important. That was a lot of fun to design.

    We also just launched Dogeared Bridal, a whole line of wedding jewels and gifts. The collection is really beautiful, with pearls, diamonds, new designs, and words that celebrate friends, family, and love? Dogeared has already been a part of so many weddings, it seemed natural to develop a line focused on brides, bridesmaids, flower girls? And capture the experience of being a bride or being part of a wedding. I’m so happy with the results? We created something beautiful for every member of the wedding party.

    And now that we’re done with those, we’re designing our August 2010 Dogeared collection!

    What’s been your proudest moment?

    I’ve had so many? My proudest personal moment was becoming a mother. But I’m proud everyday for a lot of reasons! I see my kids growing up and becoming amazing people. I see my team at Dogeared working together, creating, producing, promoting, selling; and giving life to Dogeared.

    I’m proud when I see Dogeared making a positive impact on individuals. That’s what I feel our purpose is. People write me letters about wishes coming true, or important moments and milestones in their lives being connected to their Dogeared jewellery. Sharing our good fortune with the community makes me very proud. One Voice is a non-profit group I’ve been working with since before Dogeared was born, and we donate a lot of time and money to them. They help local families living in poverty, and seeing the difference they make in people’s lives is truly inspiring. It makes me incredibly proud to know that Dogeared is part of that. I am more grateful and proud of who Dogeared is every day?

    What’s your favourite film?

    Breakfast at Tiffany'sIt’s impossible to pick a favourite film! I love, love, love the movies? And the popcorn! I like different films for different reasons. But one of my top ten is definitely Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It doesn’t really get any more iconic than that. It’s a classic that so many women love? A simple love story with intriguing characters, great style, and fabulous jewellery!

    What's your favourite food?

    Arugula! You call it rocket in the UK. I put in on everything. It’s so peppery and vibrant? I think everything tastes better with a giant pile of arugula on top of it. And if I’m feeling particularly inspired, I’ll get a huge bag of it at the farmer’s market and make arugula and walnut pesto. Then I’ll put that on everything I eat for a few days!

    Where’s your favourite place in the world?

    That’s easy. California! I’ve lived here most of my life? And I would never want to live anywhere else. I’ve travelled quite a bit and I love other places, too; but I’ve never felt as connected as I do here. There’s so much to experience and so much natural beauty? Seeing the ocean every day is a reason to smile and a reminder to be grateful. And the history and diversity of the people living here makes California life truly unique. There’s an air of acceptance and freedom that I don’t think everyone gets to experience. We can be who we are in California? I love that!

    If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?

    If I could choose any three things in the world, of course I would bring my husband, my son, and my daughter. But if it could only be objects, I would choose lavender essential oil (it heals everything!), a really good book, and something to send a distress signal so I could be rescued and go home! Maybe a small satellite?

3 Item(s)