International Jewellery London’s annual KickStart initiative is aimed at emerging UK designers looking to take their business to the next level.
10 up-and-coming design talents have been selected by the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and IJL to have the unique opportunity to showcase their jewellery at IJL 2016 on a group stand in the prestigious Design Gallery.
Here, we meet 2016 KickStarter Emma Calvert, whose brand is aimed at intelligent and confident women who love bright, bold and vibrant jewellery.
Q: If you had to describe your brand in three words what words would you choose?
EC: Bold, vibrant, modern.
Q: How did you get started in the jewellery industry?
EC: I set up Emma Calvert in 2012 having worked within jewellery production, sales and design for brands such as Vivienne Westwood and most recently Rachel Jackson London. Through studying BA textile design at Central St. Martins I explored the concept of three-dimensional woven jewellery, which developed into my signature braid collection.
Q: Can you explain a little bit more about your design style, your key collection(s) and the type of customer you are designing for?
EC: By incorporating precious metals alongside modern materials, my design style combines bright, bold shapes with an attention to detail. My new collection ‘Memento’ encapsulates the essence of the urban city with its architectural style and graffiti inspired colours.
The Emma Calvert customer is intelligent and confident with her own innate style. She loves to tell the stories behind the things she owns.
Q: What are the most challenging aspects of launching and growing a new brand in 2016?
EC: Social media is great as it allows me to get my work out into a wider audience and keep in touch with my current customers but in turn it is challenging to stand out amongst so many talented designers. Consumers have so much choice available to them you need to be innovative in order to get noticed.
Q: If you had a mentor in the jewellery industry what would you ask them?
EC: I would ask “What is the most important aspect when launching a new collection?”
In the short term any advice or tips on how best to prepare for a trade show would be really helpful.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about exhibiting at IJL 2016 and what do you hope to achieve?
EC: I’m really looking forward to presenting my new collection at IJL to a range of retailers and press. I hope to make new connections and contacts with buyers in both UK and Europe in order to continue growing my business.
Q: Are there any types of retailers or stockists in particular that you are trying to attract?
EC: I’m trying to attract retailers such as concept stores, galleries, department stores and independent boutiques.