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, emerging designer and 2016 KickStarter, Emily Richardson, explains how she got started in the jewellery industry and what makes her collections stand out from the crowd.
Q: If you had to describe your brand in three words what words would you choose?
ER: Versatile, effortless & playful.
Q: How did you get started in the jewellery industry?
ER: Drawn to the arts and in particular jewellery, I chose to study a BA honours degree at central St Martins in jewellery design. St Martins provided us with the opportunity to work with brands such as; Cartier, Swarovski, Links of London and delivered us with a great platform to get started in the industry.
My graduation collection ‘If only for an hour’ which was inspired by Busy Berkley grabbed attention and led me to be selected as an International Jewellery London Bright Young Gem in 2008. I chose to grow my experience and commercial understanding as a designer in the industry working for a variety of suppliers and established brand.
My intention had always been to start my own business, which I felt ready to do this year launching with my first collection Dali. As well as designing and managing Emily Richardson jewellery, I continue to freelance and find new exciting accounts to work with.
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?
ER: The brands distinctive voice is to create fresh, versatile and personal designs that can be worn every day and treasured for a lifetime. The catalysts for my designs derive from historical icons in film, theatre and the arts. These are then reflected in contemporary trends and film and become the nucleus of future collections and one off statement pieces. I have launched with the ‘The Dali Collection’ which places emphasis on dreams evoked by Salvador Dali’s’ surrealist paintings.
I design for a confident, modern woman with sophisticated style who appreciates high end quality and attention to detail. My customer wants something that’s unique, adaptable, sophisticated and fun!
Q: What are the most challenging aspects of launching and growing a new brand in 2016?
ER: Challenging aspects are financing the creation of the collection before it is ready to sell. Having to be designer, production manager, finance director, marketer and PR guru! As well as getting the brand seen and heard!
Q: If you had a mentor in the jewellery industry what would you ask them?
ER: Practical advice would be on marketing: How to get into the game, ahead of the game and stay ahead of the game! Asking their guidance would be: what mistakes did you make and what you would do differently.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about exhibiting at IJL 2016 and what do you hope to achieve?
ER: Having such a prestigious platform to showcase my work. I am looking forward to meeting buyers and presenting the collection in person. Building new relationships, exploring collaborations and creating as much exposure and brand awareness as possible.
Q: Are there any types of retailers or stockists in particular that you are trying to attract?
ER: My jewellery is targeted at high end retailers/stockists who are keen to promote emerging designers that can also share my passion and enthusiasm for the brand.