KickStart Alumni; Interview with 2016 Winner, Cécile Gilbert

KickStart Alumni; Interview with 2016 Winner, Cécile Gilbert

Originally from France, Cécile Gilbert is a jeweller from Brighton, UK who launched Tiki in 2012.

With inspiration from 1930’s Bakelite jewellery, the Art Deco movement and Mid-century design, Cécile creates a range of contemporary jewellery that reflects those qualities, whilst adding a 21st century sophistication using polyester resin, combined with oxidised Sterling silver.

In honour of KickStart’s 10 year anniversary, we caught up with Cécile to find out about her experience of being a KickStarter and her journey after.

Q. What have the last 12 months been like for Tiki jewellery and what have been your most successful pieces/collections?

2018 was a very busy year! I travelled all around the uk to show at various contemporary festivals as well as taking part in exhibitions. My chunky bangles and slim bracelets are still my best sellers as I offer a wide range of designs and sizes. I also started to create statement rings entirely made from resin, which have been very popular.

Q. Where does your inspiration come from?

I am very influenced by the Art Deco movement of the 1930s as well as Mid Century design. I love plastic based materials and the modernist form which I think is reflected in my work.

Q. What was your overall impression of KickStart and how did it help your business in its early stages?

Firstly being selected for Kickstart was a real encouragement and recognition. It was an amazing opportunity to show my work to a wide spectrum of the retail world. Taking part taught me how to present my work in a very professional manner and deal with retailers. It also put me in touch with my first stockists.

Q. How can future KickStarters capitalise on their IJL Journey and the IJL experience? What would be your advice?

-Have a professional wholesale price list ready, ideally on a cd with clean professional images. It’s easier for the buyers to store and check on their computer. Marketing material such as a catalogue are a plus which might make the buyers remember your work.

-Supply some pieces for the IJL catwalk.

– Finally make the most of the exposure and enjoy the experience

Q. What was one of your biggest challenging in launching your jewellery brand and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was to create my logo, website and marketing material. I was lucky to have graphic designer friends who helped me to create a cohesive look which matches the style of my designs.

Q. Finally, what is the proudest moment in your jewellery career?

Recently I had one of the most touching custom made orders from a gentleman who wanted to surprise his wife for their 20th wedding anniversary. 

We spent 2 months creating 10 pieces especially for her. This lovely husband chose each design, hand picked each colour and made sure that all pieces were matching her outfits.

The end result was a full set including a long necklace, 4 pairs of earrings, 3 slim bracelets and 2 brooches, all cast in a beautiful palette of Coral, Lime, Teal and Ivory White.

Heading into it’s 10th Year, KickStart 2019 is now open for submissions. Enter here:

To read more terms and conditions about KickStart, please click here

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