KickStart Alumni: Interview with 2016 Winner, De Anna Kiernan

KickStart Alumni: Interview with 2016 Winner, De Anna Kiernan

Bermuda born Jeweller, De Anna trained as a Goldsmith from the age of seventeen prior to studying Architecture at Central Saint Martins. Her training in architecture further inspired her passion for creating in three-dimensional form, experimenting with scale from a micro level in jewellery to the macro in architecture. Exploring this overlap between the two disciplines led to her completing the MA Jewellery at The Cass where she was able to draw on her multidisciplinary background and skill set in creating her exquisite jewellery. This broad range of experience and training has benefited her with a breadth of design and craft knowledge significantly influencing her approach to design and use of materials, ranging from industrial finishing processes to working in traditional precious metals and gemstones.

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

Q. What have the last 12 months been like for De Anna Kiernan Jewellery and what have been your most successful pieces/collections?

The past 12 months have brought a lot of change. We have moved our studio from London to the lovely Cotswolds. It’s been a busy time getting a new workshop up and running and finding new local stockists. The SHARD collection continues to be the most popular, particularly the cocktail rings.

Q. Where does your inspiration come from?

Architecture is probably my biggest influence. I have a background in both jewellery and architect, so for me translating the macro design features of a building to a wearable piece of jewellery is what I find most exciting as a designer.

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

The KickStart program really helped with practical business skills, from accounts to branding & marketing. With this was the constant support and mentoring from leaders in the industry.The guidance and support from the Kickstart program really gave me the confidence to push my business forward.

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

IJL is a brilliant opportunity for new brands to meet international buyers, galleries and fellow designers. I think being prepared for these meetings is key. Be ready to take orders!

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

Balancing running a business with family life is a constant challenge. The biggest challenge in launching my brand was balancing this with becoming a new mum. This has shaped how my business has adapted over the past few years. I have scaled down the fashion jewellery ranges and have focused more on bespoke commissions which allows a good work life balance while running my business.

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

Starting my own business has come with many challenges and a lot of hard work. With this are some pretty amazing highs. I’d say one of the proudest moments was being awarded the Goldsmiths’ Bursary in 2013, where I exhibited my jewellery alongside so many talented jewellers, in the gorgeous Goldsmiths Hall.

Heading into it’s 10th Year, KickStart 2019 is now open for submissions. Enter here: https://www.jewellerylondon.com/kickstart/

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

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