Gemma, tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to become a jewellery designer?
I have always loved jewellery even from being small and coveting my grandmas necklace lockets. I used to be the girl with her nose pushed up against the glass of jewellery stores wishing one day I would have beautiful jewels like those one day. I was constantly making things growing up, taking a keen interest in fashion, photography and design. I studied Fashion at university but I started a small handmade antique inspired jewellery company with a group of friends. We had quite a bit of success but after uni we all went our separate ways. I started a career in photography post graduation but kept feeding my jewellery curiosity studying silversmithing, wax carving and jewellery design in my spare time. In the end I thought it was now or never and I took the plunge in starting my own jewellery business. I successfully applied for the Princes Trust Enterprise Program and have been supported by them since. Some days I have to remind myself this is what I do for a living as it still feels so surreal that Im finally doing what I hoped I could.
Where do you design your pieces?
I have new ideas all the time and tend to log them in my notebook as they come, but when creating a new collection or special commission I work from my studio in Shoreditch.
What is your favourite thing about being a designer?
The freedom to create pieces that people love and will cherish forever drives me to design. I love knowing that even after Im gone, my pieces will continue to be worn and loved. I impart a little of myself in every piece I create and I think its that passion which will live on and be handed down generations.
What would you say were your main influences for your collection?
I find inspiration from so many places. I love old fashioned botanist and zoology books with their beautiful hand drawn sketches. I like to visit exhibitions often to relight my focus. I hardly ever follow a trend. Trends are fast and fleeting. Longevity comes from creating something with passion and love. I also take much inspiration from 1920s-1950s antique rings as there are some exquisite designs that can be updated with a modern twist for the contemporary customer. When working on bespoke commissions its the client themselves who influence the design. Their vision is always the main focus.
What is your favourite piece in your current collection and why?
That's tricky. I have a love affair with every piece I produce, often finding it hard to part with them like children! My absolute favourite piece to date is a bespoke Chrysoprase cabouchon, pink amethyst and diamond illusion ring I made for myself. It was one of the very first pieces I ever created. One day I will pass it down to my daughter or niece and hopefully she will have as much pleasure wearing it as I do.
Welcome to Buckle Bow Pearl Gemma!!