JEWELLERY SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS: AN INTERVIEW WITH VOGUE COVETED JEWELLERY DESIGNER LUCY BRADSHAW
Lucy Bradshaw is the owner and designer of the namesake brand that provides jewellery for everyday luxury with high-end appeal. She began the experimenting with jewellery design way back in 2002 and now showcases her jewellery through boutique stores, trade shows, fashion retailers and her own studio in Arundel.
Lucy’s jewellery has begun to gather a cult following, with many UK celebrities owning some of the items, and with the brand featuring regularly in the fashion bible – Vogue Magazine, it is not hard to see why it has been catapulted into the limelight.
I met with Jewellery designer Lucy Bradshaw, who is as stylish as her jewellery, to find out more about the Vogue coveted brand.
Tell me a bit about your background
For many years, I worked in fashion retail as a regional/area manager. I absolutely loved my job, but it involved a lot travelling which became challenging after I had my son. It was hard to leave the country when you have something so wonderful at home. In the back ground I had been working on my business for years, as I always knew I wanted to be my own boss.
After my maternity leave, I went back to work but it didn’t offer me the flexibility to spend quality time with my son. At the time I didn’t have the courage to take my business to the next level. After becoming a single parent, the change from being part of a family unit to a single mum was so hard and I struggled with a work life balance. It was at that moment I re-evaluated my work life. So, I threw caution to the wind and took a leap of faith. I have never looked back.
What inspired you to make jewellery?
In 2002 I had the opportunity to go travelling around the world. I have had a passion for bracelets from an early age and I brought a bracelet back from every country that I visited, as a memory. During this time, I started designing and making my own bracelets. I knew that they would be popular as I had so many compliments from friends asking if I would make them some to wear. I came up with the idea of having my own jewellery business and that’s when the journey of Lucy Bradshaw Jewellery really began.
Who is your target audience?
I wouldn’t want to exclude anyone from enjoying my range, it is perfect for everyone. We have a whole spectrum of jewellery for all ages, sizes, including children.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Personally, it would be my son, everything that I do is for him. Professionally, there have been many. I would have to say opening my HQ in Arundel was a highlight, as it holds very special memories for me. After all, it is where the business originated. It wasn’t easy, by any stretch but I have an amazing team that helped me achieve one of my many goals. Also being featured in Vogue Magazine, I won the Small Business Sunday Award with is endorsed by non-other than Theo Paphitis. That was another pinch yourself moment which lead on to being featured in Vogue, many other editorials and magazine features.
Do you have any exciting plans for 2019?
This year it is all about expansion with my brand and my team. I can’t say too much at this point, but I currently have some collaborations happening as we speak, which is exciting.
What inspires your jewellery designs?
Travel, I love to travel. That is where I found my passion for jewellery and my inspiration. We had a beautiful family holiday to Cyprus and my son kept some pine cones that we found. Consequently, I designed some pieces with little pine cones in my ‘Enchanted’ collection. My ‘Beneath the Stars’ collection came from a trip to Iceland. We saw Aurora Borealis and it was magical, I wanted to create a piece of that for our customers. The list is endless, but I find inspiration everywhere I go.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Recently, I had a company copy my designs, to the point that they even used my photos on their website. I found out completely by accident when checking my SEO. It was so frustrating, everything that I had worked so hard for was being abused. It is being handled by our legal team and I now have copyrights to all my new charm designs which have the brand name on. That was a low point but mostly everything else has been amazing. It has been huge learning curve and I have enjoyed every minute.
Who do you really admire?
I admire strong women who despite many knockbacks, never give up on their dreams. I love Iris Apfel, her crazy style is liberating, she knows what she likes and won’t be swayed by the mainstream. I also think Olivia Palermo is a style icon, she always dresses impeccably as did Coco Chanel.
Describe your average day?
Busy and a lot of coffee! My day usually begins with checking emails, social media, catching up with my team. Quickly followed by online orders which need to be made and posted. The rest the day is usually filled with enquires, event planning, liaising with customers and stockists. There are lots of adhoc tasks that need to be completed as well as making the jewellery. I am fortunate to have a strong team around me, including my mum. She also is an integral part of my workforce and it is very much a family affair. Everyone knows what they are doing, which frees my time to concentrate on developing the business and designing my new jewellery collections.