We’ve been lucky enough to know Nikki for a little while now and it was great to finally meet her (you can read all about this in our last blog post), and we’re delighted that she agreed to be our first subject as we go “through the Loupe” to discover what goes on behind the scenes at Nude Jewellery, an exclusive yet friendly boutique in the heart of Mayfair:
Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Nude Jewellery?
I studied jewellery design at art school, once I graduated I began selling my jewellery through galleries whilst also working in night clubs, then, when I outgrew working in nightclubs, I started up a stall at a craft market selling my own jewellery and building up my gallery outlets. Four years later, and with a good following of customers I eventually took the major step and opened Nude Jewellery, that was almost 12 years ago now. (Where did all of the time go!?) [eek we know exactly what you mean!]
How would you describe the collections stocked at Nude Jewellery – we’ve noticed that there’s a real mix of both design, material and texture!
I love unusual jewellery, sometimes a customer calls in and asks if we make all of the jewellery, my reply is always the same “I wish I could take credit for all of the imagination used to create the jewellery we sell” I love innovative jewellery and find that the small independent jewellery designers tend to be the most creative [we completely agree and it explains why there are such a diverse range of collections].
The Glitter Ball collection is slightly inspired by Mary Quant and the sixties style which I love.
[We love this collection too – the cuff is my personal favourite, the texture really draws the eye]
Who inspires you?
I think that would have to be my mum she’s a very independent, hard working lady and a little eccentric!
What sort of jewellery do you like to wear?
I love bold jewellery, chunky rings and necklaces. Although as a complete contradiction I am coveting a pair of simple diamond stud earrings.
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery?
There are too many and my favourite changes all of the time. I love a lot of the jewellery we stock at the moment at the moment my favourites are:
[featuring Smokey Quartz – one of our current favourite gems]
[this absolutely defies belief, although I must confess that the Caterpillar Eternity ring is my favourite from the Radek Szwed collection]
[I couldn’t agree more, the weight and movement of this piece make it just stunning, absolutely love it]
What’s your favourite gemstone?
My favourite colours are green and purple, which is probably why I like green tourmaline and tanzanite, although green and blue diamonds are also gorgeous!
What are your aspirations for the future?
I would love a second shop, more holidays, more time to relax….
This year we want to launch two new collections at Nude Jewellery and are working on these designs now, at the moment they are at the beginning stage, I’ll probably be sketching and developing the ideas tonight, possibly with a glass of cava in hand!
[how exciting, but yes that must be a lot of work – although with cava who can complain!]
How difficult was it to set up your own business?
If you think about things too much then you will always talk yourself out of the things in life you want to do that scare you, I (nearly always) look on the positive. So just hold your nose and dive in, what’s the worst that can happen? Looking back it was hard work and still is, the way people shop has changed so much with the Internet in such a small space of time. But if it was easy then where would the challenge be?
[Great advice – I am going to use that phrase in the future!]
How do you maintain a work life balance when running such a successful business?
I am a bit of a workaholic, always have been, so I start work as soon as I get onto the train in the mornings, checking emails, website orders etc, then again on my journey home. I generally am only in the store 4 days a week so once the my children are in bed I can catch up with work, drawing sketches and designs which never really feels like work! At the weekends we have family days out but I’m never far from my phone to keep an eye on what’s going on, when it’s your own business it’s never just 9 – 5.
What did you do before Nude Jewellery?
I was at art school, Central St Martins whilst there I worked in a few nightclubs so once I graduated I continued to work in the clubs for a short while. I was young and it was fun. Then at around the same time I started selling my own jewellery collections, one is the gold ball which we still sell in-store now.
What’s your favourite jewellery material – white gold, yellow gold, or something else…?
I like working with yellow gold and the look of it, but I tend to wear silver as most of my jewellery is chunky.
Thank you so much to Nikki for giving us an insight into your work – if you’re inspired by this piece you can visit Nude Jewellery itself, view the tutorials on the website (such as the one below) and they even offer classes for budding jewellers. We really hope you’ve enjoyed this post, if you are a designer, jewellery or work in any aspect of the jewellery or gemstone industry and fancy coming Through the Loupe with us please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.