I have been working with fair trade jewellery since the trend first started, because I have always worked with friends and family abroad. Ensuring a piece is fair trade is very important to me, as it means that everyone involved in the design and manufacturing of the piece is rewarded. It also makes the pieces that much more special, knowing that each individual piece is a collaboration between creative people from across the world, coming together to make something beautiful.
I work best when I can collaborate with artists and smaller groups of people as my mentality is far more family-orientated than corporate. Working with friends and people that I know and love is really rewarding. Having that familiarity is really important because it brings the whole brand together. The brands ethos is about beautiful jewellery made with soul and love, and that's what inspires the designs. Working in this way makes the design process so much more fun and engaging for everyone involved.
I always choose the stones myself. The designs are a reflection of my own intuition. Going with a gut feeling ensures the design process is always exciting and energetic. If something doesn't feel right in a design, I'll rework it until I feel confident about it. The same goes for sourcing the stones; if it doesn't feel right, I will wait to find exactly what it is that I am after. The whole process is very organic. My own personal intuition is what drives the whole thing, so when a collection is finished, I know it is a true reflection of Mirabelle as a brand and of me, and my collaborators.
I believe that following my own intuition has helped me immensely so far, it's what spurs me on to continue designing season after season. I love what I do and I believe having that self-belief is very important, especially when you consider how many designers there are. Self-belief helps you to stand out from the crowd, so having confidence in my designs is paramount. My designs are always a reflection of myself, but I always consider the current trends. It's not the main inspiration for a collection, but keeping in touch with the trends is important for the success of the brand.
I am usually attracted to the meaning, quality and beauty of a piece rather than the cost, even if it is an important factor to consider. My priority is always the look and feel of a stone or piece above anything else. I think it is important that it is that way round. If it were primarily about money, the pieces wouldn't feel right. The integrity of a piece comes through the creativity, not the cost. 2016 is going to be a very exciting year for Mirabelle with some very exciting new stockists to announce. We will be showcasing our AW16 Collection at SCOOP later this month.