Francesca Kelly and Marianna Doyle of SORU
Soru; meaning sisters in Sicilian, was founded by sisters Francesca Kelly and Marianna Doyle in 2013, who had both left their careers to raise their children. They decided to set up a business that would work for their family life, fuelled by their love of jewellery and desire to create stand out pieces with high quality materials at attainable prices.
Each piece is ethically handmade in Italy or Turkey using gold plated sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones. The brand has a diverse celebrity following including the likes of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who really affected their business. The sisters say, ‘Our sales grew by 438% after the Duchess wore our earrings which is amazing. Visitors came to our site from all over the world and we gained a lot more subscribers and Instagram followers. A lot of the customers we gained from the Kate effect have gone on to buy from us again and again, and remain loyal customers to this day.’
Shop now: Sirena Earrings for £160 from SORU
Anissa Kermiche has made a name for herself by designing feminist jewellery that isn’t only beautiful but celebrates strong women and their bodies. Her last jewellery collection was inspired by the women who led the French Revolution, and she’s even made a foray into homeware, with vases shaped like boobs and butts, which are top of our wish list.
The designer graduated in engineering, but realised it wasn’t for her. She says, ‘I ended up working for a big consulting firm, which wasn’t exactly what I dreamt about when I was young. I caught up with my hobby in the evening after work, making simple pieces and wearing them at work. It caught the eye of the people around me straight away, which encouraged me to ditch my life in Paris, move across the Channel to study jewellery design.’
Précieux Pubis Ring for £280 from Anissa Kermiche
Anna de Lanoy and Nina Poot of ANNA+NINA
The brand was set up by creative duo Anna de Lanoy and Nina Poot in 2012 in Amsterdam, fully self-funded with a capital of 20,000 euros. With Nina studying at Amsterdam Fashion Institute and Anna within Pop Art, the pair both had fashion experience to create a unique brand.They mostly sell 14k gold jewellery and vintage finds, and are big on empowering women.
They say, ‘Each of our collections has its own special character, whether it’s based on a our fascination for cabinets of curiosities or the mysterious underwater world. We want everyone to feel inspired when the pay our brand a visit, whether this is online or in one of our Amsterdam based stores’.
Shop now: Meteorite Bracelet 14K for €179.95 from anna+nina
Designer Rosh admits that creating her brand Alighieri five years ago pulled her out of some dark times. She says, ‘I was struggling with depression and some days I just couldn’t get out of bed, this game a purpose. Creating something gave me a way of healing and I wanted to be honest about that. There is so much pressure to be perfect, and I wanted to create a brand based on those discarded, battered things, and celebrate that. We’re all trying to figure it out.’
Her designs are inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, with each piece corresponding to one of the poet’s 100 poems. The lion medallion is one of the most popular pieces, with customers regularly contacting Rosh to tell her it made them feel brave and confident during tough times (they’re aptly called ‘the lion club’).
Shop now: Il Leone Medallion for £210 from Alighieri
Silversmith and designer Kelly Seymour launched her gothic-inspired designs at London Fashion Week in 2011, and it all went uphill from there: a stall at London’s iconic Portobello Market, Cult of Youth was soon in Urban Outfitters stores from London to Berlin, Paris to Amsterdam.
She hand makes everything from her Hackney warehouse. After three seasons in store and coinciding with the arrival of her son, Elvis, Kelly launched the signature MAMA CHAIN in 2015, and Cult of Youth has since evolved into a personal exploration of family intimacies and deep reflection with identity and self, before and after Motherhood.
Shop now: Baby Skull Hoops for £45 from Cult of Youth
Joyce Binneboese and Dana Roski of WALD
Founders Joyce and Dana originally started WALD as a concept boutique in Mitte, Berlin 7 years ago and, after taking a creative break, they decided to work on their first jewellery collection in 2018: The ‘Juicy’ Collection was born, embodying the liberation of holidays and wanderlust using shell motifs. The designs are made by a collective of unemployed mums and grandmothers, often from small towns.
They say, ‘for us it is really important to be aware of where we spend our money. You can make such a difference when thinking twice and change the world each day a bit to be better. They are the heroes of our society and deserve jobs and appreciation.’
Shop now: WALD BERLIN Drop It Like It’s Hot gold-plated, shell and pearl necklace for £170 from Net-A-Porter
Sam Hamilton of SAM HAM
Growing up, Sam felt she was never quite able to conform to her role, and jewellery became the medium which gave her the power and self-confidence she needed. Following the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, specialist training in Florence, Cork and Amsterdam, and a Masters in Luxury Product Design in Milan, she moved to London to launch her brand, which is forged around ‘strength of character rather than on expectations of gender’.
Shop now: Gold Pretty Dix Pendant for £240 from SAM HAM
Roxanne, or Rocky, was born in South Africa, but her obsession with jewellery was passed on from her Italian family’s penchant for collecting and layering unique pieces. After working in the world of luxury retail and hospitality, Rocky decided to return to her first love: jewellery and officially launched Roxanne First in 2018. Her delicate gold and diamond pieces are ethically made, are have fast become a go-to for the modern woman looking for unique piece to layer.
Shop now: Rose Gold, Have a Nice Day Diamond Necklace for £600 from ROXANNE FIRST
Rocky says, ‘I wish I had entered the fine jewellery world earlier. However, I often remind myself that J.K Rowling started her Harry Potter Empire at 32, Martha Stewart published her first book at 41 and Oprah signed her syndication deal (which led to The Oprah Winfrey Show) at 33. Just shows you – it really is never too late.’