5 Mins With British Brand : Avalanche Jewellery
How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?
I design striking, bold jewellery. Edgy but chic. I want women to feel confident and empowered when they wear my pieces.
What sort of comments do you get about your designs?
Where can I get one of those?!
What is your background?
I grew up in rural Devon with two very creative parents who encouraged my brother and me to try our hands at all sorts of artistic activities. When I was a kid I was always making things, I had a woodwork bench outside my bedroom. I also built a darkroom in the utility room. I went on to study Performance Art and Photography before moving to Paris for a year where I worked as a photographer's assistant for some time. I retrained in Jewellery Manufacture at Holts Academy in Hatton Garden.
Which designers do you rate highly and why?
There are so many! I really love Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen as I love the British punk aesthetic. My favourite jewellery designer is Pamela Love. In fact I became a little bit obse
ssed with her and that's what made me want to start designing jewellery. Not that you would know it now from my work.
Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves...
Any ideas and inspiration I'll scribble into my notebook. I'm terrible at drawing so these usually look pretty awful! Inspiration comes from everywhere - I love looking at what people are wearing and London is especially great for this. I'll first make each piece in wax and get it cast into silver where I'll work on it until I'm completely happy with it. These will become the prototypes from which I'll get moulds made. Until recently I would hand finish each piece myself. Now I have amazing artisans in Thailand who do a wonderful job.
How do you think your brand has developed?
The biggest development has been outsourcing my production. This was a big decision for me as what I've always loved is being at my bench and getting my hands dirty. But I still get to sit at my bench, only now it's less repetitive and more relaxing.
What do you dislike most about your job?
Nothing! Seriously. Well ok, maybe doing accounts isn't my favourite way to spend a morning...
What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future?
I'm always really chuffed when I secure a new stockist and I want to keep expanding. I'm currently working on my second collection. It's going to be a lot bigger than my first and I'mexcited to see it finished. My plans for the future are to expand internationally, starting with France (I'm half French with lots of family there so it feels like a good starting point).
What advice would you have for anyone starting out (in your field)?
The best advice I was ever given was to make sure you have decent photos of your pieces, this really does go a long way. Also, don't try and keep everyone happy wth your designs - if you can be confident with your style and stick with it you'll have greater success.
Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?
Having lived in both Paris and London I'd say there's an open mindedness in London which is also true of British design. Don't get me wrong, I think Paris has it's own qualities, but it's definitely far less brave when it comes to design.