Dainty London is an incredibly sweet jewellery brand, created by a dear friend of mine, Jade Sammour, using recycled silver in many of the pieces, so an instant win with me. To set the scene with Jade, she is an unsung hero. She began creating the brand whilst being a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, so to say she deserves a medal plays things down a bit.
Over the years that she has been building the brand, her creations have become increasingly refined, growing in character and confidence, but they have always had an intrinsic elegance to the pieces. You may have spotted a few of her pieces pop up on my Instagram over the summer last year, just as Jade began making her move to launch the brand as a full-time labour of love.
With things now really starting to gain pace, it seemed the perfect time to grab a quick catch up with Jade to discuss Dainty London and the plans ahead...
Talk me through the journey of Dainty London and the jewellery...
My passion for jewellery began just over five years ago now. I was shopping and found an amazing dress and could envision the exact necklace I wanted to set the dress off with. I couldn't find that necklace anywhere. So, I bought the equipment, jewellery making books and made the necklace myself. The next day I signed up to a beginners' jewellery course with Hopton & Furlong from Central St Martins. Since then I've completed a number of part-time jewellery courses, including a two-year jewellery design course with the incredible jeweller Joanne Haywood.
I began to sell pieces a few years ago, which was pretty much just to friends and family. Once I gained the courage in myself, the confidence in my pieces and reviews from orders to start highlighting my designs online and sharing on social platforms, I sold out within a week, it was incredible. It was at that moment that Dainty London Jewellery was officially launched.
How have your Cornish roots inspired the pieces?
I love the rugged Cornish coastline and living so far away from it now, I miss it terribly. Many of my pieces try to reflect an element of the raw and rustic beauty found on the Cornish shorelines, such as the Grain collection and Cornish Seashells.
Who is the Dainty wearer?
The collections are created with motivated, ambitious women in mind. The 'Two Old Ladies' ring is the current bestseller, so the pieces really connect with the sisterhood, which I love!
The other Dainty audience is the Bride and her bridal party. When I got married, I struggled to find any bridal jewellery that was not the traditional pearls, or something I'd seen everywhere. In the end, I made my own jewellery and bridesmaids gifts. These were such a success amongst friends, family and colleagues that I have now created bespoke jewellery for over fifteen other brides just from word of mouth in the last year.
What have been the greatest lessons of the process for you?
Creating a jewellery brand and collection is time-consuming and very hard work. I was trying to juggle a full-time job in Nursing, the numerous part-time jewellery courses, creating the Dainty London brand, trying to have a social life, and plan a wedding. I soon learned that in order to try and make Dainty London a success, I needed to focus on it full time. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Have you got a favourite piece?
The 'Two Old Ladies' ring. I absolutely love it and I wear mine all the time.
What one tip would you give to those looking to make an investment in a piece of jewellery?
Invest in a piece that reflects your personality and character. Look for jewellery that is versatile, with a style and colour that caters for all occasions.
What are the plans ahead for Dainty London?
The current plan is to develop my 'Grain' collection for bridal customers, as well as expanding the 'Small World' collection. 'Small World' will be on display at Jedeco in the Oxo Tower, London from February 2018, so exciting! Longer term, the dream is to open a shop and a workshop in Angel, Islington, so watch this space!
My Emerald pinky ring was a bespoke piece created by Jade, using a beautiful Emerald given to me as a 30th birthday present. To say this ring is special to me is one of the most ridiculous understatements I have made; it's one of my prized possessions and Jade made it such a total delight of an experience.
Take a look at all things Dainty London here.
(Photos: Izy Dixon)