CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

My Herts Life: Harriet Kelsall

PUBLISHED: 12:43 09 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:43 09 June 2014

Harriet Kelsall at work in her studio

Harriet Kelsall at work in her studio

Archant

The award-winning Halls Green-based jeweller describes her life-long love of designing jewellery, making a positive difference in the industry and style predictions for the year

The bespoke purple label collectionThe bespoke purple label collection

What inspired you to become a jeweller? 
I grew up surrounded by art and architectural drawings and with an in-built love of detail and beautiful things. My dad is a keen jeweller and I used to help him at his workbench – he helped me make my first ring at the age of four.

My mum’s friend had an art stall on Covent Garden Market and when I was 12 she took some of my earrings to sell. She pretended to be cross with me when she sold more of them than of her paintings. So I guess I always had an interest in business too.

I’ve always been passionate about real bespoke design and we are proud to have been well recognised for this. There is a lot of ‘Meccano’ going on in the jewellery industry and too much sole reliance on CAD in bespoke jewellery. My belief is jewellery should be personal to the wearer and shouldn’t have to cost the earth.

You have an ethical approach to jewellery – can you explain? My dad is a retired St Albans GP and I grew up in an environment where it was completely natural to put other people’s needs before my own. When I started buying jewellery materials, it seemed obvious to ask about the ethics of what I was buying. How were the people treated? Were they given a fair price? Were children working in the mines? I was very shocked to discover how little interest the industry was showing. However, a few of us started pushing hard to answer these questions and now we have Fairtrade gold, which is amazing. It was a privilege to be one of the first jewellers in the world to sell this.
.

What are the jewellery trends in 2014? 
For engagement, wedding and eternity rings, we are noticing a strong lean towards rose gold and also continued interest in palladium. There is also a big trend this year for jewellery that tells a story – this is what we do with our bespoke jewellery, so it suits us perfectly.

In 2014, we are expecting intricate forms inspired by South America and the Far East. Last year, earrings were very large, and while we believe this will continue we expect a more subtle look to come through in studs and smaller drops.

My design team has been working on lots of new dress-jewellery designs and the collections will unfold throughout the year starting with our spring collection on purple-label.com. We have a fantastic new bridal collection and separate bridesmaid collection of jewellery coming out in a couple of months too.

.

You have won lots of awards – what’s the key to your success? 
A brilliant team which is passionate, driven and shares common goals. We want to be the best at what we do and tell our customers’ love stories through beautiful jewellery. We are the current UK Boutique Jeweller of the Year and have also been voted most inspiring independent jeweller in Hertfordshire (and fourth in the UK).

.

You have a free weekend in Herts – what would you do? 
A trip to the comedy club in Hitchin on a Friday night. On Saturday, maybe a swim in one of the county’s lovely swimming pools followed by a trip to John Lewis in Welwyn. On Saturday night, perhaps an evening with friends at the George in Baldock or the Palazzo in Royston. On Sunday, I’d probably go for a long walk with the kids on Royston Heath, which we love, and then perhaps pop up to my local – the Fox and Duck in Therfield – for lunch.

More from People

2 minutes ago

Buckhurst Hill’s Alexander Vesselinov who became a karate red belt at just four and a half years old

Read more
10:54

Gemma Lilly is one half of the Loughton-based Style Sisters. We talk personal style, top tipples and favourite places to shop in West Essex

Read more
00:00

Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of the community.

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Escape to the Chateau star Angel Adoree is currently reaping the benefits of her incredible vision and drive to build an overseas wedding and lifestyle business from scratch with husband Dick Strawbridge. Here she tells Essex Life about series five of the hit Channel 4 show and how a strong Essex work ethic helped her dream so big | Words: Denise Marshall

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Spirit Yachts is a Suffolk success story. After 25 years of designing and building luxury vessels sailed all over the world, it has plenty to celebrate | Words: Ross Bentley

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

250 years ago this month a baron’s servant smashed down a bedroom door in St Albans’ White Hart Inn to find a prince in bed with his master’s wife. Cue a court case, a delighted press, and much airing of royal underwear

Read more
November 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018

As the Lord Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, or Bishop Graham to his flock and many friends, prepares to retire, he bids a fond farewell to Norfolk

Read more
November 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018

Piotr Jajszczyk is a master jeweller who works for a 125-year-old Harrogate firm that has made jewellery for kings and presidents.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Millennium Care believe in independence and ‘Why not’ when it comes to what helping their residents fulfil dreams.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search