Q&A: Hertfordshire-based jewellery designer Harriet Kelsall
PUBLISHED: 11:14 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 20 February 2013
Jewellery designer Harriet Kelsall tells Hannah Gray about shopping in Bishop's Stortford, scaffolding, and the view from the top of St Albans Cathedral
How old are you? 36
Are you Hertfordshire born and bred?
I was born in St Albans and grew up there. I went to St Albans High School.
Tell us about your family.
My husband, Tim, was also born in Hertfordshire and owns a film sound company which does lots of film and TV work, such as The Queen with Helen Mirren. We have one son, Thomas, who has just turned two and is a lovely little boy who really likes music, bath-time,
being tickled and playing with balls.
Do you have any pets?
We have a crazy ex-RSPCA Burmese cat called Rosie who thinks she is human, another more sensible cat called Tiger and some tropical fish.
Where do you live?
We live in a hamlet near Royston.
How long have you lived there?
We have only lived there for about a year and previously lived in Weston near Baldock.
Tell us about your business.
I own and run Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design Ltd. We specialise in bespoke jewellery and engagement, wedding, eternity and commitment rings in particular. As well as leading the company, I still work on a lot of jewellery design projects personally too and we
employ 32 people. We also launched our new web-based brand for dress jewellery in June at www.Purple-Label.com. It is doing really well in the run up to Christmas too which is great.
Where do you work?
I am mainly based in our Halls Green design studio which is a fantastic
converted Tudor barn set in the middle of some stunning Hertfordshire
countryside. It is a good example of farm diversification and has just been shortlisted for the Country Landowners Association centenary buildings award. It is also close to some lovely pubs for nice lunches. I am also based at our Cambridge shop at least once a week.
What inspires your jewellery designs?
We have six designers working with us and I would say that we are all
particularly inspired by natural forms and also by the needs and personality of each customer. I personally am also very interested in historic influences in design and enjoy looking at period jewellery and
bringing a modern version of an older idea into the collection, for example our Mizpah jewellery and our Cross of St Albans jewellery.
What are your hobbies?
I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy classical music and have just joined the Fairhaven Singers in Cambridge. I like photography, reading, gardening, visiting art exhibitions...all sorts of things - the list is endless!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I hope so! I do have a certificate in scaffolding. How mad is that?
Who or what is your greatest inspiration or hero?
Gerry Robinson for business, Mary Portas for retail, Paula Radcliffe for drive and determination, and my sister Laura for motherhood.
Where are the best views to be had in Hertfordshire?
I love the view from the hill near Therfield across the farmland towards
Ashwell and also the view from the top of St Albans Cathedral is spectacular.
What is your favourite town in Hertfordshire and why?
St Albans because it is where I grew up and it is a lively and interesting city. I also went to Bishop's Stortford for the first time recently and thought it was a great place to go for shopping.
Describe Hertfordshire in one sentence.
Green, hilly, friendly and hard-working.
Who or what are the greatest loves of your life?
My wonderful son Thomas and of course my lovely husband Tim.