When I noticed that This Charming Girl, the jewlery designer was one of the top posts on this blog I just knew I had to grab an interview with Jackie, the brains behind the operation...
When was This Charming girl founded, and how come you started it?
I started This Charming Girl in October 2006. I wasn't able to find unique, quirky jewellery on the high street. The only websites selling the unusual vintage style jewellery I liked were American and I wondered if I would be able to make some myself and open a UK based shop to fill that niche in the market. I had been making jewellery for myself and friends and family for some time and after a good response, thought I'd try my hand at selling it online.
What did you do before This Charming Girl?
When I started This Charming Girl I was working as an Administration Assistant. I was then made redundant and got a job as a Project Administrator - then a while later I left that to become an Audio Typist. This Charming Girl started to really take off so I quit my office job to run it full time in September 2008.
Where did the name come from?
I'm a huge Smiths fan so it came from their song "This Charming Man" and also because the jewellery was centered around charms.
What inspires your designs?
I draw inspiration lots of places - old costume jewellery, music (I'll often use song titles to name jewellery pieces), fairytales, nature - I love animal jewellery, for example at the moment I stock jewellery featuring birds, snakes, horses, dogs, bears, bees, peacocks and octopus - to name but a few! Also flowers and leaves, peapods, branches, watering cans and feathers. I'm also a big fan of lockets, the more unusual the better - I have lockets in the shape of love letters, books, purses and treasure chests as well as chunky cameo lockets. I'm also inspired by romance so I have a lot of love and heart themed jewellery - such as the Love Predictors, the various love themed charm necklaces (Long Distance Love, I Love You More Than Yesterday, Mon Amour) and kitsch, tongue-in-cheek love pendants (Slave to Love, I'm In Love With, Reserved For and Oh Sweetheart).
What's your favorite part of running This Charming Girl?
I just love being able to do something I enjoy and be creative on a daily basis - after four years of being stuck in 9-5 office jobs it's complete heaven! Knowing that I'm my own boss and can make my own hours is very liberating - scary at times too - but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Who makes your designs and where?
I design and make everything from the comfort of my flat - often in my pjs!
How did it feel, making your first sale?
It was a great feeling, the initial response was overwhelming and I was very lucky for it to have been successful. It's lovely to think that somebody is willing to spend their hard earned money on something you've created yourself.
What's the most memorable experience you've had running and designing for This Charming Girl?
Seeing my necklace in Elle magazine! They had requested a sample months previously and told me it would be in a certain issue. I ran out and bought it the day it came out but it wasn't in it and I was really disappointed. Then the next month I was in Asda, casually flicking through the April issue when I saw my necklace and I ended up running round all the aisles grinning like a loon trying to find my sister to tell her!
Have you seen any celebrities wearing your designs?
Not yet (that I know of!).
What's next for you, and This Charming Girl?
Just to continue making fun, affordable jewellery for all - we have lots of new designs coming soon which I can't wait to launch!
Thanks to Jackie for the interview!