5 Mins with British Brand Alison Fern Jewellery...

Shop Alison Fern Jewellery :

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?

I am a self taught jewellery designer living and working in London and all of my pieces are individually crafted by hand and in limited quantities. I studied Art and Design at University and originally started experimenting with making jewellery as a creative outlet while working in the Art world. However before all of this I spent my childhood playing and dreaming by the Suffolk coastline. Combining the influences of nature and the city my design sensibilities swing between delicate and feminine, and then a desire for something a bit tougher and with an edge.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

The other day someone told me that they’d just seen my website and my jewellery was ‘beautiful', and 'very creative’. It’s a simple description but I’m happy with that!

What is your background?

I started out my career in Picture Research which was a job which needed creative thinking and a flair for recognising the importance of the visual in telling a story. I seemed to have so much more to say and ideas to express that I was always looking for a creative project on the side!

Which designers do you rate highly and why?

If we are talking high end fashion I have always loved and admired Martin Margiela’s designs and aesthetic. Isabel Marant I love for making comfortable edgy and cool! Oh and Iwore a v special and ethereal Jenny Packham dress on my wedding day - for that she will always be on my list!

Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…

It’s my first collection and it felt really important for it to define the brand moving forward. I’m a country-side, seaside girl living in London and loving it. I wanted to reflect that. Soft modern shapes yet with a tough-luxe feel. I would say I honestly never struggle to stay inspired, my issue has always been trying to edit all my ideas and inspiration and develop and stay true to my brand. In the day of instagram etc there is so much visual noise and if you are ambitious and creative it’s easy to get distracted!

How do you think your brand has developed?

I spent a long time trying different things and ideas and my style became more experimental and creative as I went along. Once I realised I had reached the point of having a collection it felt like the beginning!

What do you dislike most about your job?

Being in control of everything yourself is a blessing and a curse. It can be a real emotional roller coaster at times. I’m not sure I would have it any other way though!!

What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future..

There have been two main achievements so far. Firstly the realisation that I had started to make things that people wanted to wear! My last market at Primrose Hill was probably the most tangible example of this. My stall was non-stop busy, my customers were having a great day, the sun was shining and it felt like a real moment. Shortly after that I made the decision to invest in my model photography. On the day it really felt like the whole team were on board with my creative direction and thus the new collection and website were born! I am aiming to go from strength to strength. I’m not looking for world domination :) ….. but I would like to be known as a brand with creative ideas and a sound customer service ethic.

What advice would you have for anyone starting out in (your field)?

The beginning is always the hardest, getting started, identifying your look and establishing your brand. A piece of advice which helped me at the right time was not to get too frustrated if your business doesn’t quite look and feel like you want it too - just keep going until it does! The advice came at a time of feeling a bit stuck and it helped to re-ignite the fire!

Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?

The British fashion industry is one of the oldest and arguably one of the most exciting. It’s often very creative and definitely seen as magnetic globally. I would love to continue to be a part of it and am overjoyed that there are businesses like the independent boutique to cherish and nurture small independent brands and help them evolve.

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