Independent brand spotlight: Q&A with jewellery designer, Jessica Steele

jessica steele jewellery
I recently discovered a lovely independent jewellery brand, Jessica Steele Jewellery that my sister modelled for. With their unique handcrafted jewellery and creative campaigns, the memories came flooding back to when I had my own handmade jewellery shop. Not that my products were ever as intricate or campaigns looked as sophisticated as Jessica’s!
I was instantly drawn to learn more about the independent jewellery brand and the talent behind Jessica Steele Jewellery. I caught up with the lovely lady herself and we hope you enjoy reading this interview.
jessica steele jewellery

1. Introduce your jewellery brand in a short paragraph.

If I could describe my brand in three words it would be a sustainable, meaningful luxury. Having worked in the jewellery & luxury industries for over 15 years, I realised that there was a real gap in the market for meaningful jewellery in a private luxury setting without the pressure associated with sales. My brand is full of nature-inspired pieces made from sustainable materials, created in a way that is made to last & become future heirlooms.

2. How did you get into the craft of jewellery making & how long have you been running your business? What is your background and how did you get to where you are today?

I first started making jewellery in college when I took an Art & 3D design course. From that point, I was addicted to the process of making jewellery & everything that comes along with it, from gemstones to the history of jewellery; it is truly a passion of mine! I am mainly self-taught & most of what I know came from jewellery books & YouTube videos. I spent a few years in the jewellery industry working for various companies in manufacture, sales & design before finally setting up my business in February of 2020… just before the COVID-19 pandemic!

jessica steele jewellery

3. I’d love to know about your latest collection, it looks beautiful (and I see a familiar face as your model!). What was your inspiration for the collection and its photo/video shoot?

My latest collection is called Metamorphosis & was something I created after the loss of my twin babies in the middle of 2020, during this difficult period of my life I spent the majority of my time in nature, I was fascinated by the bees & butterflies which were welcome visitors to me as I dealt with grief. Alongside this was the Covid-19 Pandemic, there was a lot of hurt for many people during this time & I wanted to create a collection which gave a nod to the struggles people faced during that time, but ultimately that although change is painful there is much beauty to be taken from it too.

Ah yes Ness, I knew when I met her that she would be the perfect face for my latest video, she is stunning! The place where the shoot took place is actually where I spent most of my time when I began designing that collection & thankfully we were blessed with nature that day, Ness did amazing & such a natural beauty too she was the perfect fit for this glamorous shoot!

Jessica Steele jewellery

4. What do you love the most about running your own business and having your own design studio?

I’m incredibly lucky to do what I do, I think after years of working for other companies I always knew the vision I wanted to create, running a business is difficult & stressful at times but ultimately I am creating a legacy for future generations. The best thing without a doubt is changing people’s lives & being a big part of some of the most important times in my clients lives – weddings, engagements, births, deaths & following people through their lives. Having the flexibility of bringing my son into work with me for him to see what I am creating is also incredible.

5. What is a typical working day for you?

Everyday really is different – another reason I love this job! My day often starts with dropping my son off at nursery, when I get to the studio I light a candle, make a cup of tea & put on some music to match how I’m feeling that day. Often my day is taken up with consultations, design work & coordinating my team to create some really beautiful pieces for our customers. Currently we are working on expanding the metamorphosis collection & expanding our client base overseas which is really exciting!

6. What has been the most exciting thing to have happened to your business so far?

Wow, such a difficult question! I think ultimately for me everyday is a win, especially making it through the pandemic was a huge one for me, there were days when I had to completely change the business model to keep up with the ever changing climate. I have many goals I’d still love to achieve for the business but for now, I’m content with just being here!

Jessica Steele jewellery

7. What is the most challenging thing for you when running a business and how have you adapted?

I think the hardest thing that will always be hard for me is the realisation that I cannot help everyone & not everyone will like my work. I pour my heart into my craft & there are occasions when I create a design which a client may not go for, which is disappointing. The most challenging thing about running a business is running a business! Nothing can prepare you for the amount of hours you put into something when you work for yourself & no one is as dedicated as you are to that.

8. Where do you see the business and evolution of your brand in 5 years’ time?

The plan for the business has always been to create an international brand which is seen all over the globe, the thought that my designs bring joy to people is fascinating to me. Leaving something behind that lives on when you are gone is a big goal for me. I’ve created pieces for people overseas that I’ve never met before – most recently a lady from New York contacted me to create a custom butterfly in memory of her late mom. She emailed me to say everytime she sees it she thinks of her mom, that piece brings her closer to her mom & to me, that is just incredible!

Jessica Steele jewellery

9. It’s daunting to make the leap, what advice can you offer for people who have dreams and aspirations to run their own businesses? 

For years I dreamed of setting up my own business & as a creative it’s easy to allow the seeds of self doubt to cloud your judgement. Ultimately there will never be a “right” time to set up your business & you will always face adversity & challenges. I think for me something I struggled with is not the idea of failing, but what will people think of me if it fails? Once I overcame that feeling I realised that trying & failing is much better than regretting never trying in the first place. It also helps to look at entrepreneurs who are now seen as successful – many failed multiple times prior to becoming successful & as long as you learn something along the way it isn’t failing after all!

10. Finally, where can people buy your products? (Both online, stockists and physical craft/market fairs?)

Our website is stocked up with products & our stockists are available to view on the website too. If you wish to commission a piece from us you can visit the studio by appointment to view physical pieces & enjoy a cup of tea with us too!
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