Supplier case studies

Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design - bespoke jewellery with a conscience

Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design - bespoke jewellery with a conscience

Name: Harriet Kelsall
Location: Hertfordshire and Cambridge, UK

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I started the company as I wanted to make it possible to get beautiful, bespoke jewellery handmade without it being pretentious, and without costing the world. I wanted good jewellery design to be accessible to everybody.

I am a great believer in practical and wearable design, and I prefer to see a simple and unique design that says much more about the wearer than it does about me or my favourite type of design.

What or who inspires you?
Every single customer inspires us. We often create rings that are inspired by their stories.

Every ring tells a story, whether it’s a personal one - like choosing gem stones to match the colour of their partners eyes - or a ring inspired by a favourite pastime which is how the couple met.

Often the ring is inspired by the shape and structure of the design as it is adapted and developed through the design process. For this reason inspiration just never stops here!

Harriet Kelsall Jewellery art deco ring

What do you enjoy most about running your business?
Being able to bring design to everybody and helping people have easy access to this side of things.

I also love working with the brilliant team of people here.  They all bring their own vision and something different to the team. It constantly evolves, and no two days are ever the same.

I am also very proud that we are making such strides in changing the ethical side of the jewellery industry. Towards the end of 2011 we became certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council and we are the first UK independent jeweller to have done this.

We are also one of the first of twenty companies to launch certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.

What is the most challenging aspect?
The fact that I have lots of ideas and not enough time to do them all!

Trying to fit them all into a day or a week can be very hard, but we try our best to do it as we are all so passionate about what we do and we want to do it all.

What do you feel you bring to an ethical wedding?
Well, as I mentioned before we are one of the first companies to be able to offer certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold to our customers, and although Fairtrade gemstones are not yet available we still make sure, as much as we can, that all the gems we get are ethically sourced.

This is why I have spent so many years building strong relationships with our suppliers so we know the stones we get are as ethical as possible.

We are at the forefront of jewellery ethics and doing the very best we can. Hopefully we will be able to gear the industry even more towards Fairtrade as time goes on.

Harriet Kelsall Jewellery diamond engagement ring

How do you see the wedding industry changing over the next five years (if at all)?
The great news is that things are getting more ethical.

Just a few years ago there was only a handful of people who knew about Fairtrade and opted to go down that route – whereas now Fairtrade is mainstream. Most people are aware of Fairtrade, and actually it is probably hard to find someone who doesn’t buy at least something that is Fairtrade.

The whole jewellery industry is now moving in this direction too, which is great! It’s becoming more sustainable.

My hope is that in the next five years there will be fairly-traded gemstones and that the knowledge of such things will be more widespread and people again will change and always opt for the most ethical pieces.

We hand make all our jewellery in Hertfordshire, in the UK. I think this trend will continue with other companies. I believe that more British companies will opt to produce things within the country and not outsource as much.

I have also noticed a trend recently that more and more people are opting to have friends and family be a part of the wedding by carrying out jobs – such as doing the photography or making the invitations.

I think this trend will continue to grow, as it makes the wedding day more personal, and also in many ways more ethical. This is because you know where and how the invitations, for example, were made. So I think the wedding industry will be heading further down the bespoke path.