Jo from Guilty Necklaces talks favourite designs and future plans – and why Strictly Come Dancing is a guilty influence
You’ll know by now that here at the Fashion & Style Directory we love to talk about jewellery as much as we do clothes – after all, what’s an outfit without some accessorising?
One online retailer that we particularly like (and are proud to showcase on our homepage) is Guilty Bangles, run by our friend Jo Hall, where you can shop an impressive range of men’s and women’s sterling silver bangles.
Now, the Guilty brand has been extended to necklaces and pendants – which you can find at the new Guilty Necklaces site – so we caught up with Jo to find out more about her new enterprise, and what she’s got up her sleeve for the future.
Hi Jo! Can you tell us why you started Guilty Necklaces?
I started Guilty Necklaces as it was the next logical step from Guilty Bangles.
The bangles website and business has been a huge success, and I felt that my customers wanted more from the Guilty range. With our bangles range, we wanted to have a collection that was accessible to all through a range of prices and also to promote our exclusive range that is handmade in the UK by probably the best specialist bangles silversmith in the country.
I felt that it was important to promote British-made products and also to provide something for everyone. With Guilty Necklaces, I also want to have a range that is accessible and to promote new brands from around the world. Our main focus is on quality and design, providing UK consumers with necklaces that are elegant and unique.
Sounds good! So what are your personal favourite designs and styles?
My personal favourites are the Grace, Citrine, Manhattan and Lavender. As you will see if you look at these pieces, they are very opulent , sparkly and have a Hollywood glamour feel to them. They have a perfect cushion-cut finish on the stones, which is the same technique that is used to cut the highest quality vintage-style diamonds.
I love necklaces that are feminine with attention to detail in the pendant, and the Manhattan is a classic example of the style that I personally love.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Does social media, magazines or television influence your ranges?
Television is a big influence for me; my guilty pleasures are reality TV series such as Made in Chelsea, Strictly Come Dancing and all of the Real Housewives shows!
I love catching the latest trends and styles, looking at how women match their accessories to their outfits. I now have a finely tuned eye for whatever I am doing, and will always pick up inspiration from a range of media.
Most importantly for me, I am guided by my customers and what they want to buy. The Guilty range is constantly evolving with new designs and styles, and I get a natural feel for style directions through what necklaces and bangles are proving popular for the season.
I also attend a lot of fashion and jewellery shows around the country, looking at the latest designs, especially from new designers that have just entered the industry. I try not to restrict myself to being influenced by media; it’s more what my clients like to purchase that provides the real direction for me.
And how does running Guilty Necklaces influence your lifestyle?
Running Guilty Necklaces and Guilty Bangles has provided me with an enviable lifestyle, although often hectic at times. Managing three children and running your own business that is growing rapidly is never easy.
I am a forward-looking person, though, and I love the challenge, although sometimes I feel that I may be juggling too many balls. My two girls provide me with inspiration and they love to look at our latest necklaces and bangles. Their comments are always genuine, and usually very accurate!
What can we look forward to in the future from Guilty Necklaces?
Guilty Necklaces is always evolving; we are constantly fine tuning the range on the site, and there will be a significant growth in the number of necklaces available. It is a new site, and has evolved from the success of Guilty Bangles, so we are learning as we are growing.
One of the most immediate successes is the Georgini range. We love this range because the quality of their necklaces is stunning, and they have superb touches and intricate details, and we will certainly be extending our Georgini collection in the coming year.
Overall, the Guilty Necklaces range will grow significantly in the future, and we are looking to add new brands and designers to the collections, especially those that are feminine and glamorous. I see the range as being perfect for the lady in the street, having a choice of fine necklaces to choose from for a special night out.
We know that there are a lot of fantastic jewellery businesses out there. Where do you see yourself fitting in with competition online and from the high-street chains?
We have learnt from our experience with bangles that offering our customers a quality necklace is key, along with beautiful packaging and fast delivery.
With Guilty Necklaces, our range will probably be higher priced than many high-street chains, because we want to offer necklaces that are of a very high quality but that still offer great value for money.
In addition, our necklace range will include designs that you just won’t find on the high street – of which our Georgini range is a classic example – and every single piece is 925 sterling silver.
So, we are not looking to compete with the major high-street chains; we are looking to offer something slightly different, including a personalised service where every piece in our collection means something.
That sounds great, Jo! And you have some exciting news for our Fashion & Style Directory readers, right?
Yes, I know how much your readers love competitions, so I’m providing one of our lovely Autumn Leaf sterling silver necklaces, worth £48.99, for you to give away as a prize. I hope your readers like it!
Thank you, Jo! That’s wonderful.
Well be launching the competition later this week, so make sure you keep an eye on our website and social media to find out what you have to do to win!