MEET THE MAKER - RACHEL JACKSON
There is a lot to admire about the tour de force that is Rachel Jackson.
After returning from an enlightening trip around the world back in 2006, Rachel decided to change career and begin the art of jewellery making. She worked tirelessly at her kitchen table and traded her wares at London's Spitalfields Market. From there, in 2009, Rachel was selected by Goldsmiths the jewellers to feature as one of 8 'Best Of British Designers'. It's quite a story.
Her signature collections are beautifully minimal and delicately empowering. They seem to celebrate life, freedom and individuality. It is little wonder that she's created a loyal (and often star studded) fan base.
As proud stockists (and neighbours too), it's about time we met the inspirational woman behind the brand, Rachel Jackson.
Describe Rachel Jackson in 5 words.
'It was off the back of a big adventure around South America. I worked in TV before but it wasn't my calling in life and so I went travelling in search of inspiration. With just the clothes on my back, I used jewellery to make me look and feel good and to reflect my personality to the new people I met. I picked up new styles in every country I visited and before I left to go home, a close friend gave me an amulet with the note... ‘An amulet is something to carry with you wherever you go for luck and protection’. That was my light bulb moment! Doesn’t everyone need an amulet? When I got back to London, I took courses at Central St Martins and I started selling my wares on a market stall in Spitalfields, learning as I went along. All our pendants are now amulets, each design symbolising something different - something personal to the wearer.'
What is the most cherished part of what you do?
'Losing myself in design, it’s like therapy.'
And the most challenging?
'The hours I work, it’s like a third child! It’s intense. I give it everything because it’s my passion. It’s a myth that as a business owner you get to take holidays when ever you want!'
What inspires the work?
'Real life and what’s going on - culture, feelings, film and fashion. From a design point of view, minimalist Scandi (my heritage) and Art Deco are very much a part of our handwriting. It was an expressionist era that will never happen again. It was this beautiful mix of arty, classy, edgy, hedonistic and grandeur.'
Who are the strong women who inspire you?
'Blondie, Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Alice Temperley, my Mum.'
What small things have you taken pleasure from these past few months.
'Music playlists and my bed! I call it my cloud… it’s where I go to escape, to read and speak to girlfriends. I’ve made it feel luxurious with tactile blankets and cushions. Also last year we moved out of Stoke Newington to a farm with holiday lets in Kent. It's a huge project but I feel lucky to have another creative outlet in lockdown.'
You are stranded on a desert island (if only!) and can take with you, one book, one film, one record and one piece of jewellery. What would these items be?
'An Encyclopaedia, Grease, Wham and my go-to every day necklace - a large zodiac disc (I’m Aquarius) on a short chunky diamond cut belcher chain - to remember who I am!'
What would be your three golden nuggets of advice for young creatives out there who have dreams of starting their own business?
'If you have a real passion then follow your dream. Make sure what you’re offering has a point of difference and really work on that. Ask for and welcome advice and feedback. Find out what it takes to get to where you want to be.'
What are you most excited about for Rachel Jackson this coming year?
'Moving back to East London once lockdown is over. I miss the energy that the area brings as well as being with my team. They’re such talented, good, fun people. Plus we have a very big, gorgeous and special collection coming in Autumn to mark our 5 year birthday. Watch this space!'
It's been lovely catching up with you. Come and say hello when you're back!
Photos by Rachel Jackson
Interview by Hub