<<< A Chat with Tess & Libby – Co-Founders of Cecily London >>>
How did you get here?
T: Moving to New Zealand at the age of 20 was a daunting, yet exciting opportunity and it was there that I began my journey in fashion as an accessories buyer for a high street fashion house. Having developed a number of the necessary skills and gained a breadth of knowledge, I made the decision 3 years later to move back to London to continue my career within the jewellery market, working for a jewellery wholesale company as their gold buyer and product developer. Being a self-taught designer, and buyer, my journey has been about believing in myself and following and trusting my creative mind. That takes me to where I am today.
L: I studied BA Fashion Promotion at The London College of Fashion, and graduated with a specialism in Public Relations. I gained a wealth of experience and knowledge over the duration of my degree by working in a number of the UK’s leading fashion houses, which provided me with a strong rounded vision of the market. Having always had a passionate affaire with art, and a strong sense of creativity, I now have a degree in communication that aids in illustrating Cecily’s vision.
What’s behind the Name?
L: ‘Cecilia’ is a name that has run throughout generations of the female side of our family. The name derives from Saint Cecilia, the Patron Saint of Music. Although beautiful, with four syllables, its slightly long winded so we shortened it to ‘Cecily’. This name portrays for us, the strength and support shown by our family, and helps us to reach our potential every day and to be the best that we can be.
Where is your Jewellery made?
T: Having worked with so many wonderful and trusting factories all over the world for the past 8 years, I am proud that to this day, they are still very much by our side and are able to support us as we start our journey with ‘Cecily’.
We have some wonderful craftsmen in Bali who hand carve our bone designs, and source the most beautiful and exotic semi precious stones for us. We are also very lucky to be able to work with the finest silversmiths in Italy. We are a team that’s spread across the world, and we all work together to develop the most creative and exquisite jewellery possible.
One of the materials you use in your jewellery is bone… explain.
L: We can 100% guarantee that the bone that we use is a bi-product of the meat industry in Bali. No animals are harmed in the making of any of our jewellery. We love using bone in our designs; it is a solid, lightweight, cheaper alternative to using silver or gold and is sustainable. The beautiful carvings that can be worked into bone are phenomenal. All our bone pendants are hand carved and it’s a real portrayal of the skill of the craftsmen we are so lucky to work with.
‘Cecilia’ is a name that has run throughout generations of the female side of our family.
What Inspires You?
T: For me there are two elements to this question. Firstly, what inspires me? Travel has got to be my biggest inspiration. Experiencing different cultures, meeting artisans who have learnt their trade through generations of skilled workmanship and exploring using new materials.
The second element to this question has got to be WHO inspires me, and that would be my beautiful Bernese mountain dog ‘Stanley; who every morning greets me with a happy face and a bear hug (literally)….he comes to work with me and puts the positive in my day.
L: Inspiration is everywhere. It’s in the people you meet, the experiences you have, the emotions you feel and the memories you want to share. As a person, you are bombarded with thousands of images every day and somewhere amongst what you see, a spark ignites and your creative mind starts to accelerate. Defining what inspires me is almost impossible… because it changes ALL the time, however research is key. By developing your knowledge, you open your mind to a wealth of information and ideas that were previously blocked.
“I figure, if a girl wants to be a legend, she should go ahead and be one…”
Tips for anyone wanting to start their own business?
T: The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find your niche, something you love to do, be the best at doing it and believe in yourself.
L: Don’t give up. If you think your business has the strength to stay afloat, then do it. If you don’t, you’ll always wonder ‘What If?’ Never leave home without a pen and paper, you never know who you’re going to meet, what you’re going to see and always have your phone charged so you can take a picture of anything that catches your eye.
T: I tend not to look back too much, apart from to only remember what was important. Just look forwards and you never know…. watch this space!
L: Good question…. the options are endless…. Stay tuned!!