Sunday, 1 December 2013

Interview with jewellery designer Sara Hartley

Sara Hartley creates beautiful jewellery and recently launched a charming range called 'Tinies'. The little crafted outlines of people, children or animals are a great way to capture someone's character in a piece of jewellery, and they can be customised too. See Sara's jewellery designs here. I caught up with her to find out about her style and what inspires her work.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I turned 40 this year... so far I'm feeling good for it. I have two beautiful children, a girl of 6 and a boy of 4 – they're my little treasures. They helped inspire my latest collection and kept my creative juices flowing even when it was hard to find the time.

Why did you start start your jewellery label? 
I always liked the idea of being my own boss, making the decisions and managing my own time. It allowed me to indulge in the design side and choose to get help in the areas I'm not so good at.

What inspires you? 
Small things. I've always loved anything very, very tiny – especially spring time when you can just see the little shoots growing out of a plant or tree. I take a lot of inspiration from nature.

If you had to wear just one fashion designer's clothes for life, who would it be? 
I'm a bit more addicted to jeans then a particular designer – my sister can't get over the amount I buy and how often I tell her I don't have any! So I would choose Paige Jeans, or more recently I have started to wear a new designer 'Frame'.

What are your top 3 high street stores and why? 
Zara: you can always count on good stylish looking shirts, or a classic cashmere jumper. Maje: I love these French designers that are coming to our high street – well cut, classic with a bit of a twist. They're your everyday pieces but stylish and pretty. Kooples: their jackets are a beautiful cut and I particularly love their lace tops.

What has been your biggest ever bargain? 
A stunning Diane von Furstenberg dress that I had my eye on for a wedding. I decided to splash out and just buy it and when I got there it had 50% off! A great surprise.

And what has been your biggest ever splurge? 
My Anya Hindmarch black bag. It’s the perfect bag for a jeweller as it has lots of small compartments inside.

What is your beauty routine?
I'm very particular about taking off all my make-up at night. Sometimes I'll put on night cream, but always eye cream and lip balm. My morning routine depends on the day ahead. If I have meetings then I'll use foundation. On an even more important day I might bring out the beauty flash balm first. I'm a real girly girl who loves putting make up on. My daughter doesn't understand why I have to or why it takes so long. Come rain or shine, busy or lazy days, I also use body lotion.

What do you collect? 
Believe it or not, small things and white pots. Beautifully hand-crafted white and cream pots.

Which celebrity would you love to dress and why? 
Simon Cowell. There is definitely something about him but he just needs a revamp.

Which celebrity do you think has the best style? 
Kylie Minogue or, the icon of my era, Sarah Jessica Parker.

How do you turn around a bad hair day? 
That's easy. I have long blonde hair that I scrunch up into a big bun on the top of my head, or a high ponytail with a small quiff at the front.

What jewellery is perfect for on a first date?
Something that sits right in the middle of your chest plate – not too low that it's uncomfortable to look at or but also not too high that it looks like its choking you. I would go for something delicate and unusual that catches the eye – sparkles are always a winner.

Here are a few of Sara's designs...

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