While many of us gradually figure out our career paths, some are born into their roles and this could be said for jewellery designer Theodora Warre who is the great-granddaughter of crown jeweller Harry Garrard.
Warre focuses on colourful pieces inspired by her travels around India. Her collections are also budget-friendly, but that doesn’t take away from the high level of craftsmanship and choice of material.
But London-based Warre didn’t immediately pursue jewellery. She studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design followed by London College of Fashion before going on to work for Russian Vogue and Glamour. Her love of jewellery was cemented in Jaipur where she studied gemmology and worked at the Gem Palace. She has continued to work closely with suppliers in Jaipur and is committed to using ethical suppliers to ensure that all of the stones and materials are conflict-free, as well as ensuring that the craftsmen are paid a fair wage.
This seasons the designer has launched Shape Shifter collection which celebrates the simplicity of shape and form. This geometric collection of earrings and rings features a variety of simple, striking cuts including baguettes, triangles, hearts, squares and trillions.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I don’t even need to think about the answer to that: I would look forward to my art classes all week and would spend most of my free periods in the Art Room. I had wonderful art teachers who paved the path which I find myself on today. I wish I had stayed in touch with some of them as I am sure we would now consider each other friends.
What was your first job?
Straight out of school I got a job as a fashion assistant working for Russian Tatler at the Conde Nast international office on London’s Maddox Street. I was responsible for coordinating all the runway looks and accessories for the fashion shoots which would predominantly be shot in Europe or the States and the photographs would then be sent to Moscow. Calling in all the accessories and jewellery was my highlight.
What inspired you to launch Theodora Warre?
Having my brand was not something that I necessarily always wanted to do but, after making my first jewellery collection and it being well-received, it gave me the confidence to launch ‘Theodora Warre’ and see where I could take it. That was six years ago and my jewellery is now stocked with some of the most exciting global retailers – from Matches Fashion to MyTheresa – and has been worn by some of the most iconic women in the world – from Sienna Miller to Kate Moss.
What are the key elements of your role?
Design and quality are in my opinion the two most important factors to a successful small business whichever market one may be in. I work closely with my team of craftsmen in Jaipur to ensure that every stone used in my designs is the highest quality and that every piece of jewellery works both on a practical and an aesthetic level. I also personally check every piece of jewellery that is sent out to my clients.
Talk us through your daily routine.
At present, I do not have a routine as I have a newborn baby so am taking each day as it comes but on a normal working day, I try to attend a yoga or Pilates class every morning as I find this an unparalleled way to start the day. I will then make my way to my studio in West London where I spend most of the day designing, having meetings or occasionally seeing clients.
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What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
Start small and grow naturally: I strongly believe that if you have a product that people want your business will grow to a certain scale on its own. Basically don’t run before you can walk!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
It’s a bit of a cliche but there is so much truth in it: ‘believe you can do it and you will achieve it’. I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking which produces positive energy.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
Taking criticism on the chin and using it positively without taking it personally, which is not always easy.
Theodora’s collections are available to ship globally from www.theodorawarre.eu, www.matchesfashion.com, www.MyTheresa.com and Liberty London
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Images: Instagram, Supplied