Meet jewellery designer Emily Mortimer
- Credit: Archant
Life would have been a lot less glamorous for jewellery designer Emily Mortimer if she’d stayed on the family farm . . .
Your website describes you as a ‘jewellery addict’ – when did the love affair start?
Young! I used to own a life size jewellery stand, which was covered in jewellery of every shape and colour imaginable. Jewellery was, and still is, my weakness.
How did you get involved in designing it?
Growing up on a farm, I never really thought jewellery design was an option, until I went to Leeds College of Art and completed a foundation course. Everything I did had a 3D design aspect and it suddenly just made total sense.
What inspired you to start your own business?
My husband proposed to me with a beautiful diamond that had belonged to his great grandmother, a princess in India. After saying ‘yes’ it seemed obvious that I should be looking for a workshop in India, where some of the most exquisite and colourful jewellery is made. India has to be one of the most incredible places I have ever been. There are endless things to do and to see. I was completely blown away by the Taj Mahal – imagine building a gemstone encrusted mausoleum to remind you of someone you love. My team in India have made everything seem so easy. They source gemstones, diamonds and materials for me, which enables my designs to come together effortlessly.
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What is the most satisfying part of your job?
When I see friends, family and complete strangers putting on a piece of my jewellery and falling in love.
And what has been your proudest moment in business?
It has to be designing a ring for one of my best friends. He proposed to his girlfriend immediately because he decided he couldn’t wait. Then seeing the ring look totally amazing on her.
You exhibit at a lot of shows – what do you enjoy about it?
I love meeting like-minded people who put on a piece of jewellery and just have to have it. Seeing, touching and trying a piece on is something you can’t do online, so it makes it extra special to be able to do it at shows.
I just had a fantastic show at Burghley Horse Trials with Country Living Magazine. When you have total strangers excited to buy your jewellery it is an amazing feeling.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a business?
A business plan is key, and so is financial backing, especially if it is a jewellery business. You need to be confident in yourself and your ideas, and keep on believing even when you might doubt yourself.
Where are you happiest in Suffolk?
I am happiest with my husband, Jonny, exploring somewhere new. He used to be away with the Parachute Regiment for long periods of time so, now he has left, we try to make the most of the weekends together. My favourite place in Suffolk is my parent’s farm in Bromeswell. We all have so much history there and I still find it difficult not calling it home.
A perfect lazy Sunday is?
Lunch at the Mistley Thorn – their seafood is amazing – followed by a long walk on the beach somewhere. Otherwise it would have to be a big barbecue with my family and friends at Low Farm.
You last holidayed where?
Akumal Bay in Mexico – the Tequila was something else. I am desperate to go to Santorini – it looks like my kind of heaven.
What is top of your bucket list?
I would love to visit Sri Lanka. After studying gemmology, I’m keen to see for myself the mining, treatment and cutting process of their gemstones. And I would probably treat myself to a few gems at the same time.
Tell me a secret . . .
If I hadn’t studied jewellery I would have studied agriculture, which isn’t half as glamorous. I think my life would be considerably different.