Designer Spotlight - Sally Lane Jewellery
Connected Gold Necklace - £150
Happy Women's Day! What better way to celebrate Women's Day than with a designer that celebrates and empowers women through her jewellery brand.
Sally Lane's jewellery designs all embody a positive message, reminding you of your greatness and accomplishments everyday. Her brand ethos is to empower and represent women from all walks of life, sharing their stories.
Find out what drives Sally Lane and what feminism and empowerment means to her in this exclusive interview.
Curated Crowd: How did Sally Lane Jewellery come about?
Sally Lane: I had the first moment of realising what a true passion felt like, when I did a one-day jewellery course just for fun. Something lit up inside me and I remember thinking: ‘Imagine how fun it would be if I could do this every day...some people do!’ I gradually did more courses until I took the plunge and did a one-year diploma (every Saturday while I was still working full-time). I had to present a collection at the end of the course, and as part of that, I had been building the brand and logo, purely because of my background and my love of design. I don't even remember at what point I decided to launch as a business, but I recognised that throughout the course all my pieces had a unique feel, plus I had so many compliments when I wore them that it gave me the confidence to set up my website. Then Sally Lane Jewellery was born.
CC: What, in your opinion, is the definition of feminism?
SL: Feminism is the recognition that each one of us (both men and women) has a unique combination of masculine and feminine traits. There are women who will be just as masculine as some men, and men who are just as feminine as some women.
As such, there should be equal opportunities for women and men.
My main bug bear in this regard is that women are often advised to behave more like men in business, when I believe that we’d be better off if men could be advised to behave more like women. We don’t need more male traits in business, we need a balance!
CC: How does that reflect in your brand and your designs?
SL: Strength and true happiness come from the awareness and acceptance of one’s self, yet society tries to pigeon hole us down one route or the other. If you are labelled ‘feminine’, then you are seen as a push over because you aren’t a bullish ‘masculine’ force. Yet the leaders who I have admired the most, who are able to get the best out of their teams and companies, are those that have found the balance of feminine and masculine traits in themselves. Yes, they are assertive when needed, but they also listen, nurture and empathise.
The brand is a celebration of all the women that achieve great things from being just exactly who they are. They don’t conform to the games that exist in the corporate world and they know it takes much more strength to be true to yourself and others around you when you make your own path. That doesn’t always mean leaving the corporate world, sometimes we have the power to change it, but sometimes the strength comes from walking away and doing what has meaning for you.
I share stories from these amazing women to inspire others to think twice about whether they are living their best life and give them courage to make changes if not. The jewellery is created to empower. It is all designed around the triangle- a beautifully bold shape with elegant angles. It represents all the women who are achieving greatness, while remaining as feminine as they bloody well want to.
CC: Why is it so important for you to bring these positive messages across to women through your jewellery?
SL: My brand has evolved with me and my journey over the last few years. When I started designing, I was still working in the corporate world. I eventually found myself in a place where I felt so at odds with my true self, adapting to get along in an environment that I didn’t believe in, that I was becoming depressed. It took huge courage to decide to leave my senior role, the regular salary and all the status that I had acquired over my 12 years in the industry to take time out and focus on me and what I really wanted in life.
I was overwhelmed with happiness at having the freedom to choose what to do with my day, and to have so many new skills to learn. To have the time to be healthy and see my friends and family. I am so overwhelmed with the change in myself I wanted to share this feeling with women everywhere. It was hearing stories from other women that inspired me to take the plunge and I hope that I can help others do the same.
Each collection has a message behind it and the power of wearing something as a reminder of your greatness is real!
CC: You mentioned that you studied counselling for 2 years on a part-time course. What as it like interacting with women from all walks of life and learning of their stories?
SL: I find it fascinating how many women go on a very similar journey at the same stages of life. We all set off with our education, which has trained us down a certain route to be very good employees and at some point we start to feel a dissonance, usually in our late twenties/early thirties. We start looking for something else with meaning (e.g. do I want to be a counsellor?) and nearly always take at least another 3-5 years to get pushed to the point to do anything about it. Perhaps a stress related illness. I revel in meeting these women and hearing how they found themselves and are so much happier, but it strikes me that we should helping people to find themselves at a much younger age, instead of creating these clones from the education system. I’m very encouraged to hear that the government is now investing in more counselling in schools. I think the world would be vastly improved if teaching children how to understand feelings and communicate them to others was the priority on the national curriculum.
CC: Having achieved inner peace and so much with your career, what advice would you give your younger self?
SL: Achieving inner peace is a life long job but I do think a large part of feeling happy has been from no longer caring about my status in terms of money and career. It really identified me for most of my twenties and yet it turns out that time is the most precious thing when it comes to figuring out who you are and feeling fulfilled. Time to create, time to play, time to exercise, to rest, to see friends and family. I would tell myself to make time the new money. I must have reversed the ratio Money:Time from 90:10 to 10:90 and I have never been happier or less stressed.
CC: What helps you when you’re designing? (e.g. Music, atmosphere, cup of tea)
SL: Designing happens when I least expect it. I will see a mechanism somewhere or a new fashion trend and I’ll be on the tube visualising the piece. Sometimes I will sketch it quickly on my phone and sometimes I forget. Generally, it is the pieces that keep popping up in my memory that I know are the ones I will develop. I guess lots of visual experiences are helpful for this inspiration.
When I sit down to draw I already have the image in my head of one of the pieces and then I will create a collection around that. For this part I generally prefer silence and can get caught up in work for hours without drinking or eating…this is where my lovely husband comes in. I love a good cup of tea but I tend to take a sip and then get engrossed and it’s still there two hours later! The same thing happens with water so now he stands there while I drink it. Hehe. I’d be a dehydrated prune without him!
A mixture of the current and new collection, keep an eye out for more!
CC: Are there any more designs on the way?
SL: YES! I have two new collections out this year. Just finalising the semi-precious stone and fabric elements as they are both going to have a customisable element to them, and I want to make sure I have a good selection to choose from. Watch this space!
Click here to shop the full collection.