You may well have spotted Anna Lou of London’s jewellery and accessories on various celebrities such as Emma Watson, Lily Allen, Kate Moss, and Fearne Cotton or in one of many magazine features including Vogue, Tatler, Elle, Bazaar, Grazia.. the list goes on and on. Indeed, you may also already own an Anna Lou of London piece – lucky you !
Creator and designer, Anna Lou Trent has not only won a highly prestigious award so far in her career for her fabulous designs, she also stocks Anna Lou of London, internationally.
Her signature piece being the initial necklaces, you can also find bespoke name bracelets and necklaces, perfectly unique wedding jewellery, something a bit tongue in cheek.. and everything lovely in between at the Anna Lou of London website.
Today’s ‘Inspire Me’ reveals a little bit more about Anna, how she became a designer, having trained as an actress and I get to share some of her jewellery images with you :)
How did you make the transition from being a professional actress to becoming a jewellery and accessories designer?
I set up a market stall on Portobello Road in 2004 where I sold my bracelets I had made. I never trained in Jewellery making so taught myself from scratch. I used to make for friends initially and often received commissions so I thought it would be worth selling them on a market stall would be a good way to subsidise my acting career. Mainly because most of the work I had in acting was unpaid!
Surprisingly the bracelets I’d made were hugely successful. My stand was always busy and I loved meeting all the great people who were fellow traders as well as great customers.
A few months after having the stall I was approached by Harvey Nichols to meet them. They took in all the bracelets in all colours and they sold out so fast they asked me to come back with my ‘next collection’. Having no idea what that was going to be I off course agreed to meet them with the ‘next collection’. Then i frantically made a range of necklaces and earrings and luckily the jewellery again was bought by the store and soon after it was instore theysold out again. They continued to buy my collections for a few years and the business grew from strength to strength. I am now stocked in hundreds of stores internationally and have my own website www.annalouoflondon.com
Where do you find the inspiration for all of your beautiful designs?
Tokyo, Japanese art, New York City mainly..
You stock in countries around the world – how do you fit all of this into your schedule? :)
I dont know! It’s a juggle having a 2 year old ( Wilbur) and 7month year old (Buzz). I have to make sure I work 6-8 hour day. Normally it’s from 5am – 7am. Then do the children’s breakfast and playgroup and then when they sleep at lunchtime I work from 12-2pm doing the web orders. And again I work from 7pm -9pm. But it’ll all change again next month, no doubt.
I made the decision though that I really want to bring up my children myself and be with them as much as I can before they go to school. So it won’t be long and I’ll be back to the business 100% full time. My husband is very supportive as well so when I have shows etc he takes the kids. We make it work as a team!
Do you have a proudest career moment to date?
I was awarded the first prize in the Observer Magazine – Future 500. I won the Retail and Fashion category.
Any advice for budding designers?
Test your product on a market stall so you can actually watch peoples reaction. Don’t keep putting things off. Remain positive. Put yourself out there. Don’t worry about breaking the rules!
What is happening for your brand for the rest of the year?
I am currently developing a new bag and candle range. All will be launched for Christmas.
Thanks, Anna – very inspiring ! You can visit the Anna Lou of London online store to see more of her creations, and also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
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