Behind the designs with Charlotte Blakeney
This month, By Charlotte turns 5! and to celebrate we sat down with company directors Charlotte Blakeney to look back on the last 5 years and discuss what's to come next...
1. What was the inspiration behind By Charlotte? and how did it all begin?I have always wanted to design my own jewellery range, my passion began when I was younger, playing around in mum’s jewellery box; I’d adorn myself with all these Indian-inspired pieces and coloured gemstones she had. For many years, I thought of the idea of creating my own label, but it wasn’t until I reached almost two decades as a make-up artists, I finally decided to launch my jewellery brand. From it’s humble beginnings in my living room, I cannot believe that we are now celebrating its 5th birthday.
2. What has been the strongest influence on By Charlotte's aesthetic so far?
Travel has always been a huge inspiration to me, learning from new cultures and exploring their spiritual meanings is always my reference when designing my spirited jewels. I also look to the meaning behind semi precious stones, crystals and symbols when seeking inspiration for my collections, the philosophy behind my brand was to create each collection with the foundation of being symbolic and meaningful.
3. You tend to use a lot of spiritual symbols within your range. How are you spiritual on a personal level and what do these symbols mean to you?
I am a very creative person which has lead me down a spiritual path in my life. All the jewellery I have worn over the years has always had a meaning behind it, I am a believer that jewellery shouldn’t just been worn for its beauty but have an emotional connection. I always wanted to create an emotional connection to the each jewel I created, my very first collection started with the Lotus flower, the symbol of purity and enlightenment. The Lotus is now a signature motif of the brand.
4. Your collections are inspired by your travels, what is your favourite place to visit?
Travel always inspires me, learning from new cultures and exploring their spiritual meanings. I really love travelling to Bali and India. Their cultures are so incredible, I love exploring their craftsmanships, art and history
5. What has been a career highlight so far?
Three major highlights would be, the opening of my flagship store in Paddington, Sydney; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing my jewellery on the cover of the Australian Harpers Bazaar and launching my first diamond collection, Diamond Sky.
6. What is your most coveted piece from your collections?
It’s very hard to choose my favourite item, but my very first collection and signature range, 'Lotus & Little Buddha’ is still one of my most cherished items and I’m obsessed with our new Island Dream hoops for summer! I just love them!!
7. What is your favourite part about the design process?
I really enjoy every aspect of the design process and developing new styles within the collections that girls will love to wear. I’m often in store which gives me a chance to chat with the girls that pop in and find out what they are after in the way of jewellery. Just chatting to girls and hiring what they like really helps with my creative flow for design.
8. This year you launch your first diamond collection, how did that come about?
For a few years now, I have always wanted to create a diamond collection but it wasn’t meant to be until this year when everything aligned to create Diamond Sky. I just love layering the tiny stars and moons up my ears!
9. This month you celebrate your brand 5th birthday, how does that feel?
I feel so blessed to reach this milestone. It is very surreal to think that I started this journey 5 years ago from my living room and now I have a huge loyal following and over 70 national and international stockists and an online store that ships to loyal customers around the globe.
10. What’s next for By Charlotte?
I have achieved a lot of my goals in the brands short 5 years, but my next goal is to expand the brand into the bridal market then I hope to enter the US market in 2018. It’s exciting times for us, that’s for sure!