“The helicopter will take off so it will be noisy in a minute but I still can hear you!” – that’s how I started my phone interview with Belinda Scott, the founder of the Heavenly Necklaces.
Her jewellery brand combines in her designs, British and European cultural and historical heritage with contemporary statement jewellery trends. In her pieces she uses cubic zirconia instead of diamonds to make bling rings affordable to everyone. However, she also has gold plated pieces with real semiprecious gemstones, which are also within costume jewellery price range.
Once The Duchess of Cambridge wore Heavenly Necklaces faux diamond and pearl earrings, the brand has got recognition worldwide. This brand is adored by British celebrities and members of the Royal Family.
It was a happy accident. I was making jewellery pieces for myself and people kept asking me: “Could you make one for me?”. Mainly they were necklaces, that’s why I called my brand ‘Heavenly Necklaces’. And that was back in 1998.
- What were you doing before that?
I used to work in public relations.
- What is your degree and is it related to a jewellery design?
I’ve done a course in silver- and gold-smithery and I’ve been learning along the way; from the people who cut, polish and set the stones.
- Why did you choose the range of faux diamonds and jewellery below £100?
Because that’s what women would buy for themselves. The jewellery over one thousandpounds would normally been given to them by loved ones or they would inherit it. So if woman is buying for herself, it’s a fashion piece. They would spend sixty or one hundred and fifty pounds but no more.
- What is your favourite gemstone?
I love aquamarine! Because it’s the colour of the sea, and the sky, and holidays, and all sort of beautiful things!
- What is the inspiration for your designs?
Simply fashion. I see what’s happening: for example, if sixties are on trend, I try to include the elements that Jackie O used to wear.
- What’s your favourite piece so far?
Mmm, that’s an interesting one! I love the Guinevere ring and that’s piece I wear myself all the time. Because it’s very contemporary yet its design has got historical heritage and character as well. I love it!
- Are you planning to open your own store?
Never! I don’t want to have a store never-ever-ever! Because you have many problems when you have a store. Unfortunately you will have shoplifters, you have staff failing to come in on Saturdays. We do though a lot of Christmas fairs and summer events which help to expand the brand’s name. We only sell online.
- I’ve heard your daughter Madeleine is involved in the brand development. What is her role and is it now becoming a family business then?
It’s a family business because in fact my lovely daughter is taking it over. She’s involved in day to day administration, sales and marketing, and we are currently developing her designing abilities, so she could take on this area as well. But I intend stay with it on the design front for many years to come.
- Are all of designs created by you?
Pretty much, yes. We also have some Italian suppliers and we are buying from them. Some of them are very classic designs which have been done for hundreds of years so we using them.
Yes, a lot. More and more in fact; people want to have their own real diamond rings copied so they have something to travel with. Or they have a lovely old piece but they don’t wear because they don’t like it so they ask me to give it a new life.
- What is your favourite piece you have worked with?
A woman who had a big-big ruby and diamond ring and she said it would never work for her. We broke it up and made it into two eternity rings and a model like a Guinevere ring with a big ruby in the middle. It was fantastic piece!
- How do your customers find out about your brand?
We had a lot of publicity when the Duchess of Cambridge wore a pair of our faux diamond and pearl earrings. And I think the secret is because they are only fake diamonds, they don’t have to go back into the safe every night. They are still on the dressing table for the next day so she can wear them over and over again. It was lovely for people who wanted a slice of the Duchess because they could afford it at just £48!
Text: Irina Smith