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THE COLLECTIVE BOUTIQUE WILL BE CLOSING DOWN SOON THE COLLECTIVE BOUTIQUE WILL BE CLOSING DOWN SOON

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Designer Spotlight: Milk Tooth

Designer Spotlight: Milk Tooth

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: MILK TOOTH

London-based Ernestina Potts and her husband Mark set up Milk Tooth jewellery in 2016 in the quest to create distinct, creative, bold statement earrings without the outlandish pricetag. I discovered them at a trade show earlier this year and loved the graphic element of their designs - they're so eye-catching and I felt they were creating something really different in the 'statement' jewellery category that I wanted to offer Collective Boutique clients.

This month I grabbed 10 minutes with Ernestina as she launches Milk Tooth's new 'Sphere Collection', to discuss her inspiration as a designer and jewellery style tips...

What sparked your desire to be a jeweller?

Basically I’m a total magpie and have always loved a big or impactful earring, but found myself struggling to find jewellery that was as exciting as I wanted at a price I could afford, so I decided to make my own! The design ideas come easily but working with makers and learning about different techniques has been the real learning curve.

milk tooth jewellery

What do you want Milk Tooth to be known for?
I want Milk Tooth to be known for stand out fresh and creative designs that will help make anyone who wears them feel amazing. Being accessible and open to all is really important to me. We’re all about celebrating individuality.

If you could design for someone in the public eye, who would it be?
To be honest I’m probably more interested in designing for everyday people, but some people whose style I love include FKA Twigs (pictured), MIA and Grace Jones. I like the way they experiment with fashion and use it as another part of their art.

FKA Twigs

Describe a day in the studio
I work full time as well, so the business happens early morning, evenings and weekends, apart from the odd partner or planning meeting that needs to happen in work hours. A big chunk of effort goes into asset creation for the website or social media. We have a small photo studio set up in our spare room at home and also organise regular shoots. Plus of course there’s all the more operational side with customer emails, website stuff and partner liaison. Developing designs and coming up with new ideas is definitely the funnest part. We always have a good few mood boards live and there are sketches of ideas literates all over the house!

statement earrings

What inspired your latest collection?
It’s kind of a comment on how messed up the world is at the moment. We envisaged an alternative world that was more harmonious and egalitarian and then had fun coming up with some of the philosophy behind it and bringing that to life through design. It sounds a bit serious but it’s supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek. Anyone who knows Sun Ra will see he had a big influence, with some counterculture references added in.

sphere collection Milk Tooth statement earrings

What jewellery pieces do you treasure?
My engagement ring which is an antique made in 1914 and a ring that my grandma used to wear every day.

Which other jewellery designers do you admire?
I don’t follow many other jewellery brands to be honest. I love what Gucci are doing, but wouldn’t actually buy their stuff. It is great to look at though! On the Rocks is an incredible jewellery magazine that is super inspirational. Their art direction is on fire!

On the rocks magazine

Name your favourite gemstone/metal and why.
I’m a massive sucker for gold. More is more in my world. And emeralds are my favourite gems.

At the end of a hectic day, how do you unwind?
Read a book or watch a good box set episode with a glass of red wine!

If you could offer one jewellery style tip, what would it be?
Wear it loud, wear it proud and release your inner queen.

Explore the Milk Tooth collection now - plus the new Sphere Collection launching soon.

 

 

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Designer Spotlight: Amarilo

Designer Spotlight: Amarilo

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: AMARILO

We fired off some quick questions to Amarilo co-founder, Ali Heiss this month as part of our Designer Spotlight series. As a female business owner, I've always loved the dynamic she has with her business partner, Stella Simona - women empowering women and achieving amazing, creative brands. Below she talks about the inspiration she draws from the women around her in creating the Amarilo aesthetic. You can read a gorgeous full-length interview with Ali over on her blog here, too.

Q: If you could design for someone in the public eye, it would be:
Ruth Ginsburg, the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in the US. Designing jewelry with anybody is a very intimate experience. You'd be surprised how much you can learn about someone by their taste in jewelry and I would love to sit down with Ruth.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?: 
The women around me, from all generations. I recently spoke to my mom about the hardships she endured in the 50s and 60s. The pressure to have a "kept home", raise three children, work full time, and cater to her ex-husband - that's what was expected. Nearly 70 years later, women have linked arms and come a long way to push back this oppressive societal pressure. It's one of the reasons that my business partner Stella and I understand the importance of collaboration because women bring each other up. Since we started our partnership over 5 years ago, we have tackled so much more together.  This is why I create and design jewelry for women, because they deserve every beautiful token to remind them how hard they have worked, just for being a woman. 

Ruth Bader [image credit Sebastian Kim for TIME]
Q: Who is on your current playlist?:
Sofi Tukker & Podcasts (Masters of Scale).

Q: Tell us about some Apps you can’t live without:
Pandora, Instagram, Slack and Dropbox.

Q: What is your most treasured piece of jewellery: 
It would have to be an Amarilo Lock Pendant. 

Amarilo jewelry

 

 Shop the Amarilo collection here

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New Designer: LA jewellery brand, Amarilo

New Designer: LA jewellery brand, Amarilo

This summer we are welcoming LA-based fine and demi-fine jewellery brand, Amarilo to The Collective as their first UK stockist. Minimalist lovers, or those simply looking for beautifully understated everyday pieces that they're not going to tire of, will love this 3rd generation of Californian jewellers. 

The Collective is all about representing exciting, emerging jewellers in the UK and on a personal note, I am super excited to bring Amarilo to our shores. I've been in touch with and following one of Amarilo's founders Stella Simona since I launched my business in 2013 and they've been on my designer wish list ever since. 

I love the modern simplicity of their collections, the way the pieces can be layered together and the fact they are solid 9/14ct gold which makes them affordable and lovely pieces to gradually add to, as the whole collection sits together so well. This is jewellery for the modern day woman, designed by women who understand what a real woman wants from her jewellery!

From the gorgeous MAMA necklace that sits perfectly at the collarbone, to the iridescent Mini Opal Hoops and simple Gold Ball Studs.

Discover the collection here 

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