I discovered Sophie Breitmeyer’s unique and beautiful fine jewellery at an art fair in the Goldsmiths Centre in London where she has her own workshop studio nestled amongst established firms of silversmiths and jewellers and young craftspeople starting out in business. I was surprised to learn that she was training at the ski championships in France before deciding to enrol for a course at the prestigious St Martin’s College of Art and Design in London.
Despite her young age, Sophie has already established her style and her name in the world of fine and fashion jewellery brands. Let’s learn a bit more about this young and talented jewel designer who has very clear ideas on how to run her business and establish her brand.
PH: Where does your desire to create jewels originate from?
SB: I don’t remember when I decided I wanted to become a jeweller, however I believe that I was meant to be one. It is in my blood. My great grandfather travelled to South Africa with Cecil Rhodes in the early 1900’s where he was one of the original directors of DeBeers. I have always been creative and have had a desire to make things, this coupled with my family’s history meant the jewellery was the obvious path for me. My mother has also been a big influence as she loves jewellery and has only added fuel to the fire where my interest in jewellery has been concerned.
PH: You seem very enthusiastic about the course you did at St Martin’s. Tell us a bit more about St Martin’s and about the course you did?
SB: Central St Martins is a wonderful place to study, you can not help but feel excited as you walk through its doors. The place buzzes with creativity and you just know that inside those 4 walls some truly exciting and inspiring things are happening. For all its magic though it is a tough place to learn, you are pushed to the boundaries of your creativity and concepts in search of great results. St Martins has a reputation and it certainly lives up to this. The opportunities I got there have led me to where I am today, I am grateful for this as elsewhere I do not believe that the same opportunities would have found me. The course at St Martins was both practical as well as design led, we learnt not only how to imagine great things but to create them as well.
PH: What was the outcome of this course and how did it help to start off your career?
SB: The completion of every degree at St Martins results in a degree show, a week long exhibition open to the press, buyers, and the public. The degree show for me was the start of Sophie Breitmeyer Designs. I was asked as a result of my degree show to design and consult on collections for a number of both fine and fashion jewellery brands such as Kiki McDonough and Tateossian alongside this my own work was nominated for The Bright Young Gem Award @ International Jewellery London, a showcase of 5 exciting new designers from across the country, chosen by key press such as Hilary Alexander of the Telegraph Fashion and Vivienne Becker of the Financial Times How to Spend it.
PH: In 2010, you decided to start your own company “Sophie Breitmeyer Design”. What made you decide to do this?
SB: The Degree Show opened a lot of doors for me, none of which I was ready to close therefore I decided to set up my own company in 2010. Sophie Breitmeyer Designs, selling annual collections of fine jewellery, whilst making bespoke made to order pieces for private clients as well as designing and consulting for bigger brands.
PH: What have been your major developments and achievements since 2010? Which one contributed to establish your own brand?
SB: Since 2010 there have been a couple of major developments that have contributed to establishing my own brand. The first was being nominated to be a Bright Young Gem, this encouraged me to set up my own brand rather than work for one. In 2011 I collaborated with both Winterson Pearls www.winterson.co.uk, as well as Fyodor Golan on their Spring/Summer 2012 collection creating a series of collars. Fyodor Golan won fashion fringe 2011 of the back of this collection and I was subsequently nominated to be Catwalk Designer of the Year in 2012. In 2012, I decided to really concentrate on my own work having consulted and collaborated with a variety of companies since my graduation. I relaunched my website and employed a PR company to handle my public relations with a new collection Serpentina, which has led to my work gaining more influential press and the attraction of some of the UK’s key buyers.
PH: Are there particular pieces of jewellery you enjoy designing and producing?
SB: I love producing fine jewellery above all other jewellery, within my bespoke work engagement rings are the most rewarding item of jewellery to make as I become a part of a couples story and there development. Within my collections, I enjoy designing pieces of fine jewellery that are both classic as well as unique and fashionable, I believe that I have achieved this in my most recent collection Serpentina. The pieces within this collection are multi faceted in terms of wear as well appealing to all different types of women, there are pieces within the collection for an edgier younger women as well as more classic elegant women.
PH: What is your main focus for 2013 and 2014?
SB: My main aims for 2013 and 2014 are to continue to develop my brand of fashion fine jewellery; I will launch a new collection in September to sit alongside my current collections Serpentina, and Miniature Ruffles which will aim to be both classic as well as unique. I would like to return to trade fairs in the next year as well as show at London Fashion Week. Continuing to develop relationships with both key national and international press and buyers, is I believe very important to maintaining my reputation and making my work accessible and desirable to clientele.
PH: Do you have a clear idea what you will be focusing on over the next few years?
SB: Over the next few years I am going to really concentrate on developing brand awareness, both through press as well as getting some key stockists within the UK. I would love to see my work in British department stores such as Liberty’s, Fortnum and Mason and Harvey Nichols.
PH: Do you have a dream?
SB: My dream is to develop a brand that creates both collections, as well as bespoke pieces from a concept studio rather than shop. I would like all the jewellery to be made in the UK. I hope to have a good online presence as well as good press, influential stockists as well as brand endorsements. I hope to be able to continue to produce fine jewellery that is accessible, wearable and desirable. This is important to me as I want it to sit alongside ready to wear easily.
For more information, visit: www.sophiebreitmeyer.com