In our continuing series of interviews with inspiring designer-makers featured in "Inspired:London - A Guide to Handmade in London", we are delighted to catch up with Ayshe Brandts of Brandts Jewellery.
What is name and background behind your company?
My company is called Brandts Jewellery. It is my surname, and I think together with my logo and branding material conveys the right impression about my brand – contemporary, unfussy, sophisticated.
Where are you based?
Central London (Earl's Court).
How long have you been in business for?
One and a half years.
What do you love most about living in London?
I love the fact that it is so multi-cultural and open minded. You could be from anywhere, wear whatever you like, and nobody bats an eyelid. Everyone is at home here. My Reflections of London collection is a great reflection of this – a collection inspired by patterns found on the manholes in the streets of London – some Moorish, some gothic, some inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. London has layers of culture, architecture and design inspired by waves of immigration from different places that took place over the centuries.
Who or what inspires you?
I am obsessed with shapes and forms created by nature, and, from the ridges on the surface of a cardamom pod to ripples in the sand on the bottom of the sea. I like to re-interpret these and apply them to my jewellery, for example the Spice Island collection. I am also inspired by people like Santiago Calatrava – he is the ultimate designer as he is both and engineer and an architect, so he has the ability to create exquisite structures which also work effectively. For me, form and function always go hand in hand, you cannot have one without the other.
What advice would you give designers starting out?
Do your research so you understand the market and how you fit into it, identify your audience (you cannot be all things to all people), keep a firm control of your costs, sort out your finance and prepare to work very hard!
What is new for your company?
Although the Reflections of London collection is a year old, I am adding new pieces to it (friendship bracelets for men) and due to the London 2012 Olympics there has been intense interest in the range, both from the retail and trade augience. The collection launched on Glamourpods (Hong Kong based company) in August this year and will be launching on Seek and Adore in October.
Ayshe Brandts - Brandts Jewellery will be featured in Inspired:London 'Guide book to Designers in London' by Mary McDermott from We Make London