Get ready for the office Christmas party and a very stylish New Year!
Today on the blog I'm really excited to bring you a question and answer spotlight on the lovely Hannah Davis, a fantastic British Designer and owner of Wolf & Moon the beautiful handcrafted jewellery label based out of a studio in Hackney, East London. All pieces are made in-house using materials sourced from the UK or Europe and all of the pieces are just beautiful!
Now I personally fell in love with the unique designs and style of this label as I love the balance that they offer for the current trend of largish, statement style pieces with such delicate designs, ethereal colours and a gentle, natural look. I wanted so much to bring these lovely pieces to a place on this blog. In the lead up to Christmas and New Years Eve I can really see how lovely they would work for styling up a classic outfit as you head off to the office Christmas Party or a get together with friends and colleagues. Whether you put one of the gorgeous necklaces with your trusted little black dress or pick a pair of earrings to jazz up a simple top for your office Christmas lunch there's something to make you stand out on each occasion. Stylish and chic just the way I like things!
So without further ado let's have a chat to Hannah about how she got started in this business, where she finds her inspiration and what her top tips are for maintaining a good work-life balance when things get really busy in business.
Hi Hannah! Thanks for agreeing to have a chat with The What Now Blog - could you give me the low down on your company and the passion and idea behind what you do?
The idea behind Wolf & Moon is to create a unique handcrafted jewellery brand that is both fashion forward and affordable. Wearability is key, but I also want our pieces to be eye catching and unusual.
What is your background? How did you get into running this business and designing jewellery?
I have always been a designer/maker in some shape or form. At college I started selling second hand and vintage clothes on MySpace with a couple of friends - they soon gave up and I took over. I began making some of my own jewellery to sell alongside the clothes and I found it extremely rewarding when it sold. I moved to London at 18 to study for a BA in Fine Art with an interest in film photography, but I took my jewellery to markets on weekends. When I graduated, it became apparent that a successful career in the art world would be pretty difficult and so I decided to go full time into making jewellery as it was already paying my rent - it was the best decision I ever made! I often use my photography in making marketing material, packaging or for photo-shoots so in a way I chose the best of both worlds!
How do you find being your own boss - what are the challenges, what are the benefits?
On the whole it is fantastic! I now employ 3 assistants so I'm not just my own boss anymore and this comes with so much more responsibility. Although I am fairly business minded, there have been many times I've learnt the hard way because no one tells you otherwise and it isn't always straightforward. I sometimes feel like I'm doing 5 people's jobs! The benefits, however, are endless - I feel incredibly proud that I've managed to create my own brand and that I get to work with such lovely people in my own studio.
Where do you find your inspiration for the designs and ideas for your products?
Inspiration comes from a myriad of places - nature has a huge place in my heart so this usually comes into it whether it's literal or just mixing in wood for a more earthy feel. Otherwise I can be inspired by a design period, an exhibition, a place I have visited or simply by the materials themselves.
What is it that you love most about what you do?
Designing something new! I love a lazy Sunday trip to an exhibition then sitting in a cafe sketching new pieces.
How do you find balance between work and life when your workload gets overly busy?
It can be tough, and I'm not sure I do it very well yet. In the past I've worked until 11 or 12 every night and it was not good for my health. It comes from a passion for what I do and enjoying the work, but lately I've been making a point of finishing by at least 8pm - I had forgotten how nice it is to go home and cook something nice and have a relaxed evening!
Do you have any top tips or anecdotes you are happy to share with us – either relating to your company or just as part of your career as a whole?
Organise yourself with a to do list every day and carefully plan 3 months ahead with a detailed plan for at least the next month! Oh and don't push accountancy tasks to the side - hire an accountant/bookkeeper who knows best as it will definitely pay off. Tax and VAT can be extremely complicated but someone who knows about this area will often save you money and a lot of headache in the long run.
Do you have any advice for anyone else looking to get into a similar business?
My tutor at art school gave me the best advice - know what you are good at and run with it. I would also say you should know clearly who your customer is and make sure you test out your products in the right market - for me, that was simply starting off at markets in East London. Don't be afraid to just get your product out there and seen by people, then be as open as possible to feedback and change. Be prepared to work very hard, but it will be totally rewarding.
Thank you so much to Hannah for giving us an insight to how she got started and how she balances her working world. Some really great advice especially about knowing who you are and running with it. I think that trusting your instinct is so important and can often be overlooked in many work environments when there are many untold pressures coming in your direction.
I've included just a snapshot of some of the beautiful products that you can find by Wolf & Moon. The necklace above is part of their current collection in collaboration with designer Alfred and Wilde inspired by the platonic solids, a series of five solid shapes named after the Ancient Greek thinker Plato. I also really love the 'Coppafeel' collection above, an exclusive line designed as part of the Coppafeel campaign to help continue to raise awareness for the early detection of breast cancer. Something that I'm sure is close to many of our hearts.
Finally below I will leave you with some of my favourite picks for jazzing up your office party outfits and I hope that you find Hannah's advice as well as her beautiful jewellery as inspiring as I have done!
Have a wonderful day all!