Q&A with Really Wild
Our spring-summer campaign photoshoot would not be complete without the stunning Pomegranate Jewellery to complement our Liberty silk dresses and shirts. From jewel bracelets, dangling earrings and, pendant necklaces. We caught up with founder Katie to learn a bit more about her fabulous collection and to discover more on adding a touch of Pomegranate Jewellery to dressing up.
What propelled you to launch Pomegranate Jewellery in 2008?
A culmination of lots of hard work building up the business and luck/ serendipity – as it usually goes! After many years of plying my trade on a stall at Portobello Road, at fairs and really anyway that would have me, my sister told me that the shop next to her restaurant on Kensington Square was available and I jumped at the chance to finally have a fixed place to sell my designs [and of course to work next door to her]. At the time it felt like a huge leap of faith and one, that I am happy to say, paid off.
At Really Wild our collections are designed for modern life but always inspired by our WILD British roots. Would you say India has formed the inspiration behind Pomegranate Jewellery?
Certainly, India remains the main inspiration but I would like to think that my own British roots feed into the design work and my creations will always take elements of Indian traditional jewellery and jewellery-making techniques and combine them with my own Western design sensibilities.
Pomegranate Jewellery prides itself on using Indian age-old craftsmanship. Can you tell us a little more about these ancient techniques used?
The first piece of jewellery I sold, over 20 years ago, was a beautiful kundan set pendant and my fate was sealed. My fascination and love of traditional Indian jewellery design is central: the breadth of design forms and techniques is overwhelming and I will happily spend what time I have exploring and learning. To mention but a few of my favourite things – firstly: kundan setting: this is the use of ribbons of pure gold to set and affix gemstones in a design and secondly: the wonder of Rajasthani champleve enamelling – often seen on the reverse of traditional pieces of jewellery.
We absolutely adore your “Cocktail in Hand” earring line for elevating an outfit for those more special occasions. What makes this earring line so perfect for special occasions?
Yup – guilty! Most of us are time-short so what easier way than to transition from work to cocktail then a pair of fab earrings? This range of earrings is specifically fun, flirtatious and a great conversation-starter.
Gemstones seem to be very prevalent throughout your collection. Have you always had a love for gemstones?
I am a total magpie and initially learned a lot about gemstones ‘on the job’ and then formalised my knowledge by studying at the Gemological Institute of America [GIA] which I absolutely adored and became a true gem geek. Essentially though, my main gem dealer in Jaipur is my greatest teacher and has helped me over the years to look at stones, separate out the best from the ok, and has been patient and kind enough to let me spend days doing so…
Our #REALLYWILDWOMEN care about where their products come from and would love to know more about how and where your gemstones are sourced?
The majority of people I work with in Jaipur, I have done so for almost two decades so I know their workshops/ factories/ families/ pets and have seen their supply chain in action. The gemstones we use are mined all over the world and then mainly end up in Jaipur, as one of the prime centres for cutting coloured gemstones. I will spend days with my main gemstone dealer in Jaipur looking at both rough and cut stones and going through endless packets from other dealers- that will be bought in to compare and contrast. My favourite place is his office in the centre of the Old City in Jaipur where the rough is brought in direct and is cut and fashioned before your eyes. Magic!
Out of the entire Pomegranate collection that was showcased in our SS20 collection, what is your favourite piece and why?
I adored the styling of our pieces with your SS20 collection and one of my favourite images is our Avani earrings teamed with your gorgeous Liberty print dressed. An excellent example of how a pair of earrings are the perfect finishing touch to an outfit.
What advice would you give to our #REALLYWILDWOMEN who are thinking about purchasing jewellery for the first time from you?
Follow your heart! Everyone has their own style and we love working with our customers to find something that suits them perfectly. Maybe it’s a pair of simple, colourful gemstone studs or perhaps an extravagant beaded necklace …. suffice to say, there is plenty to choose from!
At Really Wild we believe that colour elevates an outfit to a very special place. It’s integral to how we design. Are your colour led when it comes to selecting the gemstones for your jewellery.
Colour is everything and coloured gemstones lie at the heart of our collections. I will always go with certain colours and gemstones in mind when I am buying and then allow a lot of space and budget for the unexpected and unusual finds that turn up! Last trip it was a lot of dreamy cabochon kunzites – there is always a surprise find and I love the challenge of then incorporating this find into a workable design…
We hear the word pleochroism used a lot when referring to gems. Can you help educate our customers on what this means for selecting gemstone jewellery?
Pleochroism [from the Greek ‘pleio’ many and ‘chros’ colour] is an optical phenomenon in a gemstone where the stone displays different colours when viewed from different directions. A very good example of this is the gemstone tanzanite where you are able to see blue, purple and red hues as you move the stone around. Other gemstones showing strong pleochroism are tourmalines and corundum [rubies and sapphires].
If you were to some up your Pomegranate Jewellery in 3 words what would you say?
Colourful, joyous, individual.