Designer Michael Kors once famously said: “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit,” and we really couldn’t agree more. They can dress up or dress down an outfit and most importantly inject that little bit of YOU into whatever your wearing.
So, when we discovered Brighton-based jewellery designer Georgia, from Cheap Frills and her amazingly quirky designs, we just knew we HAD to ask her to be this month’s Women in Business. We caught up with the local entrepreneur to chat kitsch designs, cameo obsessions and cocktails at Valentinos:
When and why did you start up Cheap Frills?
I started making jewellery as a hobby back in October 2011. I had one mission: to make a Queen Elizabeth I cameo ring. I’m completely fascinated with all things Tudor and I’d always wanted one! The ring sold out quickly, so I started to make other things and built up quite a collection. My shop and online following has grown really organically and I currently run the business part-time.
What gives you inspiration for each piece?
I am a total magpie, so anything sparkly or bejeweled gets my attention. I used to love rooting through my Grandma’s jewellery box for charms and trinkets and the cameos always really appealed to me. So much of what I do now is cameo related. I have always had a fascination with faces and the stories they tell. I’m a total animal lover too, so you’ll always find cute creatures in my collection. Cheap Frills is total mish mash of both modern and vintage inspired pieces, so anything goes really.
How long does it take to make a piece – from idea generation to final product?
This varies from item to item. The findings I use are from all over the world. I’ll have an initial idea like ‘wouldn’t it be awesome to have a charm bracelet with all of Henry VIII’s wives on?!’ I’ll do a rough sketch of what I’d like to create, and then set out to find the supplies I need to bring my idea to life.
I’ve very recently been training in silver and although the practical making process is different and more time consuming, it’s all about having the initial idea and then setting out to make it happen.
Have you made one piece that has been your favourite?
This is a tough one because I only ever make jewellery that I’d wear myself; I wouldn’t love doing it otherwise. Cheap Frills is a reflection of my personal style so it’s really tricky to pinpoint just one item. I adore rings – I think they’re my favorite item of jewellery in general – and I wear various rings from my collection on a daily basis. I’m forever gazing down to see what colour my Aphrodite mood ring is…
The animal themed jewels always go down really well. Other top selling items are the Dandelion necklaces, the mood rings and the Moon necklace and ring! I’ve started to introduce more silver onto the website recently and this has been well received. I want Cheap Frills to be an eclectic mixture of both costume jewellery and precious metal pieces. There’s certainly room for both in my jewellery box!
What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far?
I remember how excited I was the very first time someone shared a picture online wearing one of my creations, and the feeling hasn’t changed. I could never have imagined how my hobby would turn into a growing business and this in itself is my biggest achievement.
You’re totally spoilt for choice here aren’t you?! I love scouting through the quirky boutiques in the Laines, seaside strolls, cocktails at Valentinos bar and going to gigs with my man.