Raw, Unique, Unconventional | In Conversation with Saloukee

About Saloukee

In Conversation with Sarah Shakespeare

 

Name: Sarah Shakespeare

 

Occupation:  Designer/Lecturer

 

In three words describe Saloukee: Raw. Unique. Unconventional.

 

How did your business start?  I studied jewellery at college and university. After graduating in 2005, I worked for others and spent time traveling. By 2008, I knew working for myself—on my own terms—was the only way to take the steps to reach my goals and so Saloukee was born! (https://saloukee.com/independent-designer-sarah-kelly/)


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Have you got a favourite design? What do you love about it? Hmm, I’m not sure I could narrow it down to just one piece, but I would say I have a favourite collection, it’s my Lost & Found collection. Which was inspired on a short break to Denmark. What began as a mission in finding the time to just ‘be’ evolved into an urge to capture that very moment of freedom in time. That holiday, I realised that creativity is at its most perfect for me, when I’m rediscovering escape and adventure and my Lost & Found collection really captures that for me. 


Saloukee Lost and Found Collection


In all my collections, I try to find ways to transform the ordinary and every day, creating sentiment with the unconventional. I recently started to undertake commissions from clients who would like their own stones/pebbles/beach glass set in a piece of jewellery. The perfect way to retain a memory, create a keepsake and remember that moment forever. (https://saloukee.com/contact-saloukee/)

 

What is your best-selling design? My Strands collection has to be my best-selling design to date. Particularly popular has been my chunky, handwoven yarn necklaces. They come in a range of 10 colour options to suit most tastes and occasions. As seen in The Sunday Times Style Magazine, Company Magazine, ElleUK.com and most recently in the stores of Anthropologie U.S.


Saloukee Strands Collection

 

What do you love most about running your jewellery business? The freedom! I’ve realised over the years, I’m probably not the easiest person to work with. I like things done just so, on my terms and this works well when I only have myself to answer to! I also get to challenge myself more than I feel any job could challenge me. I undertake all aspects of my business and I love the fact that I can drive it in the direction I want to, when I want to.

 

With all that has been achieved in your career so far, what are you most proud of? When I set up my business in 2008, I set out on my one-woman mission to change—in my own little way—preconceptions of what jewellery should or could be made from. Along the way, I’ve written a book on the subject (https://saloukee.com/jewellery-book/), undertaken workshops with people, aged from five to seventy-five, and even lectured designers of the future on the subject. In all those years, it was just last year, 8 years in that I will saw the medium of paper in jewellery, being ‘accepted’ and sold in one of the worlds most stylish lifestyle stores, Anthropologie (https://saloukee.com/anthropologie-jewellery/).

 

Saloukee for Anthrologie


What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of starting their own creative business?

Be stubborn, vigilant and confident in your product/service and quite simply don’t ever give up…it will happen if you’re determined and flexible enough.

 

What are your plans for Saloukee this year?

I have some exciting developments this year for Saloukee inspired by the community I’ve nurtured for myself over the last 3 years being in the county. It’s an idea that will involve jewellery, working with other independent local businesses and looking at taking my Saloukee world, in other’s homes.

 

Quick Fire Get To Know You Questions:

 

Favourite Colour? White or grey, oh I don’t know … it’s too hard to choose between!

 

Favourite Food? I LOVE Asian food; sushi, dumplings, dim sum … give me the lot and I’ll be your friend forever!

 

Favourite tipple? A cold Martin Millers gin with a 1724 tonic water, slice of orange and a couple of juniper berries … am I setting the scene?!

 

Hobby? Upholstery. I fell in love with a boxy mid-century Danish armchair on eBay last year … I borrowed my husband’s white work van and undertook a 7-hour round journey to rescue the little treasure. I even undertook an upholstery course to give it the TLC it needed … except the short course finished and the chair to this day is in pieces under my stairs, feeling very sorry for itself! However, fear not, one of my aims for 2017 is to finish the beauty, so it can take pride of place in my newly decorated home.

 

Favourite place to visit in Shropshire? The top of Caer Carradoc on a fresh and sunny afternoon, for me definitely one of the finest views to be seen!

 

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