I wasn’t sure where to start writing about myself so I googled a few designers to see what information they’d included and as I suspected (and rightly so) they all have amazing achievements, success stories, some even with letters after their name. As much as I’d like to start off by listing my qualifications and awards from the most prestigious of institutions, I can’t. I’m degree educated but everything I’ve learnt within the art and jewellery world has been through my Dad, family, friends, artists, makers and other jewellers. Quite simply, I have learnt on the job by some very kind and talented people. Over time we have technically improved and expanded but fundamental to VCJ is a pure and genuine passion to create beautiful, colourful pieces of wearable art that are a pleasure to wear and as individual as their owners.
So, my career started a long way from jewellery. For many years I worked in some of the most exciting publishing houses, travelling and meeting all sorts of creative people. A few more years passed and despite enjoying the publishing world I knew I wanted to do something more creative and hands on so started looking at other possibilities.
Meanwhile, Dad had completed a fine art degree and masters in jewellery and had set up the business aware that I was at a crossroads he suggested that I join him and make it a family business. Shocked and appalled at the suggestion of working with family (!) I dismissed the idea. Six months later however, I was intrigued by the cool and colourful creations he was making so I spent some time with him “just to see what he was up to” and “no promises mind”. The rest is history and I’m still here with no intention of stopping.
I endeavour to maintain their spontaneous appeal by not working to any preconceived ideas or particular pattern, although there are many influences of course. This impulsive style with the bright, bold designs and experimenting with colour is fundamental to VCJ. By their painterly nature and visible brushstrokes every piece keeps them united as a brand and it’s philosophy; unique – stylish – wearable art.
There is no doubt none of this would have been possible without my late father, Michael, who started the jewellery business in 2001. We worked together for several years until he died in 2012, sadly long before his time. This is a wonderful legacy to hold and remember him by and thank goodness I did “Just see what he got up to”.
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