Adventures of an Independent Jewellery Designer

Adventures of an Independent Jewellery Designer

I set up a first shop in Derbyshire in 1973. The shop was heavily influenced by Terence Conran and sold a collection of beautiful objects created by independent designers. I selected and carefully curated a display for jewellery for the shop which proved to be incredibly popular. I'd always adored jewellery and so when I moved to London in 1984 I began to specialise in selling jewellery alone. 

Joy Everley

A photo of Joy Everley on the balcony of her first flat just after she moved to London in 1984. 

Upon moving to London I was lucky enough to have a stall at the famous Apple Market in Covent Garden. The market was known for specialising in British designed products at a time where there where few shops of this type in central London. As a self taught jewellery designer, I navigated my way through the maze of London’s  jewellery industry and started to produce my own unique designs. I decided from the beginning that I was only going to use precious metals and handpicked gemstones. 

Joy in Covent Garden

The market stall at Covent Garden's Apple Market in the 1980's. Joy Everley is on the left. 

Having built up an ardent following of friends and fans through the market, I was then able to establish my first jewellery boutique on Newburgh Street in 1998. The street itself had a strong history of nurturing many iconic fashion designers just at the beginning of their careers, including the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Helen Storey and Pam Hogg. It was incredibly exciting for us to have our first shop in such a location. 

Florence and Shaun outside our shop in Newburgh Street

Florence and Shaun helped us redecorate and repaint our new shop. This is a photo of them outside our shop on Newburgh Street in 1998. 

Naturally, my daughter Yasmin grew up being surrounded by jewellery and is now herself an independently successful jewellery designer. Yasmin designs her own collections which reflect her interests in Ancient Greek mythology, entomology and jazz age inspired motifs. We also design jewellery together at the jewellery shop in Soho. We only like to manufacture very small batches of our jewellery, which is either made by hand or by traditional lost wax carving techniques. Our designs are realised by a small team of incredibly talented craftspeople who are each specialists in their own area. Our handmade and gold jewellery pieces are made at our workshop in London and we also have a few more specialists who are based within the British Isles.  

Yasmin helping to redecorate the shop

Yasmin helping with the redecoration of the new shop in 1998. 

Our silver jewellery is created using traditional lost wax carving techniques by master silversmiths in Chang Mai, Thailand. I think it's important to maintain a close relationship with all of our workshops both within the UK and in Thailand which is why both Yasmin and I take a trip to Thailand every year to visit the wonderful people who help us craft our silver designs. This annual trip has become somewhat of a tradition over the last 20 years. Seeing our friends at the workshop is always the highlight of our year, and over the years Chang Mai has come to feel like a second home - it's such a beautiful small city which is surrounded by mountains, farmland and perfect green of the paddy fields! When Yasmin finished college she spent a month learning traditional jewellery making techniques by working alongside the silversmiths in Chang Mai, and our annual trip is always extra special for her as it feels so familiar.

 Yasmin at the workshop in Chang Mai

Top: The wax carving of our bee charm. Botton left: Yasmin and Daam at the workshop in Chang Mai. Bottom right: Yasmin watching the highly skilled process of hand-painting the enamel onto the jewellery. 

To this day our boutique remains a hidden gem (quite literally), with just the one small but bustling shop tucked behind the world famous Carnaby Street.  I'm always chuffed to see so many familiar faces in the shop, and also so many new ones! Being small and independent is an integral part of our identity and we owe our survival to our wonderful customers who have shown an incredible amount of loyalty, support and love. With an intention to remain small and specialised, my jewellery can only be found at the Soho boutique and online. Whether you've just discovered us or have been fans for years, I hope you enjoy browsing and buying our beautiful treasures! 

Our jewellery boutique in Soho

Above: Our jewellery shop on Newburgh Street as it looks today!

Joy & Yasmin Everley

Joy and Yasmin Everley - then and now. X

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