London based sister duo, Libby and Tess Collins launched jewellery brand Cecily last year and having set our eyes on their first collection we’re so glad they did. Big statement necklaces might be the thing of the moment but a love affair with chic, timeless pieces will always remain and that is what Cecily do best. Using a mix of silver, gold and bone, they have created a stunning collection of unique necklaces and pendants that add a touch of edge to the simplest of outfits. We got to chat with one half of the duo, Libby about what it’s like setting up a business with your sister and how Cecily was born.
Where did it all begin? What inspired you to set up Cecily London?
Embarrassingly… it’s not a very glamorous story. The ‘Cecily’ brand was born whilst we were broken down in the car, waiting to be rescued by the AA. I was a London College of Fashion graduate and Tess was an experienced jewellery designer yearning to start her own business. My Fashion Promotion degree was still very ripe so we spent those three hours, stuck in the car, writing the ‘Cecily’ business plan.
Tess had gained most of her experiences within buying and designing departments, and I was PR and Marketing minded, so it seemed like the perfect combination of skills to take into a business. A lot of time and thought was taken upon the decision as being sisters, we were apprehensive that it might not work… but large family businesses our in our bones, our Fathers side of the family are farmers and growing up in that environment gives you the drive and determination to succeed. It was, however, in that broken down car that we made the decision to go into business together and we haven’t looked back since.
Did you always want to work in the fashion industry?
Fashion has always been a part of our lives. Our grandfather owned a very successful Shoe business in Northampton post war era, that was then passed down to our Mother. We have been sitting on market stalls, going to trade shows and helping with buying trips since we were in our push chairs! We’re both very creatively minded, have always excelled in arts and sports and not so much in the academia! It was a natural progression from leaving school and we both love it…. if there’s a lesson to be learnt it’s you’ve got to love what you do. Life is too short.
What’s the best part of running your own business?
The best part without a doubt is having the control to develop your own ideas and to be able to put claim to them. You control the brand, and although a huge responsibility, it comes with so many rewards. Its been the biggest learning curve of our life, but every single creative process is such a joy.
And the worst?
Admin! All the ‘business’ sides of things…. Maths has never been our strong point. Also finding the will power to stay motivated… especially when you’re on an ‘Admin’ day…. they are the worst.
What’s it like working with your sister?
The Pro’s… being able to speak your mind, not having to worry about hurting each others feelings because we do it anyway…. (sorry Tess). Already knowing each other inside out so knowing how far you can push something and knowing when to stop. Knowing that whatever happens you get to share the ups and downs together in a friendship that has the strongest of bonds. We also know each others strengths and weaknesses and so its easy working out who’s best for what role.
The Cons…. being able to to speak your mind… sometimes its best not to.
What sets Cecily London apart from other jewellery brands?
Cecily is such a fun brand. It’s relaxed, it’s chilled out… a little bit hippy. It takes the fun and energy from Costume jewellery and transcends the barriers towards the fine jewellery market, but in a way that girls our age would respond to. It celebrates craftsmanship and art, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are no limits with Cecily jewellery… it exists to be worn, adored and treasured.
What’s next for Cecily London?
We are exhibiting ‘Cecily’ at Pure London Trade event in August which will be the first time the brand will be available wholesale which is a really exciting time for us. Apart from that, all we have on our minds is developing the initial launch collection. We have a lot of big ideas so watch this space!
Check out the stunning collection, available online here.
Or follow them on Twitter @Cecily_London