‘When I was 14 years old my Sister and I set up a little shop in my bedroom where we would make jewellery that we would then sell in school. We called it A L’Etage 2 as my room was the second room at the top of the stairs. ‘ Those words are by Tine Bladbjerg who continued that childhood passion in to the present day.
Here, she talk to House of Coco about where the brand is now and what the future holds…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I launched A L’Etage 2 in September 2014 as a marketplace for myself and the talented designer makers I have met over the years trading as a jeweller at craft and design fairs
Whats your background?
After having moved between Denmark, China and Belgium during my childhood I came to England in 1990 to study jewellery design. I settled here, and in 1996 I set up the jewellery business that I run to this day
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Currently we have 11 people involved, 9 makers and 2 technical and moral supports! We hope to continue to add to the number of makers within the next few months.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
We only launched the website in September 2014 so it is still very early days. At the moment I don’t have anything I would do differently but that will probably change in time. It is very much a learning curve
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Spreading the word and getting the brand recognised has been very challenging. As a jeweller selling at fairs I am used to a direct approach to the customer so there is a lot for me to learn about getting customers on the internet
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
I plan to get more makers on to the website. My goal at the moment is to have 12 makers by this September when A L’Etage 2 has its first birthday
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The biggest highlight to date was the actual launch. We sent out a newsletter to all our customers and friends and it was very exciting to see people visiting the website in real-time
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
I always carry two mascaras and a lipstick.
Style is something personal. It is in the detail and what might be right for one person might not be right for another. It is the choices that a person makes which shows that they are an individual
Best thing about London to you?
The best thing about London is the history and the diversity of the people. I especially like Smithfield and the surrounding areas where you find a mixture of traditional trades and trendy offices
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Statement bag although I do like lovely shoes too. I love the bags by Melissa Simpson, who makes luxurious handmade leather bags and who we hope to have on www.aletage2.com very soon. Everything about them shouts quality and I would enjoy using and wearing one every day.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
Although strictly speaking not a piece of clothing I wear my own jewellery every day. I have a selection of special pieces that I change between
Favourite love song?
Shine on you crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd. If I close my eyes when I listen to it, it takes me back to being young and in love sitting in an open window on a hot Summer’s night.
Best place for a coffee?
My favorite place for coffee is Madam Blaa in Vejle in Denmark where my parents live. It is a calm and sunny place where you get coffee in tall glasses, very delicious cakes and little gifts you didn’t know you needed
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
The best piece of advice I was ever given was “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”. When I was first starting my jewellery business in 1996 a friend, who was already running his own business, told me quite firmly to always take the help that I was offered as not everyone would always be that kind
Deli and fine food shops, especially Good Taste in Crystal Palace where I live. It is a lovely shop full of cheese and wine and other bits that you just have to get. I have to limit how often I go in there as I can easily come out with a whole cheeseboard