Sally-Ann Dunn & Bartosz Wozniak are the founders of Baltic Beauty – an online jewellery brand, inspiring a modern image of timeless amber jewellery.
In this current age of disposable fashion, the pair are working together to promote meaningful jewellery with no expiry date. Through their photos, social media and online blog – they’re creating a new avenue for styling the natural Amber stone for the modern woman.
Here, we go behind the brand to find out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Baltic Beauty first began in 2014, after a romantic weekend vacation to the shores of the Baltic Sea in Gdansk, Poland. It was there that we (my fiancé and I) discovered the beauty of Baltic Amber. Upon returning to the UK, we realised the rarity of amber in the English jewellery market, and most notably amongst young women. So, from our shared university room, we started our own Etsy store – proposing a new way of styling amber jewellery for the modern woman. Since then, Baltic Beauty has become an established online brand, with its designs sold all across the globe.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Baltic Beauty is solely ran by myself, Sally-Ann and my fiancé, Bartosz. We work on everything together as a team, with the creative branding side led mainly by myself, with Bart acting, more often than not, as the workhorse! Bart is a professional photographer, so often finds himself hidden behind his camera, responsible for all of our brands images. Being the only female, I find myself pushed in front of the camera, acting as the model for our brand. Other than having our own distinct skill sets, we generally run everything together – from collection design to customer service, we’re a team!
What is your background?
[Sally-Ann] Interestingly, I actually studied Biology at the University of Exeter and was initially planing on become a doctor or medical researcher. However, from a young age I have always been creative. Up until the age of about 15, I used to make my family Christmas presents, from pyjama cases to rugby ball money boxes and phone holders. I sort of lost this creative passion whilst taking up an academic route, but quickly found it again upon starting Baltic Beauty – and I have no intention of ever losing it again!
[Bart] I am Polish, I was born and raised in Poland, so english is actually my second language. But, my proud Polish heritage is what kind of inspired Baltic Beauty to begin with. Originally, I also took up an academic route of study at University, I studied Law at Exeter, and almost completed a masters at the University of Rennes, France. My passion for working for ourselves and working alongside Sal, is what led me to the realisation that I really don’t ever want a legal career, and so I quit the course 3 weeks before the end!
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I’m actually not sure that we would do anything differently, I am so proud of how Baltic Beauty is progressing and all decisions have led to where we are now. The only thing I think we could have done, is make more use of the networking opportunities whilst at University.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
The hardest challenge is essentially our mission – and will continue to be the hardest but most rewarding thing about our brand, and that is that we are trying to create a new target audience. Amber has always been a “stone” associated with older women, I know for example that my Nan’s favourite jewellery was Amber. Not only that, but thanks to high street clothes stores such as TopShop, Zara, etc. disposable jewellery has become such a popular choice. But we’re trying to show a youthful and modern audience, that Amber and timeless, meaningful jewellery is beautiful. It is our belief that a jewellery piece bears no expiry, but offers a lifetime of enjoyment, captivation and meaning. And, the exclusive beauty of our jewellery, is not only in its timeless design, but also that with each Amber stone, you own a completely unique and physical piece of history and time.
2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
We’re planning on taking Baltic Beauty even further, maybe into some physical stores, maybe expanding further internationally – every day we are pushing more and more, so the possibilities are endless! In the next year, I would like to create a Baltic Beauty catalogue and lay down a number of key designs which will be here to stay – at the moment we get a bit carried away and add new designs every day!
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
[Sally-Ann] For me, it was the launch of our packaging. It sounds silly but I spent about a year, designing, creating and organising our very own branded jewellery boxes. It was the bane of my existence at the time, but seeing my hard work come to life was very special!
[Bart] A highlight since launching was definitely the transition from being a student and having Baltic Beauty as a hobby to working on it full time. We made the conscious decision to choose our own business over any safe career path – a terrifying but liberating moment.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
Definitely London, since being together we have always made an conscious effort to go to there regularly. It’s just something about London that makes you feel like you can do anything. It’s so cheesy, but after growing up in the countryside, London is just full of opportunity. Whether through networking, shopping or the sheer choice of coffee bars – you have everything you could possibly need within a relatively small radius.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
- My rings, as well as my engagement ring, I absolutely cannot leave the house without wearing at least three of our Baltic Amber rings. Right now, my favourites are, the Butterfly Midi Ring, the Two Tone Tulip Ring and our Princess Crown Ring.
- My Fiorelli handbag – the perfect cross body bag for holding all of the essentials
- Lipstick – I’m in love with the Loreal Paris Matte Addiction in Mocha Chic but also, I am a sucker for Kylie Jenner’s Matte lipgloss too.
[Sally-Ann] For me, style means conveying your personality. Your choices of style speaks volumes about your character. From the nail varnish you wear to the jewellery you accessorise with, to the colour you paint your bedroom walls, it is all a subtle description of who you are.
[Bart] Style means the ability to portray yourself appropriately in any given setting. I genuinely believe it is the opposite of fashion, fashion comes and goes but style is a timeless state of expression.
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Always a statement shoe – Bart will forever have me on a shoe embargo, I could purchase a new pair every day.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
[Sally-Ann] I would choose black skinny jeans – they just look great with everything. Whether you throw on an oversized jumper for comfort, or a shirt and blazer – you can style them so easily.
[Bart] My grey knitted jumper, that I got as a gift from Sal – I’m pretty sure that it’s from a supermarket in France, but it’s so versatile and easy to style that it would get me through most situations.
Best place for a coffee?
We love visiting new spots for a coffee – any small, cute and quirky location. But, we have to admit that our most visited coffee house is Costa Coffee.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
[Sal] This is such a difficult question – as keen travellers, we have so many places we’d love to visit. But if it was only 24 hours, it would have to be someplace in the middle of nowhere. Maybe, in the Black Forest of Germany – just us and the sound of nature.
[Bart] For me, I would choose Whistler in Canada – 24 hours of skiing in the biggest ski resort in Canada? Yes please.
Find out more…
You can shop our Amber Jewellery collections on our website (www.balticbeauty.co.uk), alternatively via our Etsy or Handmade at Amazon stores. Also, follow us on social media to explore how we style our amber jewellery and discover the fun behind the scenes!
Handmade at Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/handmade/baltic-beauty-jewellery