‘Fera jewellery… for the bold and the brave. Handmade objects of desire combining raw, dark luxury with a hint of the unexpected.
‘Fera’ … from the Latin word meaning wild, untamed and savage. From spiked, gothic inspired forms, to heavy chain and chunky solid designs our signature style reflects the dark side of luxury fashion jewellery. Launched by Jo Gordon in 2014, a graduate of the Birmingham School of Jewellery Jo handcrafts each Fera piece from her studio in the heart of the historic jewellery quarter… elegant and yet edgy designs drawing inspiration from fashion, art, nature, and travels in foreign lands.
Here House of Coco goes behind the brand to find out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Fera was launched part way through my studies at the School of Jewellery. I decided to study jewellery intending it to be a hobby. I started posting pictures of my pieces on instagram and facebook and people wanted to buy them… and it went from there! I rebranded last year and developed a whole new collection, ANIMII, for the relaunch. I have always been absolutely passionate about jewellery and creative in lots of different ways… but designing and making something that somebody will treasure forever, and can have such a lot of meaning is so rewarding
Whats your background?
I studied fine art at college, then languages the first time round at University. I then worked in fashion management for many years for luxury brands. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling and living abroad too. I felt I’d reached a point in my career where I was ready to change, and decided to follow my dream of designing and hand making jewellery and it was the best decision I’ve made!
At the moment it’s just me, the brand is very new, although I do work with stone setters, gold platers and so on who I outsource some of the processes to. I would absolutely love to take on a workshop assistant… it’s certainly very demanding managing all aspects of the business yourself at the start… but it does mean my days are very varied, which I love!
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I don’t think I would change a thing; I am a big believer in things turning out exactly as they should. I’m happy with where I feel the brand is going, although I am learning everyday. I think that is the same in any business though.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Probably start up costs, it’s a very expensive industry to be starting out in and I think many of the very successful brands have financial backing from family and so on. I’m proud to say I have built everything myself from scratch through sheer hard work though. It’s also difficult to compete with brands who manufacture outside the UK and cheap imports. I do believe people recognise and value British Made Design though, and hope they will continue to support the British Craft Industry as we have some serious talent here in the UK.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I’m absolutely animal obsessed and would love one day to have a huge country farm and a big animal rescue sanctuary!
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
This year I will be focusing on developing my men’s jewellery collections, I currently have a few unisex pieces, but to me there’s nothing sexier than a man in jewels! Ha. It’s something people are always asking about.. . And personally I’m a huge fan of chunky pieces so I have loads of ideas I want to develop for men. I will also be introducing some fine jewellery pieces and expanding the offering in FairTrade Gold and diamonds. I am also working on bridal and engagement collections. I will be taking on some new stockists very soon
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Having my work stocked at Wolf and Badger has been a huge highlight for me this year so far.. In addition to being sponsored by the Crafts Council to take part in Hothouse 5 this year.. a business mentoring and development programme for emerging designer makers
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
I would love to take on a couple of staff, and long-term goals are to own a small boutique where I stock other designers work too… As a complete jewellery obsessive I really buzz off finding cool new work that stands out from the mainstream.. and would love to help support up and coming designers
Where can people find out more?
fera_jewellery (instagram and twitter)