Designer Spotlight : Octavia and Lulu

Based in Hampshire, Octavia & Lulu sells beautiful, fun, decadent vintage and costume jewellery, individually sourced from auctions and private sales. They are passionate about finding one-off, iconic and rare pieces that have stood the test of time – a brand after our own heart here at House of Coco. 

We spent some time with Polly, the founder of the brand, to find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?

We launched Octavia & Lulu in November 2014. I’ve always been fascinated by sparkling costume jewels and vintage pieces. I love the idea of the history of each piece and wanted to offer people an alternative to highstreet jewellery brands. The business is named after my two little girls, Octavia (three) and Lulu (18 months).

Whats your background?

I studied art history at the Courtauld Institute in London, and then worked in journalism and as a project manager for a gold investment company. After having my children I decided to ditch my day job and turn my passion for jewellery into a business.

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?

My children are still very young, so juggling child-care with getting the business off the ground has been tricky. It’s lovely to be able to fit my work around my family life though, I’m very lucky.

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2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?

Now Octavia & Lulu is up and running I am hugely excited about the future! I’m looking forward to hunting out more vintage treasures and expanding the collection. I want to improve our website too.

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?

We’re such a fledgling company, but all of the support I’ve received so far has been incredible.

Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?

The Hampshire countryside is home these days, but I lived in London for over ten years – it will always be a special place to me.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?

Bobbi Brown BB cream, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, and Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hair Spray.

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Style means….?

Feeling comfortable in your own skin, and in what you choose to wear.

Best thing about London to you?

Pre-children: cocktail hour! Post-children: all of the green spaces and amazing free museums.

Statement shoe or statement bag?

Statement bag

If you had to, what item from your wardrobe would you wear every day?

I have a vintage Dior humming bird necklace which is pretty special.

Favourite love song?

‘Are You Ready For Love’ by Elton John – it was our first dance at our wedding.

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Best place for a coffee?

Taylor St Baristas, behind Claridges in Mayfair.

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?

Always go to bed with a clear head.

Guilty pleasure?

Eating my daughter’s Easter eggs while she’s at nursery!

If you could spent 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Ulagalla Spa Resort in Sri Lanka. My husband and I spent two nights there a few years ago and wished we’d been able to stay longer.

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In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?

I’d love to look into the possibility of creating one-off pieces from vintage elements. Lulu Frost’s vintage collection, designed by Lisa Salzer, is absolutely incredible and a huge inspiration.

Where can people find out more? 

You can view the Octavia & Lulu collection at www.octaviaandlulu.co.uk or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with our news (search for Octavia & Lulu).

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