Vicky Saragouda is a London based Jewellery and Accessory designer making eco-friendly jewellery and body adornments. She trained as a professional photographer at London College of Printing before embarking for her BA degree in Product Design and Development for the Fashion Industries in London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. Vicky then went on to study at Sir John Cass, School of Art, Media and Design, part of the London Metropolitan University where she gained her Masters of Arts in Jewellery Design.
Here, she talks to us at House of Coco and tells us more about her journey to becoming a jewellery designer…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I set up my jewellery business a year after my graduation. Starting up slowly the first thing I’ve done was to develop further my products in order for these to become more wearable. I took in consideration the customers’ comments when I participated in a few shows just after my degree. They were happy to try on my artifacts from my MA collection but doubts were raised about their wearability. Therefore I went back to the drawing board and started again taking on board the wearers’ observations.
What’s your background?
I studied photography at London College of Communication and I worked a few years as a photographer and then I went back to Uni where I studied product design and development for the fashion industries at London College of Fashion, followed by a Masters Degree in Jewellery Design at The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
It is just me, I am doing the design, the making of all the collections, the marketing, everything.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I would seek advice earlier how to start as a designer-maker and I would have someone to help me with the marketing part.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
I love the whole creative process, design, materials’ research, design development but I always found difficult to deal with all the paperwork involved including filling forms and preparing invoices.
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
The plans are to have my collections placed in many online selling platforms. I am delighted as since the beginning of 2016 my work is included in Hausie Jewellery a designer collective website.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Since launching my work has been exhibited internationally including Europe and North America, most recently a few of my neckpieces have been selected for an art jewellery exhibition in China.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I feel most at home in London. I love walking around London taking pictures. I love the parks, the narrow streets, the mews houses, the landmarks, everything.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
I love all Aesop products especially their face and body creams. The scent of their products gives an instant wellbeing, which lasts the whole day. I would also mention the design of their shops; I would live happily in there!
Style either you got it or you don’t. I know it sounds quite harsh but… I could wear clothes and accessories from charity shops and vintage boutiques (which I often do) and be the most stylish person ever. Style means good taste, knowledge, appreciation of good materials and ‘slow fashion’ as well as common sense, at least for me.
Best thing about London to you?
Best thing about London is to be able to explore new things every time. You are never bored of London. There are always new things to see, exhibitions, shows, talks, events…
Statement shoe or statement bag?
For me it’s always about the bag. I will look at the structure, the material, the design. I also like vintage bags made from
beautifully aged leather and decadent hardware. I love looking for them in charity shops and vintage fairs.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
I would wear everyday my trusty white All Stars.
Best place for a coffee?
Fabrique Bakery in Shoreditch. The coffee is amazing but also the cinnamon pastries are to die for.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
I remember the words of one of the tutors at University of the Arts London, he said: “everything has been done in fashion but if you are a creative person you can add you own way and your personal influences and the result will never be the same”. I think this is so true.
Going out for dinner in a posh restaurant. It happens rarely nowadays.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I love everything about Japan, culture, food, fashion. I haven’t been to Japan so I would like to go to Tokyo.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
The ideal would be to be able to work faster but this would mean that I would have to outsource labour. All my artefacts are handmade by me and most of them are one off pieces. It takes quite some time to complete a piece, as there are too many stages involved. I am always happy to accept commissions from clients with their individual requests to include specific materials and colour combinations.
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