Our interview with Fiona Wellington goes way beyond the running of her business, we find out about all the impactful ways she is trying to help the girls of Pakistan get an education.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Fiona Wellington before we talk business…
I am a mum of three incredible young women. My background was medical (trained osteopath) but I love fashion, interiors and art. I am passionate about positive social changes especially for girls and women.
Give us an insight as to what MYNE London is…
Myne London is a business with a good purpose for economics especially for women in the high end fine jewellery sector (which has been very male dominated!) We create incredible bespoke jewellery and source some of the best and rarest emeralds in the world. It’s exciting high-octane work! And we are excited to work with young women in Pakistan.
Tell us more about the MYNE London Foundation that you co-founded with your sister Kate Murray Gordos…
Founded 2021 specifically to put our profits and fundraise for girls educational needs in North Pakistan where we source our emeralds. My sister Kate and I are really dedicated to this. We spent many years as children in Pakistan and it holds a very special place in our hearts. As we work closely with women in Pakistan particularly from the Swat Valley region we see first hand the issues there are around young girls education. According to Statista women’s illiteracy has increased since 2006 to 2019 and 54% of adult women are illiterate. Many of the people of Pakistan are working hard to improve matters especially in girls education and this was highlighted by HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge royal visit in 2019.
We are supporting those in Pakistan working for girls education by raising funds for The Myne London Foundation which is dedicated to helping girls in need which is often due to economic lack and deeply affects a persons value and life expectancy in opportunity health and longevity.
What was the biggest challenge you faced whilst setting up the MYNE London Foundation and how did you overcome it?
Actually the charity commission registration stage which we overcame with experts at The Third Sector (highly recommend them!)
What are you most proud of when it comes to the day to day running of the MYNE London Foundation?
We have only just begun but I will be thrilled to see young girls go to school who may not have otherwise had that chance.
We understand that you are about to hold an MYNE London Foundation Charity Ball on 19th March, can you tell us more about this event?
It’s starting the foundation with a bang! It’s at The Hurlingham Club which is so beautiful and has incredible people behind it including Jenny Powell (who has supported Myne from the beginning) and leading musicians from the Bristol jazz scene Holysseus fly and James Vine. The auction has some ‘money can’t buy’ items like a holiday on a private island. A huge amount of work has gone into this and it will be a really fantastic event run by incredible partners Quirky Frog. (Highly recommend them!)
Why is it important to organise a charity event, especially whilst you’re already busy running a successful business supplying ethical emeralds?
We want to fuel and inject awareness and immediate funds for the girls we are raising money for as fast as possible.
What is the ideal outcome after the MYNE London Foundation Charity Ball?
To create a community of support for the girls, to raise money and to have fun. It’s been a while hasn’t it?
Talk us through an average business day at MYNE London Foundation…
We all work from home so 7 am check emails. Coffee. Answer emails. Coffee. Do interviews. Coffee. Get dressed! Lots of zooms and discussions. It’s very much about connecting and getting along with like minded people and galvanise a movement.. It’s also always wonderful to discover how many people really have huge social consciences.
Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?
I like reading other businesses stories.
I exercise a lot.
Do you have a go to quote when lacking motivation?
I don’t lack motivation ever but I need plenty of exercise to balance the emotional rollercoasters. I guess one favourite quote would be…
“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.”
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand and has it helped with promoting your forthcoming event on 19th March?
Social media is such a double edged sword. It’s an essential part of almost any modern business so it really isn’t negotiable. It’s just finding the right people and inspiration to stay fresh and relevant.
What’s next for MYNE London and the Foundation?
After the ball we continue to collaborate with amazing designers eg Sarah Campbell Lloyd on jewellery collections, our international emerald sales , work with foremost U.K. master cutters on bespoke rare stones and working with those in Pakistan supporting education for girls.
Where can people find out more about your Charity Ball, the MYNE London Foundation and your core MYNE London business?
Our charity site Myne London Foundation and our Instagram @mynelondon.