With worldly influences from Brazil, South Africa and here in the UK, #TeamCoco were drawn to the precious beauty of Mosaico Jewellery’s co-founder Paula Kamers for our latest Girl Bosses of Great Britain series.
Along with Paula’s business partner Jenny, the two have designed some of the most beautiful, diverse, and unique collections of jewellery to date, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and lariats.
We wanted to find out more about Paula’s background, why the island of Florianopolis is reflected in some of the Mosaico Jewellery designs, and what her future plans are for the business.
Q. What was your background before semi-precious gemstones, jewellery designs, and all things pretty?
I was born in Brazil, and lived in Florianopolis until I was 23 years old. It is a beautiful island in the South of the country with tropical temperatures and over forty beaches on which to enjoy them. It’s a hugely popular holiday destination nowadays. I went to school, and then University there, graduating with a degree in graphic design, before moving to London in 2005. We still return there each year though, as it’s a special place that never really leaves you.
I love travelling and learning new cultures and languages, so I came to London in 2005. Once here I studied English for a couple of years before landing a job in banking in the city where I worked for over five years. My passion was never in finance though and it was a complete change in environment from my advertising and design background.
Q. At what point did you realise that the world of working in the city wasn’t for you any longer, and how did jewellery become your next career path?
Throughout my life I have never been afraid to make changes, and never shirked from a challenge, and in 2015 I knew something had to change. I was working long hours at the bank and enjoying the environment increasingly less. In large companies you can find yourself drifting in the rat race for years, and when your passion lies elsewhere the schedule can take its toll.
By this point I had met my husband and we married in 2011, with our two young sons then arriving a few years later. I noticed that with each passing month the pressure of the work, the hectic schedule, and missing out on time with my little boys was proving very difficult. I wanted to be able to balance my career and family, but flexible working was not an option.
Jewellery has really been my love since I was small. I used to hang clothes labels on my ears when I was a child, to pretend they were big long earrings. When I was a teenager I was given my first pair of dangly earrings, it was amazing! 😊 I had been ruminating on the idea of selling semi-precious gemstone jewellery for a while, so I knew it was something I had to at least try, or live with a ‘what if’ question forever. While my youngest son was a baby I decided to go back to studying, taking a post-graduation in digital marketing. This gave me the boost I needed to go ahead with the business.
My friend and business partner Jenny has known me for years and was even bridesmaid at my wedding. She was always very supportive of my idea. She also has an amazing knack to create and design jewellery. One day over a glass of wine, I asked her if she wanted to come onboard. Luckily for me, she said yes and we are now very excited to have together, such a gorgeous product and brand!
Q. Now that you and your business partner are designing and producing jewellery on a regular basis, do you have a personal favourite from any of the collections?
It is difficult to pick just one! I really like the pieces that can be worn in multiple ways, such as our Mary Alice or Daisy necklaces. The fact that you can wear the short or long chains separately, or layer them up together, make them so versatile they can be used again and again while still feeling fresh. It is great to be able to own one piece that can evolve with you and cater for different looks and styles. I also love the Greta necklace which is pretty much on trend at the moment.
However, my absolute favourites from this collection are the Marigold Earrings. They are gorgeous and sleek. I love the stones’ natural markings and how unique and full of colour they are.
Q. How do you market your brand differently to other independent jewellery designers?
I think that stems purely from our choice of stones and designs, together with our International background. We have found that we are attracting orders from across the globe. We have friends everywhere in the world and have travelled extensively, absorbing and learning about many different cultures. You can see this international background reflected in the majority of our pieces in the form of colours and exotic shapes. That together with the natural beauty of the stones we choose to feature, created Mosaico´s luxurious, colourful and unique style.
Q. Do you remember the very first piece that you ever sold once your brand Mosaico Jewellery was up and running?
Like most fledgling businesses at first we received support from friends and family who quickly realised the quality of what we were producing. They bought pieces as presents for themselves and loved ones, this was really valuable in the early days. I do however remember our first order to someone who had seen us purely online, and they bought one pair of our Cascade earrings. We were even more excited when he returned to purchase a Constellation necklace a few months later. They remain one of our most popular pieces. That was a great assurance of the quality of our jewellery and brand.
Q. Can you tell us anything about the next collection and what we can expect to find nestled amongst the jewellery designs?
With each collection we are getting braver with our designs but always taking inspiration from nature and the changing seasons. As Autumn draws in you can expect to see earthier tones and new pieces that will continue to balance the elegant and the bold.
Q. As Mosaico Jewellery is entering its second year of business, what has been the biggest learning curve in the past 12-months?
Progress in business is not uniform, and that can be hugely frustrating at times. Starting a business is definitely daunting and I think I learnt that we can make mistakes along the way. You have to expect there will be ups and downs and that is part of the journey. Another thing I continue to work on is balancing the business demands around my family and children. I am learning to switch off from my business mode sometimes. This is really important to keep a certain quality of life.
Q. What was the best piece of advice you were given before you set up Mosaico Jewellery?
Do your research. It is important you know the market and test it a bit before you jump in head first. When you do any business course they emphasise so much about research, learn your competitors, etc. There is a reason for that.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to set up an independent business?
Passion for the products, doing your research and believing in yourself are key to this process. It is important to keep going and adapt when necessary. At times the workload can be overwhelming, but then every time we fulfil an order, or we receive a request for a bespoke piece of Jewellery, where we can create something specially made for that customer, I get a rush of excitement and know that this is the right path for me.
We are still quite new and what I’m describing is the journey I have faced so far. But each business will be unique, so do your research, start small and most importantly, go for it!
Thank you for sharing both your personal story and the Mosaico Jewellery business story for House of Coco’s Girl Bosses of Great Britain series.