Laura Bailey and Sheherazade Goldsmith, long time friends and now business partners, have created something truly unique with Loquet London. Each one of their delicate charms tells a story, whether that may be inspired by their children or one of their many adventures. Stories are what drives Loquet London’s design aesthetic, unfazed by passing trends, and the frivolity of flashiness – Loquet creates jewellery that goes beyond being just pretty, but instead immortalises a piece of their customer’s life.
We chat with Girl Boss Sheherazade Goldsmith about Loquet London’s early beginnings, her partnership with Laura Bailey, and finding inspiration in the stories we tell with our everyday lives.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, what inspired you to start Loquet London?
The most relevant part of my background to Loquet, is my love of books and travel. I love imagining who and what is behind the selection of charms that leave our office. Stories. Each of our charms comes from some kind of adventure. The meanings are all related to temples, myths and places that either I or Laura have experienced. Travel inspires the entire collection.
When I left school I worked for a company called Club 21, a wholesale and franchise group that did the distribution for numerous designer jean brands such as Armani and Guess. I was only there for a couple of years and then moved onto journalism, which was a childhood dream. A sabbatical and an MA led me to Loquet. An idea of something I wanted for myself, but couldn’t find.
How did you and Laura meet? What made you decide to go into business together?
We crisscrossed paths for most of our 20’s and then came together as friends in our 30’s. A combined love of adventures with our kids, writing, and other friends. I came up with an idea and asked Laura for some advice, she loved it so much that we joined forces and turned the idea into a concept. Laura was the perfect partner as her knowledge and experience in the world of fashion was everything that I didn’t have. We work seamlessly together, as our strengths lie in different areas. Through our friendship, we have developed a short hand which allows us to make decisions quickly and effectively. We both have busy lives, which makes our friendship the best part about working together.
What makes Loquet London different from other jewellery brands in the market?
Loquet is different because it offers our customers the opportunity to create at truly bespoke piece of fine jewellery. An heirloom that tells their story. It’s a collectable that can be worn day or night; and just as easily with jeans and trainers or lipstick and heels. It’s jewellery with an immersive experience. A combination of sentiment and playfulness; the pieces are fun and classical in equal measure. Our customers are not categorised into generations, as our jewellery accompanies its wearer throughout their lives.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as businesswomen so far?
The biggest challenge has been to innovate technologically, at a rate that a small business can afford. You’re constantly competing with huge companies whose budgets for marketing are you entire annual turnover. The whole retail experience is evolving so fast. Consumers no longer just want to make a purchase, they’re looking for an experience, which Loquet provides. Our customers are people who don’t follow fashion trends or aren’t particularly influenced by celebrity. They’re looking for something more honest; and we want to keep giving people an authentic journey.
You’ve had a number of noteworthy collaborations, including a collaboration with Dimes and with the Wild at Heart Fund. How do you go about finding the right people to partner with?
This is a completely organic process that involves businesses that I admire. I have been a long term customer of Wild at Heart; and have had several dogs from Battersea dogs home. With Dimes, it was a case of my being in New York, stumbling across their restaurant on Canal Street, and falling in love with their concept. I’m a huge food snob as I use to write about food and environmental issues. I have a deep admiration for businesses who are trying to change the system of vast monocultures. Dimes has a conscience behind their menu, and every detail of what they make is so beautifully thought out and utterly delicious. They were the perfect inspiration for making a fruit and veg charm collection.
Finally, what advice do you have for women who would like to become GirlBosses like yourself?
Believe in your idea and be passionate about originality. Don’t be afraid to experiment or innovate, sometimes things need to change to move forward. Do one thing and do it REALLY, REALLY well. Make it better then anyone else. Build a team around you that inspires you, that you can laugh, debate, and cry with. But most of all enjoy the journey, as you’re enjoyment will reflect in everything you do.