Today we have a Q&A with Lauren Griffiths of Isle of Wight-based Little Joy Jewellery. We hear all about her ethical values and her fab workshops for hens and couples… there’s some top tips for places to visit on the Isle of Wight too! Great place for a hen weekend.
Q. Hi Lauren! Please tell us a bit about your background.
A. I studied at the renowned School of Jewellery based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter where I was awarded a high-class BA Hons Degree in Silver & Goldsmithing. I graduated in 2010 and launched Little Joy Jewellery alongside working freelance as a designer/maker.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about the materials you use and where they come from?
A. Little Joy Jewellery has a strong ethos on responsibly sourced materials, from Fairtrade gold that travels from Peru & Australia, Eco silver that’s 100% recycled, to conflict-free diamonds that are GIA certified. We have even developed a ring box design in collaboration with Byron & Gomez, award-winning furniture designers who wanted to reduce their wastage. We use their timber off-cuts to produce our ring boxes.
Q. How would you describe the aesthetic of Little Joy Jewellery?
A. Simple, minimalist.
Q. What inspires you?
A. I draw inspiration from the minimal lines that occur in the natural world. I have developed a distinctive style that’s both simple and intricate.
Q. What drives you?
A. My passion for my traditional craft drives me to develop every day. My little boys are very important to my strength and drive to keep the business going. It’s important to me they see what hard work can achieve and the satisfaction you can gain in making your dreams a reality.
Q. What aspect do you love most about your work?
A. I enjoy the bespoke commissions, especially weddings, as the pieces I produce will be worn and cherished forever. Making bespoke designs pushes my skills and keeps my brain active.
Utilising inherited gold to make new designs is a huge responsibility but the satisfaction it gives clients makes all the hard work worthwhile. It’s a privilege to give new life to old, sometimes forgotten, jewellery.
Q. Can you tell us about the awards you’ve won?
A. The award that meant the most to me was perhaps the 1st prize Craftsmanship award by the British Jewellers Association. I felt a huge amount of pride to be recognised by makers that I admire in the field of goldsmithing. I also won an award from Goldsmiths who gave me a bursary to make my first Fairtrade gold collection.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your location and your studio?
A. Little Joy Jewellery is situated in a harbour-side studio and showroom in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. The studio is situated within is a newly renovated building that was once used for boat building.
Q. Can you tell us about your workshops for hens?
A. We teach traditional silversmithing techniques to produce modern silver jewellery in simple and easy steps. Classes run from 11am-3pm, in which time we design and make a finished piece of silver jewellery. Lunch can be provided by The Modern Kitchen Garden Company.
Q. Can you tell us about your workshops for couples?
A. We offer a wonderful day workshop for couples to come along and design and make their own wedding rings. With a well-established jeweller by their side, they are able to design and make their own dream ring in responsibly sourced silver or gold. It’s also a great excuse for a romantic weekend away on the beautiful Isle of Wight!
Q. If couples or hen groups are coming over to the island for a workshop can you suggest accommodation/other activities you’d recommend, so they can make a weekend of it?
A. There are many amazing places to stay here on the Isle Of Wight! We love Vintage Vacations and Tiny Homes Holidays www.tinyhomesholidays.com
Why not try the world renowned Mermaid Gin? Their distillery is based in Pondwell where you can view the making of the Gin and most importantly sample it! www.isleofwightdistillery.com/product/wight-mermaids-gin
We also host some incredible music festivals here including the Isle of Wight festival and rhythm tree festival www.rhythmtree.co.uk
Q. What are your passions outside of the business?
A. I love being a mummy to my two little boys, Elan age 6 and Finn age 3, they keep me very busy! We love going for walks and paddle boarding.
Q. What does the future hold?
A. Expanding our client base in the UK and internationally, building on our strong reputation and improving my practice along the way. I plan to introduce new exciting materials and precious stones that we can responsibly and ethically support.