Name: Daniella Draper
Year Established: 2007
Number of staff: 30
Tell us about the story behind Daniella Draper
After graduating from Central St Martins in Jewellery Design, I was undecided whether to stay in London and work in ‘the industry’ or move back to my hometown of Grimsby and start my own business. After some careful thought, and with the support of my mum who has 25 years of experience of running her own business, we decided to join forces and start designing and manufacturing ourselves. We started very small; I would make the jewellery very awkwardly on my kitchen table and we would sell at fairs, house parties and from our home. Over the past seven years we have grown considerably and we now have an established website, four stores, a team of skilled jewellers and a total staff of 30.
How would you describe your jewellery?
My jewellery is very wearable and comfortable, ranging from chunky and bold to delicate. It’s worn by people all ages men, women, children and dogs. My style is very natural and whimsical therefore all my products have a very rustic, weathered finish, which is a style I developed at university. I find by having texture it makes the pieces a lot more interesting, unique and more tactile. I’ve always been inspired by ancient jewellery. My collection is designed to be collected and layered, and it includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets and bangles. We offer a personalised option to a lot of of our pieces which makes them that extra bit special and sentimental. I work in silver, 9ct yellow gold and various semi and precious stones. Recently I’ve been working on a bespoke range which is what I really enjoy most. All our items are made in the UK.
Your pieces have been worn by various celebrities, what does that add to the brand?
Celebrity endorsement works very well for our brand. Since we’re a young lifestyle brand with a popular social media presence, the association works great. It gives us kudos and I suppose gives us that stamp of approval. It’s wonderful to see inspiring talented people choosing to wear our jewellery, and I think that’s a massive compliment which our customers appreciate. Plus it gives personality and brings our pieces to life.
What’s your favourite piece you’ve created?
I have so many special pieces it’s hard to choose just one. I think the most treasured pieces come from my Cinderella bespoke designs. It is my favourite task to make these; I can sit down, calm down and just carve and be creative. I’ve always had a sharp eye for anything sparkly so being able to work with beautiful unique stones is a dream come true. I especially love the Russian emeralds and vintage diamonds. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to create something really beautiful. They always seem to turn out far better than I originally hoped. If I was allowed I would keep them all! However, it’s pleasing to know they all go to lovely homes as they are very special pieces to me.
You recently opened your fourth store in the Lake District. Why that location?
I studied my A levels at Windermere St Annes so I’ve always had a connection to the Lake District area. I’ve always loved the outdoor lifestyle and it was a very pivotal and inspiring time for me when I was growing up. Coincidentally, and very fortunately, my fiancé is also from the area so I’ve been spending a lot of time there lately. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in the country but the locals are so friendly and have been incredibly welcoming.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans are always to more forward and to carry on working hard expanding the brand, the business and the collections. We’re currently working on a revamp of our website and we’re always continuing to tweak and improve our operating systems. We’ve come a long way with a fantastic team so the only way forward is up.
This feature first appeared in the May 2017 issue of Jewellery focus