HOT 100 2015 NEXGEMS: Flora Bhattachary

Flora Bhattachary, director and designer, Flora Bhattachary Fine Jewellery

“Being selected for the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 is an acknowledgment from the trade of all the hard work I’ve put into my business over the past year,” explains Flora, whose fine jewellery designs with exquisite carved gemstones and pearls have certainly captured our attention this year.

She continues: “Winning the EC One Unsigned Award was a real turning point for me. It was confi rmation from other designers, retailers and press that I was going in the right direction and it really helped to get my work noticed.” Flora set up her business in August 2014 after completing a Master’s degree at Central Saint Martins. She then took a place on the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Setting Out programme before winning two Silver Awards for fashion and silver precious metal jewellery at the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Awards. More recently she tackled One Year On – and won the One Year On Award – at the annual New Designers exhibit in June.

Flora adds: “The combination of awards, press and industry recognition certainly helped with my profile. It gives clients confidence and it immediately increased my orders.”

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Launching a website has been one of Flora’s key activities in recent months, which has seen her work closely with luxury brand designers Absolute Design and Media and photographer Sylvain Deleu. “I was clear that the site had to ‘speak luxury’, refl ect the dark mood of the Lubhati collection and appeal to women who are creative in their style. It is credit to the designers that we’ve achieved that,” she explains.

With a place in the KickStart line-up and the Goldsmiths’ Fair roster for 2015, it seems there’s no scheme or initiative that Flora can’t tackle. For the rest of the year she will be focusing on increasing stockists, both at home and internationally, while juggling her two school-age daughters who are already showing a fl air for jewellery design. She jokes: “My oldest – Lily Pearl – is very interested in the business and has even taken on the unofficial role of social media advisor.” Who knows, perhaps Lily Pearl is a NexGem of the future?

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