HOT 100 2015 NEXGEMS: Laura Parra

Laura Parra, designer-maker and owner, LaParra Jewels

Laura Parra proves that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. Swapping gilding for gold, at 42-years-old Laura decided to change career and become a goldsmith.

“Being Spanish, my challenge to study in England has been one of the hardest to date, so I was extremely proud to graduate last year in the heart of London’s Jewellery quarter at Holts,” Laura says. “Mastering another language and then being able to use it to learn about new design techniques required all my determination and hard work, but I made it.”

Laura was acknowledged for her talent in November 2014 when she was accepted into the JeDeCo gallery at London’s Oxo Tower. There she is able to showcase her work and launch a number of new, unique collections.

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Laura says: “Being based in such an iconic design centre like the Oxo Tower has really enabled me to raise my profi le both with the public and with individuals and businesses within the design world.”

Recognising the power of being amongst peers and displaying products in prime locations, Laura often works with other designers at events to make them as successful as possible. She has also hosted numerous pop-up shops, and is a regular at Craft Central.

Laura also understands the power of social media campaigns, something which has helped her secure this year’s IJL KickStart People’s Choice Award.

“I have created strong social media campaigns to showcase my products and to gain support for my recent success in the KickStart programme,” Laura explains. “With having such a successful year, it is now important for me to embed my progress to date and build on the achievements so far to take the business forward.” Part of this action plan includes a new website and retail partnerships with boutiques across the country.

She concludes: “Designing and making jewellery is my passion, and I can find myself absorbed into the creative process sometimes so much that I have lost all track of time! My mind is always in tune with the environment around me and I am always aware of influences for new design ideas.”

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