Hot 100 NexGems Q&A: Tessa Metcalfe

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The kooky London jeweller on the challenge of a second collection.

In a series of Q&As with the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 NexGems, we find out what came next for this savvy set of designers since they were chosen as ones to watch in our annual jewellery industry celebration. With jewellery inspired by London’s pigeons, designer Tessa Metcalfe discusses her sophomore collection, selling through retailer London Rocks and why showcasing her work to the industry was a personal challenge.

Professional Jeweller: You were selected as a Professional Jeweller Hot 100 NexGem – what did this mean for your business?
Tessa Metlcalfe: Being self-taught and creating jewellery in my makeshift workshop-cum-spare room for years was very isolating, so to show people all my hard work was like revealing a part of myself. It was a very exposing process but also so rewarding. To have industry approval has given me confidence.

PJ: How has business developed or your brand evolved since the Hot 100?
TM: I bit the bullet and moved back to London – it brings me closer to the pigeons! I’ve also joined the London Rocks team [a retail/workshop venture] and we have a lovely new Hatton Garden workshop right in the heart of the jewellery world. I learn so much from the boys [at London Rocks] everyday, and we have a laugh too. Some incredible commissions have given me the opportunity to really push my designs – I loved the diamond-set nails of an 18ct gold and ruby pigeon claw engagement ring that I recently made.

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PJ: What can we expect from your new collections?
TM: I have started on the daunting second collection and I think I have second album syndrome – it’s scary. But I’ve got a lovely theme that’s going to tie it all together. I work from one idea or feeling and then expand on it to create a collection that is stylistically and thematically concise. I don’t want to just make beautiful objects, I want to tell a story and create an idea that can be carried with you. The new collection is very different to what people might expect; I want to challenge myself.

To discover the designers, retailers and business persons selected for the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013, click here.

To browse the digital edition of the Hot 100 Book online, click here.

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