I came into jewellery with no formal training

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Annoushka Ducas on making her name in the UK jewellery industry.

By Annoushka Ducas

What a privilege it is to be the guest editor of this month’s Professional Jeweller. Only a few years back I was an outsider and yet I know that the success of Links of London, the brand that my husband and I created, largely came from the help and encouragement we received from within the industry.

Since selling Links I have received great support in establishing the Annoushka brand from scratch. I have discovered a whole new world of high craftsmanship, exquisite stones and a passion for mentoring the next generation of designers and business people.

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It is well documented that I came into the jewellery business nearly 25 years ago having had no formal design training whatsoever. I have often wondered whether my career would have been different if I had taken an apprenticeship, gone to design school or entered the industry by a more conventional path. In many ways this lack of formal training was very liberating, as it has given me the opportunity to approach jewellery design and the jewellery business itself from a completely fresh perspective. There were no expectations around the design style I have developed or the way I have sought to sell my work.

Setting up Links of London retail shops selling my designs directly to the public seemed obvious as I struggled to make my own name within the industry, and we ended up with more than 50 stores. But I learnt as I went along; progressing from the original silver fish cufflinks I designed for my mother’s fish business to the fine jewellery I am making today for Annoushka, using coloured gemstones, intricate design and 18ct gold.

This month’s issue of Professional Jeweller includes fascinating insights from other industry ‘outsiders’; luminaries such as Allan Leighton, the chairman and chief executive of Pandora, and Boticca.com co-founder Kiyan Foroughi. Both are formidable additions to our industry, so I wanted to discover their take on this world of ours and how they have found the transition into jewellery. I really hope you enjoy this issue as much as I have loved putting it together.

To read the Annoushka Ducas Guest Editor issue of Professional Jeweller in full online, click here
 

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