Laura Parra, owner of La Parra Jewels, has been selected for the People’s Choice Award from among the designers at this year’s IJL KickStart line-up.
IJL KickStart is run by IJL and supported by the British Jewellers’ Association as a showcase of new jewellery design talent at the September exhibition. As winner of the People’s Choice award, Parra will be given a free stand in the Design Gallery at IJL in 2016.
The full line up for KickStart 2015 is Flora Bhattachary, Andrew Gold Neilson (Gold Neilson), Mirka Janeckova (Mirka Janeckova Jewellery), Francesca Marcenaro, Rosalie McMillan, Laura Parra (La Parra Jewels), Samantha Rose (September Rose), Lauren Rowden (Ellie Air Jeweller), Ilene Steele (Ilene Steele Jewellery) and Ana Thompson.
IJL event director Sam Willoughby, said that Parra was not only successful for the quality of her designs, but also for her promotion using social media to drum up support. “Congratulations go to Laura who really embraced the concept of social media to emerge as winner of People’s Choice 2015. This year’s KickStart line-up is, as always, very impressive and the battle for winner was hard fought. Our thanks go also to the industry for their ever valuable support of this British design talent”.
Parra draws on her education in fine art and experience in restoration to her jewellery, which is is known for combining traditional jewellery techniques with contemporary silver-smithing.
Just as important for budding designers is an appreciation for business and marketing. Parra attended several social media courses and workshops run by the BJA and Craft Central and invested considerable time online researching marketing and social media techniques.
One of the secrets to her success was contacting as many fashion bloggers from around the world as possible, using her newly acquired social media skills to triple online followers and boost online sales, Parra revealed.
“I am really pleased to win the People’s Choice Award. It is honouring and humbling to be selected by both trade and public among such talented designers. It means a lot to me and my career, and will provide me with the tools and knowledge to progress further and further. I am very thankful to a huge network of people for all the help and support they have given me,” she said.