Former Gecko jewellery designer, Victoria Leyshon, shares with Professional Jeweller the journey of creating Little Star, and her vision for the brand.
How did your time working for other jewellery brands prepare you for the launch of Little Star?
What better preparation could there be than working for many years for a great company like Gecko on fantastic brands, learning what works and what doesn’t work and being able to take that knowledge and skill set forward to realise it in my own first project. Hopefully using the positives I can deliver a new brand that works for everyone at all points in the chain from suppliers through to retailers and end customer.
What did you learn during your time designing jewellery for others that has helped you make sure Little Star the best product it can be?
I learned how important it is to listen to people and take onboard advice. I’m very much my own person and I think Little Star conveys a strong message, but I’ve enjoyed getting feedback from friends in the industry throughout the process. Also I hope that I’ve learned a lot about the end customer, it is after all our target market and I think I have strong understanding of what works both aesthetically and commercially.
Why did you decide to launch a children’s jewellery collection specifically?
First and foremost I’ve always loved working on children’s ranges and I think it’s a particular strength of mine, but also I think it’s an area that is sometimes considered an add on or after thought to people’s adult ranges. We understand the strength of UK children’s fashion market and think a strong, dedicated jewellery brand most certainly has a place.
Also when you get to see the full Little Star range you’ll find it not only dedicated to children, we have a number of pieces for adults so it does cover both bases. As a final note I would also say that this is a starting point, we are 100% committed to making Little Star a success but I also know my days designing ladies jewellery are not over.
How long as the brand been in the making?
In my head probably five to 10 years as it’s something Rob, my partner, has been pushing me to do for a long time, but in reality just over six months. It feels like we’ve come a long way in a short space of time and a whirlwind recently as everything gathers pace, seeing it come to life in our recent photo shoot was amazing, I’m loving every minute.
What is your vision for the brand?
It is exactly that, to be recognised as a brand and not just a company that sells children’s jewellery. We’ve designed a modern, sophisticated concept that’s going to provide beautiful product at its centre, but also strong imagery and a point of sale I think our wholesale clients will love.
What type of retailers do you hope will stock Little Star? (department stores, independents, boutiques, etc)
My hope is of course to make Little Star something that everyone wants from jewellery independents and multiples, through to fashion customers and e-commerce end users.
Although I must say having started my career off working for Avanti and Judith Hart in Derbyshire I’ve always had a soft spot for independents and I know how important the relationship stores like this have with their customers is key to growth of a brand like Little Star.
Where do you hope to see the brand in a year’s time?
As an established recognisable name that consumers identify with and are asking for. If the last six months are anything to go by a year does not last long, so I think we’ll still be talking about the start of our journey, but hopefully on a much wider level.