Minka Jewels offers bespoke and ready-to-wear jewellery, made by founder Lucy Crowther and her team in London and specialising in the finest gems.
We caught up with her to discuss her continent-hopping career, the key first step to any successful morning, and why her gemology training with GF Williams was more valuable than she could possibly realise at the time.
How many years have you worked in the jewellery sector and how did you get into the industry?
15 years – My first jewellery job was working for Kiki McDonough. I then moved to Buenos Aires and did some basic training as a goldsmith. After this I got a job working in Jaipur, India for Munnu Kasliwal at The Gem Palace.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into work in the morning?
Put on some music, make myself a cup of tea and read my emails.
What’s your most memorable moment in the industry to date?
My gemology training – and the training I received with G F Williams on how to value gemstones. I was always being quizzed about how much something should be per carat. I hated it at the time but it has given me a great knowledge.
What do you most enjoy about working in the industry?
Finding the most beautiful gemstones. I adore a good hunt for the right stone.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Finding an incredible stone and not having a client or the budget to buy it. I hate letting them slip through my fingers: I am a total magpie. That and doing my accounts!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
Which other company or brand (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why?
Munnu Kasliwal from The Gem Palace – his creativity knew no boundaries. He really was just such a creative. He would make ruby boxes, every stone cut specifically to form a mosaic, set into a 22ct yellow gold box. They would take years to make and were museum worthy.
Tell us something about yourself that none of your colleagues know?
If I wasn’t doing jewellery I would have been a photographer.
If you won the lottery, what one luxury item or experience would you buy?
I would take friends and family away to some remote island where there wasn’t any internet or phones so we could all connect without any interruptions – although maybe I’d allow just one phone in case of emergencies…
If you could invite any three people to a dinner party, who would they be?
The photographer Peter Beard, Johnny Cash, Terry Frost.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Getting out of London and going to the countryside, long dog walks, running, reading, listening to interesting podcasts, tennis.
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My dog falling off the sofa (which she is not really allowed on).