Trendsetting jewellery designer on Kate, Liverpool FC and expansion.
Kiki McDonough, founder of the eponymous jewellery brand based in London’s Sloane Square, was recently unveiled as a Tresor Paris Trendsetter in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. She speaks to us about a royal coup, her love of the ballet and Liverpool Football Club, and how to be successful in a recession.
Professional Jeweller: You have had a very special customer this year, the Duchess of Cambridge. How does it feel to see her wear your creations?
Kiki McDonough: It’s really wonderful to see the Duchess of Cambridge in my jewellery – she wears it so well. She is a very important ambassador for British design and helps to promote British brands beautifully.
PJ: How has your brand grown this year?
KMcD: Getting my designs stocked abroad, in Niemen Marcus stores in New York and Florida, and Holt Renfrew stores in Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal has been hugely exciting.
PJ: How has your business fared in the recession?
KMcD: Every day is a challenge when you are running a business in a recession. I overcome challenges by being focused, driven, hard-working andenthusiastic, and by having wonderful clients and lots of really good friends.
PJ: Where do you find your inspiration as a designer?
KMcD: I take a great deal of inspiration from my customers – busy women who know all too well the challenges of dressing for every occasion. I design pieces that I know women like us can wear from morning to night. The costumes in the classical ballets at the Royal Opera House are also a constant source of inspiration – the colours are wonderfully vivid and influence the way I work with gemstones.
PJ: How would you describe your approach to work?
KMcD: Arrive on time and leave on time!
PJ: How do you relax off the job?
KMcD: I have a good work-life balance. I have lots of friends and I work very hard! On a personal note, I have loved becoming more involved with the Royal Opera House, as I am passionate about the ballet. I relax by going to the ballet – it’s my passion in life. I’m also a supporter of Liverpool Football Club and I really like to watch them play at weekends. Most of all though, I enjoy spending time at home with my sons and my friends.