Statement Crystal Jewellery With FIRENZA
In today's Meet The Jeweller interview, we chat to Lauren from Firenza all about her wonderful, statement crystal jewellery! Lauren has loved crystals since childhood and first discovered jewellery making when she decided to have a go at wire wrapping a crystal. She hasn't looked back since and continues to grow her skills in metalsmithing and stone setting. Hear all about Lauren's business journey below, where she also shares top tips on building a handmade jewellery business and advice on giving the craft a go for yourself.
"My mum used to put a rose quartz in my school blazer pocket so I carried love with me.."
What gave you the inspiration to give jewellery making a try?
Ever since I was young, I’ve loved crystals. My mum used to put a rose quartz in my school blazer pocket so I carried love with me when I wasn’t with her at school and on school trips.
I used to go to a space centre or history museum and be looking forward to the end where we could go to the shops so I could collect a new crystal! I didn’t realise that all those years of being surrounded by crystals would lead me back to them years later. They became my therapy and distraction from the Business Management & Leadership degree I was studying!
I grabbed the crystals I had at the time and thought how nice it would be if I could wear them when I went to uni to relieve my anxiety, so I Googled and researched how to wire wrap them, tried it and the rest is history!
What were the first tools and supplies you bought at the start of your journey?
This is bringing back memories! When I started wire wrapping it was jewellery making pliers and side cutters. And when I started soldering my go-tos were solder paste, soldering tweezers, a gas torch and Town Talk polishing cloths.
What resources did you use to help you learn new techniques?
YouTube tutorials, I went on two silversmith courses and trial and error! Sometimes I just put on a killer playlist, turn on the fairy lights and let my hands take the lead and it’s amazing what creations are made from following your instincts with no rules!
"Sometimes I just put on a killer playlist, turn on the fairy lights and let my hands take the lead..."
What tips would you give to beginners wanting to give jewellery making a go?
Go for it! Just do it, do some research, watch YouTube tutorials, get all of the essentials you need to make the piece and try it.
I personally found booking onto a silversmith course to learn basics of making a ring helped me understand how they are formed, step by steps involved and materials/equipment required. After that I became obsessed with looking at other rings and trying to dissect the method it took to make them, then I’d try and experiment.
What gave you the push to start selling your designs?
I started posting them on my Facebook and people starting asking where they were from and I started making necklaces for my friends. Then I really noticed an increase in demand when Tokio Myers (Winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2017) wore my pieces in the Semi-Final and Final and all his interviews when he won! I decided to turn my passion into a business and never looked back.
What's one thing you'd tell yourself before starting your business?
Trust your instinct and don’t be afraid of failure! I started my business when I was 23 and it really saved me as it helped me get through uni to complete my degree.
It gave me that creative balance I was lacking in my life back. Sometimes things we think that could be a distraction or hindrance are actually our callings so I’d tell myself to not be afraid and just take the first step!
What's one design you're most proud of and why?
I think it has to be my pink teardrop drusy pictured above. Although the design is quite a simplistic decorative style, I love it as it reminds me of when I went to India with the beautiful pattern layers on the bezel. The decorative pattern just compliments every crystal, its timeless, classic and looks stunning on anyone’s hand (plus look at the size of that pink drusy... it’s breathtaking!)
"It’s pushed and challenged me beyond my comfort zone and I feel I have really developed my own style..."
This is so hard, it’s like choosing between children for me! Wire wrapping will always hold a dear place in my heart as it was how FIRENZA was born and started but I think I’d have to choose metalsmithing. It’s pushed and challenged me beyond my comfort zone and I feel I have really developed my own style.
With metalsmithing and custom pieces I have built amazing relationships with my customers as we work collaboratively and I love hearing the stories behind what the custom pieces will mean to them.
"Trust your instinct and don’t be afraid of failure!"
What's the meaning behind your business name?
It’s my middle name ‘Firenze’ but spell it ‘Firenza’. I’m half Indian, half English with an Italian middle name and so I wanted the brand name to be something unique and personal and for my products to reflect parts of me (free spirit, eccentric, creative).
What gemstone are you drawn to most and why?
This ones tricky as they all have different places in my heart but for me, moonstone. I love this crystal's healing powers - the crystal of new beginnings and enhancing intuition and inner growth - and the way it looks just makes me speechless every time with its iridescence and bright blue flicks! Reminds me of waves catching light in the ocean and instantly calms me.
"I sit down to make jewellery and look within and just feel and create..."
Tell us about your Glowing Collection and the special message behind it
Aw one of my favourite collections! This came about as I had stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer 2 years ago (2019 when I was 25). I was in hospital undergoing a really intense chemotherapy called BEACOPP and I was looked after so well by teenage cancer trust.
So to give back and thank them for looking after me, I designed a collection called ‘Glowing’ as my Instagram name at the time where I documented my cancer journey was ‘Glowingwiththeflow'. The gemstones I used for this collection are faceted stones and really beautiful glowy colours to represent ‘no matter what you go through, just glow with the flow’.
I donate £5 from every purchase to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward where I was treated.
How do you make your workspace your own?
I’m lucky to have a two bedroom place so I have turned my downstairs room into my studio/Zen Den.
My studio must-haves are fairy lights, burning essential oils, playing some gorgeous guitar/electric/soul filled music like Sticky Fingers, Tash Sultana, sometimes even classical piano - just depends what mood I’m in.
My mum bought me this gorgeous mandala as a moving in present for my studio and it reminds me to let go of anything holding me back. I sit down to make jewellery and look within and just feel and create.
Everything is connected, so I want my energy to be peaceful and radiating love and for this to go into each piece I make.
Favourite tool right now?
Ooo great question... hmmm... would have to be my new barrelling machine! Absolute game changer
How would you describe your jewellery in 3 words?
Unique, personal, eccentric
We love your use of gemstone shapes in your design, what is your favourite shape to work with?
Ooo I think it would have to be the weirdest, biggest, most random shapes! I LOVE drusy crystals for their textures and layers and they usually come in a variety of shapes which is great. Usually my customers who order those bolder, more statement pieces let me go rogue on them and create the designs myself. So there’s definitely that fun element in having the freedom to turn random shapes into one-of-a-kind custom pieces!
What are your goals for the future with your handmade business?
I just want to keep it growing, keep meeting new customers and making pieces that I am proud of.
I want to continue to learn and experiment with new designs this year so I’m excited to see what my hands create by following that creative flow.
Our tutorials and guides cover the very basics of starting with wire, making it easy for you to get started with the basic tools and supplies. Plus find great beginner friendly tutorials to follow too!
Learn the basics of metalsmithing, with tool focuses and plenty of tutorials to inspire your creations such as how to make a basic ring band.
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