January 8, 2016

We made a visit to the London-based jewellery designer, Mei-Li Rose to check out what goes on behind the scenes at her studio. Her hand-crafted pieces are a unique collection of delicate shapes and textures, made using the traditional lost wax casting technique. As we watch her work, she chats to us about receiving a BA in jewellery and silversmithing at Birmingham’s School of Jewellery. After graduating she began work as a designer for a high-street jewellery retailer before making the jump to launch her own business as Mei-Li Rose Jewellery in 2013. We caught up about her dream projects and ambitions for the new year.

UO: Tell us a little about your story so far

Mei-Li Rose started off organically and developed while I was working as a bespoke designer after graduating. I was feeling a little unfulfilled only bringing other people’s ideas to life, so I started designing and making my own pieces in my free time. It felt like a natural process to continue growing my collections and launching a brand seemed like the obvious next step. However, it took almost a year to build up the courage to actually take that leap.

UO: How did you get started as a jewellery designer?

I actually started off on a Business Studies degree at Birmingham University, but after a year decided it wasn’t for me. I found myself really missing creative subjects and decided to switch over to an Art Foundation. It was during this course that I first tried my hand at jewellery design, which I loved, so I decided to take it further and start a Jewellery & Silversmithing BA at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham.

UO: What would your dream project be?

I would love to one day design a collaborative collection with someone I admire, such as one of my style crushes, Alexa Chung.

UO: Describe your style in three words

Clean, minimal, modern-classics.

UO: What’s inspiring you right now?

Architecture and industrial design. In particular, design features like windows and railings, that are typically designed with function over form, which people often don’t take much notice of. I like to take elements of these features and create pieces that hint at classic designs with contemporary twists.

UO: What do you love most about owning your own business?

The freedom it gives you to explore any avenue you’d like to. When designing for other companies you can be restricted somewhat in your creative journey.

UO: What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

I would say having the courage and belief in myself to put my designs out there, while leaving the security of my full-time job to start my own brand.

UO: What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Being stocked with you guys and launching a new diamond set collection ‘Carbon’ at London Fashion Week in February.