What did you want to achieve when you set up the Milne Watson label?
I wanted to channel my lifelong passion for jewellery into creating beautiful, elevated, but playful pieces using my eye for colour combinations and composition. I was also keen to work in collaboration with clients to ensure every design not only brings joy but evokes special meaning and memories.
What does jewellery mean to you?
For me, jewellery is a very personal talisman that I wear every day. Most of my jewellery has a story behind it and is never bought on impulse. Heirlooms mean a lot to me, and my jewellery will be handed down to my daughter and the people I love. I believe when you wear a piece that has been well-worn and truly loved, you can feel that emotional connection.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration from so many things, particularly from art and nature. I draw influences from flowers such as sweet peas, poppies, and peonies which change colour over time but retain their beauty. My design approach is also very personal; when I create a bespoke piece for someone, I feel their energy and tap into that to inspire my choice of colours and beads.
What drew you to jewellery?
While my background is in fashion and journalism, my passion has always been for jewellery. I’ve been an avid collector all my life - my mother gave me something thoughtful on every birthday, as does my husband. During my childhood, my mother and I would visit our favourite bead shop off London’s King’s Road and bead together at home. I rediscovered my old collection when I started designing for Milne Watson.
Describe the Milne Watson woman?
She is strong, independent, compassionate, and generous. Someone who has a lot of love to give, which is reflected in the thoughtful messages she conveys through my designs. She also knows her style and likes to have fun with it. She might opt for clothes in a simple palette, but her choice of jewellery is often colourful and always memorable.
What are the Milne Watson signature pieces?
I like to change up the designs, but I guess I have a signature style. Each piece is crafted by hand using glass and vintage beads, semi-precious and precious stones, as well as often the inclusion of mother of pearl letters.
My best sellers include my “MAMA” and ‘LOVE” necklaces, which vary in colours and patterns, my “SEA ME” necklace, which is the perfect layering piece and my “PEACE” necklace in muted tones and includes a tiny white dove, designed to raise funds for the people of Ukraine.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Conscious consumption is a key issue for me, so not buying to excess, keeping items for as long as possible, upcycling and resisting the pressure to keep up with trends or buy new items each season. Take pride in knowing what you love and wearing it again and again!
Sustainability is also about interrogating working conditions, manufacturing practices, shipping, and packaging. We expect to know where our food comes from and how it’s grown; the same must be applied to fashion.
What are your go-to pieces in jewellery and fashion?
My day-to-day style tends to be a great shirt paired with denim. At home, you’ll find me in my Suzie Kondi harem pants and Venetian slippers.
I never take off the Jessica McCormack eternity ring my husband gave me or the necklace Jessie Western made for me. I layer it with my own jewellery to emphasise how I’m feeling. At the moment, I’m wearing my “DREAM" necklace with my “Bear necklace" made out of Amber baguette beads and tiny pink tourmalines, designed to give a feeling of protection.
What is the definition of a forever piece?
A timeless, special piece that evokes a personal emotion, whether that’s love, a feeling of protection or simply joy.
What are your favourite pieces in the Milne Watson x Relove collection?
I love them all. Each one has its own character, and I like that. I layer different lengths, so one sits under my neckline, one a few centimetres underneath, and the other has a very long chain. Contrasting styles work well too, so a modern design paired with a vintage one and then a fun and colourful piece in the mix.