Inside The Jewellery World Of House Thirteen


Tring local Stephanie Fleming launched her business House Thirteen after being inspired in Bali. Here we find out about Art Deco inspiration, jewellery must-haves and a love for the local area

Before House Thirteen, were you already involved in the fashion and jewellery industries?

Actually, no! Before House Thirteen I was heading up PR & Communications for a boutique hotel in Bali, where I ended up living for five years and setting up my brand in 2015. I worked very closely with the owner of the hotel who had an incredibly unique design style, so I really developed an eye for design and branding there. I had also previously worked in Corporate Responsibility in both London and Indonesia… before it was cool! So, I have always been very mindful about how to do business in a responsible way. These two backgrounds gave me a solid foundation on which to build my own business the way I wanted to.

Founder of House Thirteen, Stephanie Fleming

What inspired you to launch House Thirteen?

I had always felt that I had a creative side, but was hopeless at drawing, so I thought the artistic life may not be for me. When I moved to Bali, the island had such a creative energy and I was surrounded by friends doing their own thing so when I came to a natural crossroads in my life, I began to think about what I really wanted to do. As Bali has a strong silversmithing heritage I decided to take a couple of classes purely to make some pieces for myself, and I absolutely loved it. I started designing more pieces with the view that if anyone else liked them then great, and if not then I would be happy to create them for myself. Thankfully they did and I not only found my artistic outlet, but also what would eventually become my business.

How did you want the label to be different?

I wanted the design and ethics of the business to be the real differentiators of the brand. Design-wise, I wanted to create beautiful high-quality pieces that are also super wearable and, to be honest, easy. Everything is created with adaptability in mind so that the wearer can get the most out of it, whilst also having a strong design element. On the flip-side, I’m very mindful about how I do business. I work closely with my workshop in Bali to ensure everything is ethically handmade from largely recycled materials, my packaging is all eco-friendly and I only create small batches. I believe that nothing I put into the world should out-live me, so I work very hard to minimise my impact. Even the jewellery can be melted down and re-designed. It’s this balance between quality design and sustainability, all with that personal touch, that I hope sets me apart.

Foundation Collection
The Foundation Collection

In a nutshell, what do you offer?

I offer a range of sterling silver and 18k gold-plated jewellery, alongside a collection of soy candles that I make myself. The jewellery is a mix of geometric, Art Deco-inspired designs and more simple, everyday pieces. The candles are a recent addition in five unique shapes, made from sustainable materials and offering something different to complement the jewellery.

What inspires your designs?

My designs were inspired by a work trip to Miami a few years back. I fell in love with the bubble-gum Art Deco buildings that line South Beach and wanted to bring some of those geometric elements into my jewellery. But instead of being an “art deco” themed collection I wanted the designs to effortlessly fit in with life today, just like those buildings do. I’m the kind of person who wears the same pieces of jewellery constantly – my necklace hasn’t left my neck for years! – so I wanted to also create a range of everyday “Foundation” pieces that you could mix and match. I’m still really inspired by great design of the past, particularly architecture, and love to find ways to bring them into my own designs. 

How are your pieces created?

My jewellery is created in Bali, where I was living when I set up the business. I work closely with a workshop in the traditional silversmithing area of Bali, although after the pandemic and becoming a mum my trips out there have all gone digital sadly! The candles are all handmade by me in Tring – in my kitchen to be precise!

Drop Collection
The Drop Collection

Which of your creations have proved particularly popular in the past?

People seem to really respond well to the Rise collection, particularly the ring. It features a geometric, Art Deco-inspired sunrise design and something about it draws people in. The earrings from this collection are my personal go-to. The Foundation bar necklace is popular too as it’s easy to wear and works so well as a gift. From the candles, the bubble is hands down the favourite. It’s just so fun to look at.

What’s new for AW22?

I’ve been playing with some new candle scents for Christmas along with easy-gifting sets. I’m hoping to add new jewellery next year, including some personalisation options. I have a toddler and am pregnant with my second so I’m waiting until I have the headspace to really get lost in design. I’d love to do a charity piece too and have a design in mind. I just need to get it down on paper!

When did you move to Tring and what do you love about the area?

I moved to Tring in spring 2021 with my partner and baby son. We moved from London, but I grew up in Berkhamsted — the brand is actually named after my childhood home there. So I was already really familiar with the area… or so I thought! Tring has been full of surprises and I’m really loving it here. There is a really strong sense of community in the town, with amazing events and fairs, but also a large supportive business community all working on really interesting ventures in their own way. I also love being close to nature. My garden looks out onto a field and Tring Reservoirs is just up the road, so I feel very lucky to live somewhere that combines all of this.

Bubble Candle
The Bubble candle

How do you see the future of House Thirteen evolving?

I see the future of House Thirteen being about expanding my product offering and growing my audience, whilst retaining that family-run, personal approach and staying on top of sustainable considerations. I would really like to get more into the local scene, finding local stockists and raising awareness in the area. I’m excited to see how it evolves, especially in such a supportive local community.

With Christmas right around the corner, what are your top gift picks?

For Christmas gifting you can’t go wrong with a candle, and we’re now offering sets so you can tick a few people off in one go. If you wanted to get something a little more special, but aren’t quite sure of the recipient’s style, then you can’t go wrong with the Foundation collection; think highly polished plain bangles, bar necklaces, stackable plain and textured rings that go with everything. And, for more brownie points, the Rise design is a winner, with my personal favourite being the Rise Drape necklace in gold. If you would like to see the products in real life, we’ll be stocking at Maggie J’s in Tring from 21 November right through to 14 January, so please do pop in.


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