Lucy Quartermaine has developed a global following for her exquisite jewellery, created in the heart of Cheshire. She tells Absolutely Cheshire about designing with a difference
Jeweller Lucy Quartermaine has a wonderful boutique in Garden Lane, Chester. Known for her iconic Drop Collections, Lucy has a huge celebrity fan base, including Alesha Dixon (who was spotted in her Armour Rings at the Eurovision Song Contest), Alex Scott, BAFTA Nominee Taj Atwal, Lilah Parsons, TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins wore her new Royal Flower Pearl Collection for Coronation coverage earlier this year.
Absolutely Cheshire visited her Chester boutique to discover early inspirations, what her celebrity fans mean to her, and why we should all be excited about what’s to come.
When did you first develop an interest in designing jewellery?
I was in awe of my grandmother, who used to create beautiful pieces of jewellery by setting natural gemstones in silver. She gave me a vast collection of buttons to choose from and I would spend hours threading them onto string to create necklaces and bracelets. I then went on to secure a place at Sheffield Hallam University, where I embarked on an honour’s degree course in metalwork and jewellery.
When did you launch your own brand and was it tough to get off the ground?
I launched my brand Lucy Quartermaine in 2004 with a small, makeshift workshop and a jeweller’s bench in my bedroom. I worked every second that my baby slept, soldering, and filing away at silver while my daughter dreamt beside me. We were a team, spurred on by passion but no profit; any money made went straight back into the business. Money was tight, and threadbare, supported only by my husband’s wages. Every penny was spent in the belief things would turn around.
How did you want to offer something different?
I wanted to make jewellery that looked unlike others. I didn’t want it to be like the usual kind you see. I offer a Be Unique Collection, which emphasizes the idea that each piece of jewellery is unique and can reflect the wearer’s personal style. Additionally, we’ve been developing a fun and engaging personality quiz to help you discover jewellery pieces that match your style and personality. This quiz will add a touch of personalization to your shopping experience, making it easier than ever to find the perfect pieces that resonate with you.
How do you create new designs?
I create new designs by combining inspiration, creativity, and skill. I draw inspiration from everything around me. I get a lot of ideas from nature, art and culture.
Can you explain how your pieces are created?
I first get ideas from things around me, I then draw these ideas like a picture. I pick out the materials that I want to use and if I want to incorporate gemstones. Next, the picture comes to life, and I receive a sample of the jewellery to see how it looks and fits. If I am happy with the result, then I make this live to my customers on my website.
What would you say have been your best sellers?
The armour rings have emerged as some of my best-selling pieces. These bold rings have captured the hearts of jewellery enthusiasts and celebs. Their unique and edgy appearance adds a touch of modern elegance to any outfit. The popularity of the armour rings speaks to their ability to make a strong and stylish statement.
Have you evolved at all in recent times?
Yes, we have evolved in recent times by expanding our team. This growth has allowed us to enhance our capabilities and provide even better support and services to our users. We remain committed to evolving and adapting to meet the changing needs of our customers and the broader community.
Is it nice to have a celebrity following?
Yes, I am very thankful to have such a great celebrity following, it helps more people see and know about my brand and products. When celebs wear and talk about our products it often attracts media attention and creates a buzz, reaching a wider audience, this can lead to increased sales and brand recognition. Celebs are also known for starting trends, so when they like something it can set fashion and lifestyle trends. Their association with my brand creates a sense of trust and credibility.
What have winning awards meant to you?
Winning awards has meant a lot to us, it’s like getting a big thumbs up for the hard work we do. It makes us proud of what we have achieved and gives us confidence that we are on the right track. Awards also tell us that others appreciate what we’re doing, and that’s a great feeling. It motivates us to keep doing our best and keep improving.
How long have you been based in Chester and what do you love about the area?
I have been based in Chester since I started, and I actually live and grew up in this lovely city. What I truly cherish about Chester is its rich history. The ancient walls that encircle the city, the beautiful Tudor-style buildings, and the Roman remains make it feel like a living museum!
What can we expect when we visit your boutique?
When you visit our boutique, you can expect a unique and immersive experience. Our boutique is designed to offer a welcoming and luxurious atmosphere, where you can explore a selection of our finest jewellery pieces up close and try on. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will be there to assist you. Whether you’re searching for a special gift or a treat for yourself, you will find a range of stunning options to choose from.
As we head into autumn/winter, what’s new from you?
As we step into autumn/winter 2023, we are excited to introduce brand new jewellery pieces that are yet to be revealed, so stay tuned on our social media for exclusive looks. We have been hard at work crafting unique designs that we know you will all love.
Where do you see yourself going from here?
We only hope to get bigger and bigger. Our goal is for the brand to go worldwide, and to be known everywhere. Expanding our reach and making our brand accessible to people worldwide is a key part of our vision. We are committed to growing and evolving, always striving to provide the finest jewellery and the best possible experience for our customers, whether they are near or far.