Contemporary fine jewellery maker Tessa Packard has gone from strength to strength since she launched her brand of the same name back in 2013. An award winning label with much admired bi-annual collections, Tessa Packard also specialises in creating bespoke jewellery for both private individuals or larger corporate clients. Tessa also acts as a business mentor for several youth and education-focused charities, and is a regular speaker at entrepreneurial workshops and Women in Business events.
Her imaginative pieces combine excellent with a stylish irreverence and her work has been featured in a plethora of magazines. What’s more, her new collection is said to be inspired by ‘the Victorian curiosity cabinet, the art of Joseph Cornell and her love for all things eccentric and eclectic’. Presumably that means it’ll inspire conversation around the dinner table too…
Lawfully Chic caught up with Tessa recently and asked her what it was that first interested her in going into this particular business. “As a teenager I had a pipe-dream to be an accessories designer,” she told us. “When I finally decided to take the entrepreneurial leap of faith and start my own brand in my mid-twenties the discipline of designing jewellery felt very much like the perfect fit. I’ve always seen jewellery as sculpture in miniature, and this really appealed to my previous fine art training. I was also very excited by the way jewellery had the ability to be re-imagined – pieces could be taken apart and put back together in new and dynamic ways.
It’s a timeless accessory really. And ethical principles clearly aren’t far from Tessa’s heart either (just like they’re never far from ours). Narrative integrity, it seems, is perhaps one of her company’s most important principles: “We feel that every piece or collection must tell a story, and that story must be exciting and inspiring and on point with our brand DNA. We believe that jewellery should be more than just metal and gemstones – it should be imbued with narrative imagination and playfulness.”
Tessa Packard also has a strong transparency around pricing, charging a standard commission percentage on all their bespoke projects, whatever the level of intricacy or budget. “We prefer it this way because then the client always has a precise and clear appreciation of what he or she is paying for – they understand the exact material, workmanship and stone costs – and this we feel is an integral value to the service we provide.”
There are of course challenges in the current market though. Firstly, warns Tessa: “The mark-ups can be pretty steep (ridiculously so in the engagement ring sector) as you aren’t just paying for the material value of the stone or metal but brand recognition as well.” We asked her for any advice on this? “I’d would steer clients away from purchasing gemstones abroad, such as in India or Sri Lanka, unless they know a very trusted source,’ she says. “One can easily overpay, or worse, walk away with a fake.”