How I started my Jewellery & Lifestyle brand....
As a Mother of four beautiful children, I love so much the blessing to nurture them and watch them flourish (they are now 24, 22, 16 and 12). I encourage my children to always be brave enough to explore what they truly love to do and never to fear failure or rejection. After following a fairly traditional corporate career throughout my 20’s, I knew I wanted to take more risk and express myself in an authentic way for my 30’s. 40's & beyond- I turn 50 this year. I always had a desire to create things, collaborate with others and to explore my creative potential, so I left secure employment and set up on my own in 2010.
As a teenager I would experiment with the intricate handmade tools in my Father’s workshop in Buckinghamshire, England.
My Father is known as one of “the World's finest Craftsmen”. Formally an apprentice in the 1950's of James Purdey & Sons he went on to set up his own company in the 1980's, making under his own name of PV Nelson, London.
Peter Nelson is known in the fine gun world as ‘Mr Perfection’, little wonder when one of his collector pieces took approximately 800 hours to complete by hand. Peter has retired now but is very much active in the quality control and 'strong advice giving' here at Claudia Sylvester London™. !! He actually now has a really nice Facebook Page where he shares pictures and history of his career. You can find it by typing in PV Nelson Gunmaker.
So as a youngster, I'd make cufflinks, belt buckles (image below is of me making one under his watchful/critical eye) and jewellery from the raw materials I found in his workshop and shape and file and polish them into wearable pieces which i'd sell to his affluent client base.
This sparked my love and desire for unique design and planted the idea of one day creating my own brand, just like my Father did all those years ago.
"I wanted to create beautiful pieces of work and be brave and proud enough to share them with others, even people I’d never met".
After Education, I went straight into the Corporate workforce. I worked as a Marketing Recruitment Consultant placing candidates into Microsoft & Symantec for three years and then I became a Marketing Manager with the IT company, Softcat PLC for a further 5 years. Please visit LinkedIn for my complete corporate profile.
(We all clearly loved big collars in the early 1990's).
I took a sabbatical in 1993 and travelled Australia and South East Asia on a working visa with my then boyfriend and now Husband of 30 years, Steven Sylvester, Author & Chartered Psychologist and spent a year living and working as a fashion model in Melbourne for various Designers including
Louis Féraud and Calvin Klein.
Back in London, I signed with the leading model agent IMG (then Lorraine Ashton) and modelled for Vivienne Westwood & Anna Sui in London Fashion Week and worked with many of the Designers I'd long admired. It was a magical time to be young and living and working in London especially in the Fashion Industry in the 1990's.
Still with a love of design but looking at moving away from fashion, I auditioned and switched to TV presenting on the Home Shopping Channel QVC and loved the experience of Live TV so much, I worked as a presenter for the next 17 years!
It was after the birth of our 4th child that I finally made the decision to 'go for it' and fulfil that dream that I had in my childhood. I'd wanted to do it for so long and now was a great time to take the leap of faith. QVC had already enabled me to Design and sell my first creation live on air (called Claudia's Diamond Ring). It was a Gold and Diamond strand ring and sold out many times on-air. We offered it in three colours of gold and sold literally thousands of them
(See the QVC advert for my ring below).
With determination, a steep learning curve, a lot of hard work and many hurdles over the past 10 years, I have now formed a strong and dedicated team of world-class collaborators to create my exceptional Bespoke Jewellery and Luxury Home Accessories from our very traditional central London workshop.
I am working on collaborative projects to offer more Home Lifestyle products to my customers and that includes Luxury Soft Furnishings, Bedding, Lighting, Candles & Home Fragrances - I want wrap everyone in affordable luxury for their precious home spaces.
I am also planning on making more of my gorgeous Bamboo Towels & Robes after we sold them all out in the UK stores on their launch. I have also had requests for Sumptuous Luxury Throws, so I’m planning them now 2023 availability. My team are fabulous and they allow me to be able to pursue other projects that i'm eager to explore. I can't seem to quite leave behind the marketing and consultancy experience that I so enjoyed acquiring, so for the next few years alongside managing my luxury lifestyle brand, I will be working within Sports Marketing too where i'll be supporting elite athletes and Premier League footballers and their clubs through my company Trinity Sports Partnerships. Hop on over to LinkedIN to see what this entails.
I'm really chuffed to say, that for a decade now, I have my own Designer's British Hallmark registered at the famous Goldsmith's Company Assay Office in Hatton Garden, London and all bespoke jewellery features this mark during the assaying process.
Sending you love and kindness always.
(The photo below is of Noah, my youngest on the day my Hallmark was accepted at the Goldsmiths Assay Office).
Thanks for stopping by to read. I hope my team and I can make you something one day.