Every week, we shine a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homeware and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we bring you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week we chat with Laura Bond, the founder of her eponymous Edinburgh-based independent jewellery brand.
How did the brand come about?
When I launched the brand in summer 2019 it was initially a side hustle. I’ve had multiple ear piercings since my teens and was frustrated that I struggled to find quality solid gold cartilage jewellery at accessible prices. I thought that if that was my experience, then there were probably other people out there who felt the same and so I decided to launch my own brand, knowing that if nothing else I would have my own beautiful collection to wear.
When our website took over £1000 on the day we launched, I had a suspicion we were onto something good. After three months of trading, both my husband and I were in a position to give up our jobs to focus on the business full time. My sister then joined us in summer 2020, making it a real family affair and we grew our team to five people earlier this year.
Instagram continues to be instrumental in our growth – we have grown our following to over 66,000 global followers and a huge amount of our sales come through social media.
What three words sum up the Laura Bond aesthetic?
Dainty, feminine and sparkly.
Who is the Laura Bond customer?
The Laura Bond customer is stylish and takes an interest in trends, but prefers to buy quality over fast fashion. They’re free-spirited and have a rebellious streak – the curated ear trend is the perfect way to express individuality but is less permanent than something like a tattoo.
They’re also not who you would immediately associate with the world of body piercing. Customers regularly tell us they might not have considered a cartilage piercing until they fell in love with a certain piece of our jewellery.
Where does inspiration come from?
Our 2021 collection was influenced by the natural world and the collection features studs, hoops and charms in the shape of vines, daisy chains, bees, garden snakes and butterflies. The pieces are dainty and feminine with the signature sparkle that our customers have come to expect from our designs.
I only feature jewellery in our collections that I want to wear myself. I have 15 ear piercings in total and design dainty pieces that are ideally worn stacked together. More is more as far as I’m concerned when it comes to jewellery.
Tell us a bit about your design and making process.
The design process is really collaborative. I will sketch ideas or create mood boards and send them to our designer Fiona who translates them into technical drawings. She trained at Cartier and has a perfect eye for the delicate aesthetic of Laura Bond.
Our designs are then sent to our manufacturers who make a sample and once that meets our approval it’s put into production. Making body jewellery is a really specialist area and we work with three manufacturers who are expert ateliers in the field.
Is Laura Bond striving to be a sustainable brand?
Absolutely. We strive to be as sustainable as possible but know there is always room for improvement. In recent years there has been a lot of conversation about fast fashion and its harm to the environment; I didn’t want to contribute to that with Laura Bond.
Our jewellery is only made with responsibly sourced solid gold which lasts a lifetime. It is durable and doesn’t erode like plated alternatives, meaning the customer not only gets better value for money and long-term wear, but our jewellery also doesn’t end up in a landfill after a few months.
Which piece is your current favourite?
Oooh, that’s a tough one as I love them all, but I would have to say the Butterfly stud which is part of our Summer 2021 collection.
Anything exciting planned for the brand?
We have just launched virtual ear styling on Instagram, which we are really excited about – it’s a great way for our customers to ‘try on’ our jewellery in different placements as well as using it for inspiration to plan future piercings.
We are also launching the second half of our new collection at the end of June. It’s my favourite collection to date and I’m really looking forward to seeing how our customers react to it.