Small Brand Spotlight: Seekd

Every week, we’re shining 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, homewares 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 and accessories, we’ll be bringing you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week we chat to Fay Cannings, founder of Seekd, the alternative marketplace for ethically-made jewellery and accessories.

Seekd
Seekd

How did Seekd come about?

Seekd has been a wonderful evolution over my whole career. I’ve always worked in community investment and social impact in a variety of roles, from working in a large company in Corporate Social Responsibility to leading local business programmes. I started Seekd in 2018 for a culmination of reasons, but I think I’ve always been entrepreneurial in nature so it was only a matter of time.

For a long time, I’d felt drawn to creating a marketplace to support small businesses and connect them to customers wanting to shop small, local and positive. I initially wanted to focus the marketplace on jewellery – it’s something I’ve always had a love of, collecting my own cherished pieces over the years.

Alongside that, I’ve always had a strong appreciation for excellent design and live by the mantra ‘choose well, make it last’ (thank you, Vivienne Westwood). I wanted to celebrate beautiful, interesting design and craftsmanship and the talented and emerging designers behind that. This brings me on to the name: Seekd became an obvious choice to me as the notion of ‘seeking’ out something special really resonates with the concept of the brand.

What 3 words would you use to describe Seekd?

Originality. Quality. Positivity.

Who is the Seekd customer?

The Seekd customer is discerning, loves excellent design, unique finds and appreciates the story and people behind what they’re wearing. We have customers from all age groups and backgrounds as there really is something for everyone’s individual style, but the common factor is they want stylish, interesting, eco-friendly products that speak to them, stand out and stand the test of time. I’ve found customers also really want to support small businesses and appreciate the talent of the founders.

How do you select the brands for Seekd?

I spot interesting, unique and exciting brands through a mix of online research, developing partnerships, word of mouth, recommendations and a whole a lot of networking over the years. It’s a lovely process of connecting with the brand and also often a personal connection with the founder. That’s the beautiful thing, it’s not a faceless online process or company, it’s a joyful reciprocal process of seeking out alignment and getting to understand what’s special about these businesses and designers.

Often brands and designers reach out to me directly having heard about Seekd and wanting to be part of the community – it’s really heartwarming when that happens.

Is Seekd striving to be sustainable in anyway?

100 per cent! It’s a marketplace, e-commerce platform and community of designers and small businesses all on the same journey, to make a positive sustainable impact on the planet. The main ways we do this as a community are through being mindful of the materials sourced, ensuring transparency and fair trade wherever possible when buying new materials (supporting local communities) or using recycled or up-cycled materials.

Some designers are also working ‘hands on’ in developing countries to support artisanal crafts and heritage or provide economic development through working with communities to provide skills, jobs and trade opportunities with the beautiful products they make. Examples of brands who have this deep community reach are Maalo, Katiico and From Belo, but, of course, each brand has its own special story. It’s also worth mentioning our designers also pride themselves on using sustainable packaging and environmentally-friendly studio practices, too.

Which piece on Seekd is your current favourite?

Of course, I’m lucky to have quite a few! My favourite piece currently is the 18ct Gold Twisted Ear Cuff (£99) by All It’s Forms. It’s very chic and I love the chunky, organic twists and form, it fits so snuggly on the ear. Gina Myungji Cheun, the founder of All Its Forms, is super talented and her ‘use your own gold’ service is so neat and, of course, sustainable.

I like to mix and match silver and gold, so I team it with something like the Re-Melted Earrings (£35) by cool Copenhagen designer Another Jewel or the Eagle Claw Earrings  (£155) by Daisy Grice. These feel very empowering to wear with their striking claw metaphor design; I love Daisy’s work as it’s so original and sculptural with a gothic edge inspired by elements from the natural world.

The In Flow Ring (£39) by Pikaya is also a really gorgeous and poignant piece for me. It’s Pikaya’s first wax carving piece and the minute she started wax carving in the first week of lockdown it was the only thing that kept her away from checking the news every minute.

Anything exciting planned for the brand this year?

Lots! We have some exciting online campaigns and partnerships lined up, kicking off with a panel event with leading ethical jewellery designers on 13 May which I’ll host (look out for details on the Seekd social media), with other industry collaborations to follow.

I’m also very energised by plans for more Seekd pop-up shops, both in the capital and other major cities in the UK. Being from the Midlands myself and growing up shopping in Birmingham and Manchester, I totally get how much potential there is in different towns and cities and want to bring the Seekd physical retail shopping experience to more customers across the country.

YOU’s 3 favourite things:

gold and pearl hoops
Seekd

Lina Wil Ava Hoops, from £150, Seekd

gold and pearl earrings
Seekd

Pikaya Jewellery And All That Jazz Earrings, £75, Seekd

face necklace
Seekd

Another Jewel Moon Face, £65, Seekd

Shop the full collection at seekd.co.uk and follow @seekdfashion.