Creative Women: Kelly Smithson, Cabbage White England
Did I ever tell you about our policy of loving every item we stock, but also only working with people we like? It has served us rather well so far, and jeweller Kelly Smithson of Cabbage White England fits into our ethos perfectly. Based just down the road in Guildford, her wearable, affordable jewellery manages to combine current trends with a classic aesthetic. Always bright, breezy and so accommodating to all our often random requests, she is an absolute pleasure to work with, and we are a very proud stockist of this fantastic local jewellery brand.
As a working mum who has built a successful business using her creative skills and business acumen, I hope you enjoy reading her story…
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
We design and make handmade sterling silver, gold vermeil and rose gold jewellery. We like to mix up British classics and current trends to create pieces that will still be a joy to wear in years to come.
What did you dream of doing as a child and has your career panned out the way you expected?
When I was a child I always wanted to be a fashion designer, however I ended up studying fine art painting and then working as a producer in TV. With the birth of my first child and our decision to move out of London I decided to train as a silversmith and build a creative career of my own.
Cabbage White England jewellery.
Describe the moment you decided on the path you are following now.
I went to a mother and baby morning and someone was selling handmade jewellery. We were about to move out of London and I thought that’s what I should be doing. I have always loved accessories and fashion and felt that it would be something that I could be successful at and fit in around the children.
Have you stuck to a set plan, had an epiphany that has made you suddenly change course, or do you just ‘go with the flow’?
I went on a creative businesses course structured around how to sell wholesale and built a five year plan and have pretty much stuck with it. I find it helpful to have targets and some sort of structure.
Kelly's jewellery workbench.
How is fashion important to you? Would you say the way you dress has any impact upon your work, or vice versa?
Fashion is important to me but I wouldn’t like to think that my style is totally dictated by trends. I love picking and choosing which pieces from each season I will mix into my current wardrobe.
What is your first fashion memory?
Reading all my Mum’s copies of Vogue and ripping out my favourite outfits
Which item in your wardrobe would you never get rid of?
Boring, but I live in jeans and never throw any pairs away until they fall apart! For classic items I would never get rid of my camel biker jacket that I got from Gerald Darrel years ago and can’t find another one that I like more!
Jeans are Kelly's wardrobe staple, and colourful bags and hats reflect her boho summer style.
Where do you get your style inspiration? Do you have any favourite Instagram/Pinterest accounts or bloggers you follow?
Describe your style in three words.
Low key, I always look casual and can’t do smart at all. If I can add a bit of glam into an everday look then I’m happy. I pretty much follow a dress it up / dress it down approach!
Who is your style icon?
People who wear what they want whatever their age and are not concerned about fitting into a certain style or look. I love anyone that is bold with colours – Fearne Cotton is great!
Fashion inspiration from a few of Kelly's favourite bloggers.
Where do you see yourself and your business in the future?
Continuing to grow our collections and keeping all our customers and stockists happy!