Challenging pre-conceptions and pioneering modern approaches is second nature to Bec Astley Clarke MBE. From an eclectic childhood surrounded by geneticists, politicians, travellers, artists and mountaineers to starting Astley Clarke from her dining room, hers is a tale of never taking no for an answer.
In December 2013, Bec was awarded an MBE for ‘Services to Jewellery’ by Her Royal Majesty the Queen.
I saw a gap in the market for amazingly designed contemporary jewellery. I had been working in e-commerce up until that point, and my whole history was online. I saw that big luxury brands were slow to adopt online as a selling medium, and as a way of telling a brand’s story.
At Astley Clarke we believe women should wear their precious jewellery all of the time. Why wait for a special (and usually rare) occasion when you have the chance to wear something you treasure every day? Our aesthetic is all about ‘relaxed luxury’ – wear your favourite blue jeans and slouchy knit, then add a diamond pendant or fabulous gemstone ring.
More and more women buy jewellery for themselves and we are in celebration of that movement. A lot of the traditional jewellery brands still focus on men buying diamond pendants for their girlfriends, but we definitely have women coming to us to treat themselves.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience life in lots of different places and have spent time living in Hamburg, Paris, and Milan. At the moment I am splitting my time between London and Italy and taking the opportunity to spend more quality time with my children, Thor and Delilah. I grew up in London though and however much I love travelling I am always drawn back again and again.
Painted nails – wearing rings made me notice my nails more and I’m now a little obsessed with nail varnish. I have hundreds of shades but I can never resist Chanel.
I live in jeans as they are perfect for dressing up and down as needed for work as well as running around after my children. I am forever faithful to J Brand skinnies.
Coffee – my mornings aren’t complete without a cappuccino.
I will never tire of the pleasure gained in wearing a piece (or five) of beautiful jewellery. Life is too short not to enjoy the finer things as much as we can – what’s the point in owning something designed to keep for a lifetime and only wearing it once or twice?
Don’t be afraid of rejection. Embrace people saying no, and push on through until they say yes.