A Word With

SHARMADEAN REID

Our rolling series My Astley Clarke Style returns! Introducing the irrepressible Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails and Future Girl Corp. We asked her a few questions about her eclectic, on-point style, as she demonstrates how to effortlessly combine fine & contemporary jewellery.

SR1

How would you define your personal style? What role does your jewellery play in this?

I like to dress fairly classic but with a weird, unexpected twist. I love being British and I think eccentricity is part of our heritage, so I like jewellery which reflects that.

What’s the best style advice you’ve been given?

The best style advice I’ve been given was from Jo Ann Furniss, editor of Arena Homme + where I used to intern. She always said: “If you can’t afford designer clothing, then just wear black”.

SR2

Do you have a jewellery icon?

I love old Italian women who have all their heirloom jewellery; Mexican chola girls who rock ghetto hoops and French bourgeois who wear classic and simple pieces. I get inspiration from everywhere; I like mixing it up.

What’s the most important piece of jewellery you own?

My most important piece of jewellery is my 84 name plate necklace. I formed the International Girl Crew with a handful of my girlfriends from all over the world and we all have one; it’s like our crew necklace.

What’s next on your jewellery hit list?

An engagement ring! I really want a diamond…

SR3

The idea of empowering women is central to your work. What has been the most empowering moment of your career?

I feel like I’ve learnt and done so much in the past six years but actually I’ve learnt way more in the past year as I started to think about turning WAH into something serious, growing my team and really pushing forward. It’s really empowering to look back on our progress over the past year and see how much we’ve achieved.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?

  1. Understand how you’re going to make money. That might sound really straightforward but so many people start businesses and they don’t know how they’re going to make a profit.
  2. Understand your exact customers. Every decision you make is aimed at those customers – give them names and personas and profiles. Don’t ever make willy-nilly decisions without thinking about who your customers are.
  3. Plan a roadmap for the future. You should have five stages of a road map – year one we’re going to achieve this, year two we’re going to achieve this, and work back to achieve it.

You have to be the type of person that sees problems and wants to solve them with a burning desire. If you don’t have a burning desire you will hate your life because it is 24/7.

What are your goals for 2017?

We’ve always targeted beauty, art and technology as the main pillars of WAH. We’ve made huge waves in beauty and art so now I’m really focused on the tech. I experimented with a virtual reality nail design app in partnership with DVTK and now I’m looking into a new way to book beauty online.

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