15/08/2017 Chiswick Curates, Jewellery
'Jewellery is a day to day expression of your personality. I'm in love with colour; it brightens up your life. I'm currently working on my new collection and it features lots of brooches and interchangeable jewellery so i was particularly drawn to the wonderful collection here. Some of the craftsmanship is so special, you just don't get pieces like this anymore.' - Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden
We were delighted to welcome Roxanne, founder of Goldie Rox, for an exclusive behind the scenes view of the forthcoming Jewellery auction taking place on 12 September. Roxanne is a well-established London based jeweller specialising in her two favourite things: jewellery and food. With an impressive CV, including being the youngest rough diamond grader in the world for De Beers, she has a keen eye for quality workmanship and beautiful stones. With lots dating from the late 1700's to the modern-day, Roxanne and Head of Department Sarah Duncan discussed a selection of the impressive and unusual jewels offered in the sale. Keep an eye out for Roxanne's highlights featured in the printed catalogue that will be online this week.
We talk to Roxanne about what inspires her, jewellery that she can't live without and what's next for Goldie Rox:
What is the inspiration behind Goldie Rox?
Besides my insatiable appetite for fine jewellery, I get a lot of inspiration from my other passion, food. If it’s not the natural beauty and textures of the food we eat daily, then it’s the personal relationship we have with food. Food is an incredibly important part of my family. My father is an excellent cook, so I spent my childhood sitting on our kitchen worktop: chopping, tasting, cooking, discussing ingredients and different styles of cooking with him. I witnessed his passion to create something completely delicious for our family and friends and knew that one day I wanted to apply this passion to doing something that I loved and that people appreciated. My grandfather was a goldsmith, and even though I never met him, I have been told over the years that we shared the same love for shiny things and a good eat!
The first time I held a rough diamond I knew there was something indescribably mystical about them, and that I wanted to work with them forever. From there I went on to work with many fine jewellers such as Theo Fennell and Bulgari. I saw how jewellery made people feel, and the way they looked and touched certain pieces. I wanted to be a part of that appreciation and express my creative desires using my culinary experiences as inspiration.
Sum up your aesthetic in five words.
Tricky question, I am a Gemini so can have a bit of a dual personality. My background is in fine jewellery so part of my approach to jewellery is super traditional and the other is wild and contemporary. I would describe my brand aesthetic as uncomplicated glamour, avant-garde, confident, cultured, statement jewellery. I want my clients to feel special day to day. My collections contain a lot of statement pieces and a certain amount of confidence comes with wearing them. My designs don’t follow trends, rather my own creative whims, which can also play a part in making them quite bold.
How do you approach a new collection? Where do your ideas evolve from?
Generally, it’s a mix between my culinary experiences, what I would personally like to wear and what I think would look beautiful on the body. Two of my favourite people were Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor, both with beautiful jewellery collections. Quite often when I come up with ideas I imagine what it would look like on them. Wearability is another key factor; I like to create everyday statement jewellery, so often they’re pretty loud, but they need to be comfortable too.
Growing up with Italians as best friends has inspired my new collection. As a child I used to eat at their house first and then go to my house for supper number two. Not only was the food at their house incredibly delicious, but I also fell in love with the way they cooked. I loved how food centred on the family and how they all sat down together to tuck in. One of these best friends got married in Sicily last year and I hadn’t seen her nonno for quite a while. So, whilst all the bridesmaids were getting ready, nonno and I attempted to catch up on the events of the past years, but quickly the conversation turned to food. From olive oil, to fresh octopus and spaghetti, it was a mouth-watering conversation. This collection is all about the most simple things being some of the best.
© Welcome Beyond
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?
Chewing oysters is a lot more satisfying than swallowing them. I’m joking. Probably staying true to what I believe in – it’s quite easy to digress from what you’ve set out to do, to follow a trend, or to do what you think is expected of you. Don’t lose faith in yourself. Similarly, I have learnt to go with my gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right - it probably isn’t! I have been in the industry for 11 years now, have learnt so many valuable lessons and am constantly learning every day. I feel it’s important to constantly challenge yourself, to ask questions and to put yourself outside your comfort zone. Never stop learning, because you never know when those lessons might come in handy!
What is the quote that you live by?
'Every day is a special occasion.' A tour guide said this a few times on my honeymoon. He put something that I have always tried to live by into words, and I now try to put them into practice throughout many aspects of my life. The first example he used was telling me not to just have my favourite breakfast on Christmas Day but to eat it every day! Likewise I wear all my favourite clothes every day and I don’t have any pieces in my wardrobe that I reserve for ‘special occasions.' Everyday I try to eat and to wear all my favourite things and nowhere is this more the case than with my jewellery.
Do you have a favourite designer?
Very tricky question, I have so many I love for so many reasons, from Jesscia McCormack, Hattie Rickard, Solange Azagury-Partridge, Lucy Folk and Kiki McDonough to Graff. They all have their own individual styles and techniques but all have a deep love for jewellery old and new.
Who do you admire and why?
Honestly, I admire anyone who does what they love for a living and has set up on their own. Sometimes it’s difficult to be self-motivated as you end up taking on multiple roles, being your own boss, accountant, strategist, HR and everything else that goes into running a business.
And without sounding too soppy I admire my husband, Leo Hadden, the most. He’s a brand strategy director at a creative agency and his work ethic is like no other I have come across. He works ridiculous hours and never complains about the early starts or late nights. He treats each client like they’re his only one and truly embodies each and every brand he works with. He never cuts corners and always gives his absolute best, even when running out of steam. But most of all his sincerity is the most admirable thing. He never follows trends, or fads and he truly believes in everything he likes. The way he works and treats his clients has taught me so much over the years. At Goldie Rox, I too only provide the best service.
Is there a piece of jewellery that you could not live without?
My gold Goldie Rox toothpick. The inspiration for the toothpick came when I was watching the 2014 Sainsbury’s Christmas advert where the British and German soldiers pause World War I to play a festive game of football. It got me thinking about what essentials they might have taken with them in their little tin boxes. On discovering a vintage silver twist toothpick a few days later, the idea was born and I decided I would recreate my own modern version to add to my core Goldie Rox range.
I created them yellow and rose gold because gold as an alloy has no flavour. Technically we should be using gold cutlery! The pendant works so well for cleaning your teeth because its sharp, pointy and there is no metallic flavour. I wear it everyday and use it at least 3 times a day. I layer the necklace with whatever else I am wearing. I never leave the house without it.
What is next for Goldie Rox?
I’m constantly coming up with new ideas, so as ever, there’s a new collection on the horizon. There are also some really great collaborations coming up. Probably the most significant change for me at the moment is the decision to divide my brand. As Goldie Rox continues to evolve and I grow as a young woman in the world of jewellery, it has been difficult for me to limit my interests in the industry. For the past 11 years, I have been so captivated by every sector of the industry. From rough diamonds, valuing diamonds, selling jewels at a retail level, managing fine jewellery pieces, gemstone acquisitions, designing engagement rings, to repairing and remodelling jewels, I love every part of what goes into adorning our bodies with jewels. So very soon I will be launching RRH, Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden, from which I will conduct all of my services surrounding bridal, bespoke commissions, repairs, remodelling and helping clients auction their jewellery. Goldie Rox will then be allowed to stand alone with its own clear focus: everyday statement jewellery inspired by culinary experiences.