Last year, Camilla Cottle took the plunge and launched her jewellery brand, The Silver Stable. She talks to us about what inspired her business and some of the challenges she has faced so far.
What is your business all about?
I’m Camilla Cottle and I am the founder of sustainable handcrafted jewellery brand, The Silver Stable in Lancashire. I started making jewellery whilst on maternity leave and my love for silversmithing grew from there. I knew it was what I wanted to do full time. I always dreamt of having my own business and having a career in the food sector at a managerial level, I thought it would be something to do with that. However, once I started silversmithing I knew it was going to be my future.
I have been around horses all my life and after falling in love with silversmithing I knew I wanted to combine the two. I wanted to create pieces that had a strong equestrian heritage yet were still contemporary and could be worn by stylish women who don’t necessarily ride or own horses but are drawn to the allure of classic equestrian styling. You only have to look at a few of our heritage designer brands such as Hermes, Longines and Chanel to see their strong equestrian leaning in their design aesthetics. I set out to create beautiful jewellery which can be worn every day but can look equally stylish paired with evening attire.
What is your point of difference?
All our jewellery is made to last and is made from fully recycled solid sterling silver and solid 9ct gold rather than being gold plated or gold-filled! All our pieces pay homage to equestrian without being overtly ‘horsey’. For example, a woven rope orb takes centre stage on a necklace. Inspired by the lead ropes equestrians use every day, to anyone who doesn’t know horses, it’s a simply beautiful contemporary piece of jewellery! We pride ourselves on making everything in our Lancashire studio from fully sustainable materials.
How do you spread the word about your business?
Social media was our starting point and has introduced our brand and collection to a truly international audience. We now have a handful of influencers working with us and a PR agency on board.
How has business been during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Like most businesses it has been rocky at times, but I think our success has been our passion for creating something more than a throwaway piece. I call our jewellery ‘lockdown luxury’ and so many of our customers wanted to treat themselves to something special with self-care in mind, whilst others wanted to treat their loved ones to special gifts as they couldn’t see them in person. Our jewellery has also been very popular for birthday gifts as it comes in beautiful sustainable luxury gift packaging, making it ‘gift ready’ for the lucky recipient. Previously our calendar would have been filled with shows and events to sell our pieces and we hope to revisit this for 2022.
What’s the hardest thing about running a business?
Trying to juggle life around the business. Being a mum of a young toddler, having my own horses that I compete and running The Silver Stable is always a balance that is hard to maintain but you just have to be super organised and I’m lucky to have great support from my husband, family and friends.
What has been the single biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
It was my own self-doubt at times at the beginning that was my biggest challenge. I knew that my jewellery was popular with friends, but there’s a big leap of faith between selling to friends and then for complete strangers to buy into the brand. Fortunately, the more popular the brand has become, the more confidence I have in my ability as a designer and the more pieces I have added to our collection.
What’s the best decision you’ve made so far?
The best decision has actually been going for it and starting The Silver Stable last year. I was worried about taking the plunge, but it’s been the best thing I’ve done. No regrets!
What’s next for your business?
We are currently in the process of designing our new collection to be launched in the next couple of months and as I said before we would love to aim towards getting to some events and shows next year with our trade stand!