The journey so far...
It begins in my early twenties while having my fair few misadventures around the globe. I didn’t know it at the time but the wonder and respect I was developing for the natural world whilst on my travels would later fuel my passion for environmentalism which forms the foundations of my brand today.
Once back home I wanted to develop my creative instincts and began with a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. As soon as I chose jewellery as my focus things clicked into place - a vocation that had been there all along and a creative discipline that encompassed all of my interests.
I began a BA in Jewellery Design next, which allowed plenty of room for experimentation and pointed me in the direction of contemporary jewellery. During my course a sad reality started to dawn on me - I did not know where the materials I was using came from - and the most likely source of their origin was a place that abused both the environment and the people working in it.
I gradually found out more about where precious metals and stones come from - and I knew I had to do things differently. I went out into the jewellery industry, gaining experience and more knowledge about all types of jewellery design and manufacturing. I was also comforted to find that I was not alone in my concerns for ethics in the jewellery industry.
I have been lucky enough to meet and work with many like-minded jewellery industry professionals who are passionate about sourcing ethical and traceable materials. I also consider myself fortunate to be working in a time when the industry is - finally - moving in the right direction.
Fairtrade Gold launched in 2007 and the only way has been up from there. Consumers are becoming more and more aware and suppliers are responding. Fairtrade and recycled gold is now widely available in many forms for jewellers to utilise. Diamonds and gemstones are becoming increasingly traceable, and companies are becoming more conscious of their practices - how they affect the environment and the other people along the supply chain.
After a few years in the industry I eventually decided the time was right for me to do my own thing - in my own way. In 2016 my ideas for TipToe started to form and after a couple of years of development, the business began in 2018 with commission work and the launch of the website and online shop in 2019.
Sometimes though, it is still difficult to try and run a completely sustainable business, but the progress we are all making spurs me on. I will always strive to find the most sustainable and responsible materials available and be honest about my own progress, processes and sources.
I hope you will support not only me, but all businesses which are driving forward the change we need to help each other and save the amazing environment around us.