In Conversation With Kathleen Markwick
What made you decide to start a brand?
After spending the last ten years working across the fashion and beauty industry, in PR, marketing, design and on-line roles, I decided it was time to put everything I had learnt along the way into practice and launch my own jewellery line. After working in the fast paced fashion world, I knew with my own line I wanted to look beyond trends, that whilst are fun, fade so fast and create jewellery with a timeless quality, while exploring the idea of jewellery being able to tell a story.
Does XISS have a message?
My jewellery is all about wearing fine jewellery every day. I wanted to create a jewellery line that sat seamlessly between fashion and fine jewellery, jewellery with a relaxed luxury that offer’s the perfect excuse to wear gemstones every day.
What are your influences (inside and outside of fashion/retail)?
I often find inspiration by looking to the past and exploring the stories and meanings that are associated with jewellery and I’m fascinated by the roles jewellery plays in these different cultures.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your brand?
Trust yourself and believe in yourself.
What advice/warnings would you give someone looking to start their own brand?
Be prepared to work hard and make sure you’re creating a brand that you believe in.
How would you say the fashion/retail climate has changed since you started your brand?
I think there is a growing momentum for slow fashion and consumers are appreciating craftsmanship and quality and these are values that are at the heart of XISSJEWELLERY.
What’s the most recent book you read? Did it feed into your creative process?
My kindle always has a new novel on it, but I also have a stack of auto biographies on my book self, some of the most recent ones I’ve read are Grace A Memoir - Grace Coddington, ‘The Woman I Wanted To Be’ – Diane Von Furstenberg, ‘Two Turtle Doves’ – Alex Monroe. I love learning other people’s story and I find it reassuring that everyone’s path is always so different.
Is there a brand put there that you wish you started?
Glossier, the brain child of Emily Weiss who also created the hugely popular blog ‘Into The Gloss’. Glossier has built its brand on a thoroughly modern business model by embracing the way we are influenced and shop today.
What goals do you have as a designer?
I want to keep learning and improving my skills, I’d also love to work more with precious stones.
What motivates you?
I love seeing my designs coming to life and I still get very excited for every order that comes in, I don’t think that excitement will ever fade.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
I like that every day is different and I love the variety of jobs involved in running your own brand, but you also have to try and love the bits you hate.
What is your life moto?
Never stop believing in yourself.