In Conversation With Puck Wanderlust
What made you decide to start a brand?
In 2013, we were both struggling to find meaning and fulfillment in the fast paced nature of what we were doing working in the creative industry.
Later that month, we visited frieze art fair together. Seeing a game-changing exhibition called ‘Old Jewellery’ by Kara Hamilton. She was creating pieces from old bits of jewellery to create something new and beautiful. It was so inspirational how you could take something used and forgotten and turn it into something desirable again - giving it a new lease of life.
We had always had an obsession with jewellery and this was when our interest of how we could use quality recycled materials came to the forefront. We wanted to abolish the nature towards fast fashion. Instead, we create timeless pieces with longevity.
With a strong connection to India through our travels - we knew this was the place we would find the talented craftsmen we wanted to work with, as well as the beautiful gemstones to craft with. The culture in India holds a special place in our hearts - there is a lot to be learned from these spiritually free and giving people.
Does your brand have a message?
Employ magical thinking!
What or who are your influences?
We live in London so we don’t struggle to find inspiration in everything and everyone, there are so many different cultures and personalities – it’s a melting pot for ideas. We also love to travel so pick up a lot of from our adventures.
Also our mums and other strong women in our lives who continue to support and challenge us. We’re lucky to be surrounded by lots of inspiring people who have really helped Puck to grow.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your brand?
Take one day at a time and keep working towards your goal! Try not to get overwhelmed by the big picture.
What advice/warnings would you give someone looking to start their own brand?
I’m sure you have heard it before, the old expression ‘Rome wasn't built in a day’ - it doesn’t happen overnight. So even when you feel like giving up. DON’T – keep believing in yourselves and good things will start to happen!
What’s the most recent book you read? Did it feed into your creative process?
Ranelle - I’m excited you asked this question - I recently read a book and have not stopped talking about it. It's by a philosopher called Seneca and is called ‘On the shortness of life. Life is long if you know how to use it’. He offers powerful insights into the art of living. It's not so much a self-help book, rather timeless wisdom, set to transform how we view ourselves, and the world around us. Definitely worth a read - Penguin books have a series called Great ideas, which I’m slowly working my way through.
Hannah - I loveeeee reading - my most recent is a book called ‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohinton Mistry. It depicts India in the 70’s - it's a poignant story of historical significance, the textures and characters are so vibrant and authentic - it really is a magical and enthralling book, I couldn't put it down.
Is there a brand out there that you wish you had started? Why?
Hannah - There is a really cool brand called Sugru which is an Irish word meaning ‘play’ in English . It is basically a mouldable rubbery glue-like substance, which can fix anything from ipod cables to tent poles in -50 on a himalayan expedition. It embraces the idea to renew, mend and recycle, reduce waste - and the company is founded by a girl - which is just cool isn't it.
If you could live the life of any other designer for a day, who would you choose?
Ranelle – Well I’ve always wanted to be a man for a day. I can’t think of a fashion designer, but it would be pretty cool to be Albert Einstein. He had such a brilliant mind, and I would love to try to understand some of the questions that baffle my mind on a daily basis. He seemed like a wacky dude with a good sense of humor so I bet you could have a bit of fun. I’m sure he said about if he if he wasn’t physicist he would be a musician – something about him living his daydreams in music. I’d like to hear his mental jukebox...
What goals do you have as designers?
Ranelle - All our designs are handcrafted and made to last, we use sustainable methods from packaging to production. Each stone we use has been hand selected using folklore as a base for inspiration. We want each piece to have its own story, something that’s personal and has meaning for the wearer.
Hannah - As well as loving gems and shiny things, we started Puck because we want to give something back. As India is where we develop our jewels we thought this was a great place to start. There’s a huge movement happening in India at the moment, which encourages women into the workforce. The idea is to train women in different skill sets, who then work as master trainers for other women, causing a ripple effect. So long term we’re investigating different charities we can work with to give a % of our sales direct to the cause.
What motivates you?
Lots and lots of Tea. The most common thing we say to each other is ‘shall I pop the kettle on”. We have a batch of Assam and Darjeeling we brought home from our last visit to India, we’re probably due another trip, mainly to top up our tea pots! And of course put some of our new ideas into work...watch this space!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is the designing, seeing our ideas come to reality. We still get so excited for each order that comes in and sending them out to our customers is a real nice feeling.
What is the worst part of your job?
Honestly, we love doing this so hard to say the worst part. We do go a little mad doing a stocktake. Each jewel is wrapped in tissue then is put in a little bag, and then arranged into one of a million labelled apothecary drawers, ordered by style, gemstone and size. When a new collection comes in its madness for a few days while we sort through making sure we have piles for photoshoot, PR and gifts for friends and family.
What is your life motto?
Ranelle - A friend of ours has a poster that says “Nothing is more important than Friendship, Not money, Not fame, Not death”
It's an important thought to remember!
Hannah - Work hard and be nice to people - I really believe in karma - you do good things and good things happen to you!!