It’s a glamorous business that takes drive and determination to succeed in. In an exclusive three-part series, three successful women tell Marie Kelly why they made their love of jewellery their business. Suzanne Gillhooly spent her early career in the five-star hospitality business but quickly found her new calling in life.
Suzanne Gillhooly, Co-owner of Cullen & Co
My obsession with jewellery grew stronger as I got older. Although I spent my early career in the five-star hospitality business, when I met my partner Charlie Cullen, who was already in the jewellery industry, it made sense to do something together. There was a huge sense of achievement in opening our own store. We designed every aspect of it ourselves and purposely used as many Irish companies for the interior fit-out as possible. It was nerve-wracking, but terribly exciting too. Being slightly outside of your comfort zone is the most rewarding place to be, as it’s what drives each of us forward.
Our customers are fun, individual and successful. Some are building collections of daily-wear pieces, while others buy exceptional items to mark personal achievements or to celebrate occasions. When we first opened the store four years ago, the collections we designed sat alongside well-known international brands, but the demand for Cullen & Co pieces steadily increased, and today 80 per cent of the jewellery in store is our own, which includes one-off designs.
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The sun is streaming through the windows today hitting the pieces with a beautiful brightness showing the stones in all their glory. ?for more photos This Art Deco style ring highlights the translucent blue of the aquamarine centre stone which today is reminding me of tropical waters ??? #aquamarinering #artdecojewellery #jewellery #jewellerygoals #highjewellery #jewellerygram #jotd #highjewelry #diamondshopper
Today I’m wearing The Galaxy earrings, which have been part of our offering from the very beginning, and I love them. Over the coming months, I’m expecting to see a renewed interest in emeralds because of Princess Eugenie’s recent wedding – I’m enraptured by them myself. I have a pair of emerald earrings being finished in the workshop that may just be destined for my own collection!
This article first appeared in the November issue of IMAGE Magazine.