Louise Stokes owns one of the most renowned jewellers in Dublin, Loulerie, which she started singlehandedly in 2007 after returning home from New York where she worked with some of the most famous designers in the world. She's learned loads in the ten years since, about building a brand and balancing personal and professional goals as well as the changing face of retail. Her story is both inspirational and educational- meet her at our next Young Businesswomen's Forum this January 30th at The Westbury Hotel.
My passion for jewellery began in New York
I was living in the city and working for a fine jewellery company when I fell in love with the countless amazing designers at markets and trunk shows. There was an offering of fashion-inspired jewellery there that I hadn't seen in Dublin and I knew I wanted to bring that curation home.
My first design happened very organically
Nine years ago, a beloved Loulerie customer approached me about redesigning her engagement and wedding rings. It became a passion project for the both of us and the result was something so special. The process awakened about 1,000 other design ideas for me! And the rest, as they say, is history.
For someone who wants a bespoke ring?
It's an intimate process and that's what sets us apart from other jewellers. I'll meet the couple to get an insight into their idea and style; then I work on sketches and present them.
The most important thing when it comes to jewellery is remaining true to yourself
Think outside the box - there's always a way to add your own personal style or stamp to a classic design, either by changing the metal or texture. Don't be afraid to be different. I designed a ring for a client who didn't want a diamond centre stone - she opted for a rainbow moonstone. It's one of my favourite designs and it's so special to her.
I'm a magpie, always on the hunt for that one-in-a-million stone
Right now I'm searching for the perfect stones for a ring I'm working on. I love yellow gold, as it's so flattering on almost every skin tone, and black diamonds are a firm favourite of mine too, as they give a subtle sparkle and more of an edge and a fashion finish to fine jewellery.
I created my first Loulerie collection four years ago
My first collections focused very much on fine gold pieces, where the emphasis was all on the finish. In the new collection, I'm exploring diamond detailing. My aesthetic is very clean and classic, with a little edgy detailing or an unusual finish added for fun.
One of my favourite design memories?
It was Christmas 2010 and I had been commissioned to redesign a client's wedding and engagement rings. The snow was so bad that year there was almost no way to deliver the finished pieces to her in time for the holidays. I was so excited for her to see the finished pieces that I delivered them myself. I still remember walking through the city with a vintage ring box, feeling like Santa! My heart always stops for a second when I present someone with a finished piece. Thankfully, she was thrilled. There's really no better feeling in the world.
To hear more from Louise, and fellow panelists Andrea Horan, activist and founder fo Tropical Popical, and Rachel & Hazel, creators of @BlossomDublin. Join us on January 30 at the stunning Westbury Hotel for our Image Young Businesswomen's Forum.
or call 01 271 9687
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