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Start Up Heroine Chupi Talks Bringing Her Jewellery Business Stateside

by Jeanne Sutton
24th Aug 2015


We here at know that Ireland is hotbed of talented creatives. On this island you can find some of the world’s bravest milliners, designers at the cutting edge of what it means to be thoroughly modern, an incredibly supportive blogger network and some of the most impressive behind-the-scenes industry people in the world.

However, as proud as that collection of gods and goddesses makes us feel, it’s great when other places acknowledge our awesome output. Last week saw NY NOW take place in the world’s capital city, New York City, which was a celebration of Irish design on the island of Manhattan. Irish Design 2015, a year dedicated to promoting Irish craft and design, is only eight months in, and already its benefits are reverberating around the world. Enterprise Ireland and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland brought together 23 designers to showcase their work for a trade fair in order to spread the word that we’re fabulous. And to help designers develop relationships with US-based buyers and stores.

Before we ?? back home this evening we are catching some last minute sunshine on the most gorgeous beach in Williamsburg Looking across at the insanely cool New York skyline I feel so insanely grateful for a brilliant 8 days in Manhattan For all the fantastic people we met, the gorgeous stores we are going to be working with, for the lovely folks from the Enterprise Ireland, Design & Crafts Council and ID2015 who made the whole thing possible, for the insanely hard work my amazing team put in both here and at home; Dots, Graham, Gary, Lisa, Sophie, Annie, Alison and Janice you are bloody amazing! Not forgetting my lovely husband And you guys, for believing, supporting and loving what I love ?? I feel seriously lucky ?

A photo posted by Chupi – Delicate Wild Jewelry (@xchupi) on

We caught up with Chupi, one of our favourite jewellery designers and start up founders, to talk about her expanding business and time in the States. Warning: her Instagram is going to make you jealous.

You’re selling your wares in the States! How does it feel to be living the Irish/American dream?

It’s all been an amazing sparkly whirlwind! The reaction to my pieces was’mind blowing, fifteen minutes into our first day here we took our first order and it’s been going wonderfully since. It was so exciting to see people love my pieces here in New York, I kept having to pinch myself.

Do you like New York? Where are you hanging out this week when you’re not at NY Now?

I am absolutely in love with New York having visited a couple of times already for pleasure so it’s been great to get the opportunity to mix business with pleasure. New York is the city that never sleeps so after the show ends we’ve made sure to take the time out to explore. We’ve drunk amazing cocktails in Soho, ate the best pizza ever in Little Italy and explored Greenwich in the evenings.

You’ve been on the go with the jewellery since 2012. That’s a bit of a whirlwind. How does a founder of a growing start-up find time to relax?

I was scouted out of my first year of college to design a womenswear range for Topshop, becoming the youngest designer to ever design for them. I did that for six amazing years before closing my company and moving from designing clothes to designing pretty sparkly things so I’ve been in the fashion business for quite some time now. The last couple of years have been phenomenal, I’m so grateful for all the amazing support we get from our wonderful fans.

To get some downtime I love to curl up with a good book, my mum Rosita Sweetman is a writer so she really instilled a love of books in me from a young age. I’m a huge Roald Dahl fan -?both his children’s books and his adult books. At the moment I’m rereading Boy. We don’t have a television so I tend to catch up with TV shows in bed on my laptop or curled up on the sofa. I like to start every day with some yoga, it makes me feel virtuous for the day, that is until I consume my first croissant.

You need to love your product or no one else will.

I know that this is a time of congratulations and prosecco, but what’s been the most difficult lesson you’ve had to stomach so far as a businesswoman?

Yes, even bad times are made better with a glass of bubbly. I’ve been very blessed so far but the one piece of advice I was given that I have kept with me is that you need to love your product or no one else will. I strive to keep our pieces made in Ireland and of the highest quality. It’s something I can stand behind completely as I know our pieces are the best that they can be.

You love the inspirational quotes on Instagram – which snippet powered you through last week?

I am an inspirational quotes fiend! I absolutely love them, seeing a certain quote at a certain time can just give you a much-needed boost. The quote that got me through last week was ?Dreaming is a form of planning?, which was said by Gloria Steinem. This time last year I could have dreamed we would be showing in London, Paris and New York alongside showing at New York and London Fashion Week, but a year later here I am in New York living the dream I dreamt.

?Dreaming is a form of planning.? Gloria Steinem

Will we ever see a standalone Chupi store?

You never know what the future may hold… At the moment we have our home in the stunning Powerscourt Townhouse right in the centre of Dublin, The Loft Market. It’s an amazing co-operative space filled with some of the best of Irish design in one of Dublin’s most beautiful spaces.

Images via Chupi’s Instagram.


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