Posted on July 24 2015
Lee Renée makes fashion-forward, playful jewellery that is full of personality and fun to wear. Each piece is enough to create a conversation. The brand was launched in July 2012 after Lee spent 3 years retraining as a silversmith under some of St. Martin's and London Hatton Garden's finest. We have managed to catch up with Lee and ask some questions to get an insight into her brand. After the interview we fell even more in love with Lee Renée's products, I bet you do too.
Where did it all begin?
I'd worked in advertising in London for many years but it got to my land-mark 30th birthday, and it made me really think about what I wanted to be. I'd always loved jewellery and design and would often sketch ideas for rings and earrings in my spare time so I decided to finally do something about it and put myself on a jewellery making course - I knew retraining was going to be all consuming so I took the step of going part time in my work and put myself on professional silversmithing and enamelling courses, plus I approached some Jewellers in Hatton Garden that I respected and was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship - being trained by some of St Martin's and Hatton Garden's finest was amazing and taught me skills I didn't even know existed! Whilst doing this I started designing my first collections, set up my Lee Renee website, approached some boutiques and then it all went from there.
What drives and motivates you?
I love being creative, it makes me happy, never feels like work and I'm never happier than when my brain is buzzing with new ideas for a collection, it makes me feel alive - so being able to do this for a living motivates me every day.
Favourite moment or highlight so far?
When I saw my pineapple earrings featured in Vogue Magazine, my pineapple necklace in The Sunday Times Style Magazine Hotlist (my fashion magazine bible so that was a real honour), plus gaining some famous clients who keep coming back for new pieces.
Where do you take inspiration?
Everything and everywhere! From childhood memories, literature to the wonderful city I live in and beyond. I could live in the V&A Museum and The British Museum so often go there to feel inspired by truly great artists and wonderful architecture.
How does that translate to products?
My first collection 'Voodoo' was inspired by an ancient African tribal Mask I saw exhibited at the British Museum, and the rest of the collection grew from there. And my Star-Crossed Lovers collection is all about literary characters like Romeo & Juliet, and Cathy & Heathcliff (from Wuthering Heights) - creating interlocking rings to represent their dark romantic love for each other was lots of fun to do.
Would you consider any other products?
I'm an interior design nut! I love anything to do with design, so yes one day I'd love to venture into creating a piece of furniture or a beautiful lamp.
What is your favourite thing about your brand?
That I make pieces that people wear every day - there's something very personal and intimate about jewellery that goes beyond clothes and fashion - you can create something that's edgy but still classic and has a lifetime of wears and that helps people express their individuality - the permanence of that really appeals to me.
What is your dream?
To have my own Lee Renée boutique in London and worldwide one day.
Where do you see the brand in 3 years time?
I've started selling in Boutiques in Singapore and America this year so I hope to grow more both nationally and internationally - I'm also just making my first men's collection which is exciting so who knows where that will take me.
View Lee Renée Collection on Hoochie Mama to see a selection of her fabulous designs.