Sometimes It Takes "Patience" To Create The Perfect Piece
Moira Patience designs bespoke fine jewellery using rare and ethically-sourced gemstones. She focuses on one-off, luxury pieces for special occasions – including Soko Edit co-founder Lucy’s engagement ring! We love the meaning behind these special pieces and moments.
Thanks for talking to us Moira - we love your jewellery! Can you tell us about your brand and what you love most about it? I love the personal connection; the genuine relationships I forge with my clients to create jewellery that tells their story. Stories of celebration, true love, heartache and friendship – I can’t help but get wrapped up in the narrative and I’m humbled to be trusted to create such special pieces for them to treasure and pass on to the next generation.
What are your brand values? Quality, trust and transparency. These days you can buy anything - the same goods from the same brands all over the world. I’m invested in creating truly exceptional one-off pieces of jewellery, which are the very essence of luxury and elegance.
How do you decide on your designs? What’s the story behind them? I have moved away from making collections in recent years to focus on bespoke commissions for clients and creating one-off pieces that I sell online and in the showroom. I am such a magpie for beautiful gemstones - I now have a large selection in stock and some stones just speak to me, so I create unique pieces of jewellery based around them.
How do you decide what to focus on next? It’s hard not to get caught up in the day to day running of the business so I find it important to take time out with the team to reflect on what we’re doing, re-jig processes and decide where to go next. This usually involves some wine!
Sounds like the best way to plan! Where do you want your brand to be in 5 years’ time? If anyone is considering buying a gemstone or a gemstone-set piece of jewellery, I want my name to be their first thought.
Please tell us more about how you started your business? I’ve always been fascinated by the little details in the world around me and I collected all sorts of natural trinkets like shells and pebbles as a child. I kind of always knew that I wanted to be a jeweller and create beautiful things for people to treasure. I completed my jewellery training at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee and then moved on to work for the international jewellery brand Stephen Webster in London and then in Spain before returning to Scotland to work for the prestigious Hamilton & Inches in Edinburgh. I had already decided to start my own business around 2009, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I took the plunge and went out on my own.
Where did you see a gap in the market? Whilst working closely with bespoke clients at Hamilton & Inches, I began to see the beauty of having something made that was totally unique to you. I had always wanted to start my own jewellery brand, perhaps designing collections and selling to stores all over the world like Stephen Webster does, but as time went on I realised that I was more interested in making personal connections with people and creating pieces that meant the world to them - not mass producing. The jewellery industry has changed a lot since then, mainly due to the fact that clients are asking for much more transparency on where our materials are coming from and who is making their jewellery. Many more people are opting for high quality bespoke pieces rather than ‘off-the-shelf’ pieces.
How do you divide your time between making products and managing a business? I do find this difficult and a tough juggling act. Clients can get in touch via phone, email, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Whatsapp so sometimes I get a bit worn out trying to stay on top of it all. I have managed to find a better balance by reducing my days for meeting clients in the showroom and putting aside one day a week for just creative time, not looking at emails/social media etc and this has really helped me focus.
What are you working on right now? I’ve found a really nice rhythm with my small team so we are very happy with how business is at the moment. We visited the world’s largest gemstone trade show in Tucson, Arizona this year and it was just everything I hoped it would be and more.
That sounds great. What’s next? I really want to continue to expand my offering of coloured gemstones to my clients, especially gems which are ethically sourced and of the highest quality.