Karina Fagras, the mind behind jewellery boutique Blush & Bashful, draws inspiration from nature, symbolism, and the intricate detailing of period jewellery. Many of her designs feature the flora and fauna of England and have a quintessentially English feel.
We spent 5 minutes with her to find out a little more -
How did your brand begin?
"The idea for the Blush & Bashful collection began a decade ago in London, after I fell in love with a friend’s ring featuring a signet that swivelled. I thought it would be wonderful if you could change the signet design to match your mood or outfit."
When did you first fall in love with jewellery and knew you wanted to become a designer?
"As a little girl, I loved exploring my mother and grandmother’s jewellery boxes. It felt like I had discovered a treasure trove. I like to imagine future generations finding my designs and experiencing the same emotions that I felt as a child."
Are there any specific manufacturing/crafting techniques you use?
"With the help of a very talented craftsman in Cardiff, we developed a unique spring mechanism to enable the changing of signets within the settings. This mechanism had to be robust, yet flexible, and took several rounds of prototyping to perfect."
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
"I think Emma Watson would be a perfect brand ambassador for Blush & Bashful. She’s intellectual, stylish, self-assured, and has a great sense of humour. I also think Brandon Flowers of ‘The Killers’ would look great wearing one of my signets."
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
"I want people to smile when they wear my jewellery. I want them to feel that they are wearing an elegant and distinctive piece that reflects a part of their personality that they wish to share with the world."
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
"All of the designs feel personal to me so it’s hard to pick a favourite. If I had to choose just one, I think the Lion Door Knocker is the perfect combination of strength and levity. It was also the first signet that I designed for the collection."
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
"I will soon release new settings including bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and cufflinks. I will periodically launch new signet designs. I’m also exploring the potential to offer bespoke signet designs, which I think would be really exciting."
Which 3 current or historic figures would you have over for a dinner party and why?
"I would choose Freddie Mercury for his flamboyance, Frida Kahlo for her passion, and Salvador Dali for his imagination. I like to imagine Freddie and Dali arguing over who had the best moustache."
Winding down after a day in the studio is sometimes difficult for a designer, what do you do to help this process?
"My 2-year-old daughter Rowan is an excellent distraction after work. I also have an unhealthy obsession with vintage detective shows like Murder, She Wrote and Columbo. There’s nothing more relaxing than Jessica Fletcher and a good cup of tea."