Kate Dumbleton is the face behind the internationally acclaimed brand Kate Dumbleton Jewellery. She has been featured in the top fashion press, and has been spotted in publications of Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue. Join us as we sit down with her to discuss all things creative. From the diverse inspiration behind her designs, to the best memories she holds regarding her client’s reactions to her pieces. This is a jewellery brand that truly resonates with its wearers.
Kate is based in Wales, and the brand is well established after more than 20 successful years in the industry. There is huge demand for pieces that put a contemporary twist on traditional forms. Hence, Celtic heritage and local legends are given a modern twist in her designs. They hold a traditional richness and a futuristic flavour all at the same time. Read on to find out more about this mesmerising dichotomy.
How did your brand begin?
I set up my business after graduating with a Degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing from a University in London. Initially, I worked for some great jewellers to fund my first collections. I then exhibited at London Fashion Week to help develop my business, and I gained international press and stockists from this.
When did you first fall in love with jewellery and knew you wanted to become a designer?
As a child I always played with my mum's jewellery. Then, as a teenager, I took on more of a Madonna-style! While in school doing A levels, I was introduced to a friend's silversmith neighbour. She showed me how to solder and hammer silver. Then I was hooked for life!
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Nature, my family history and futuristic themes all inspire my pieces. I work with National Museum Wales on various collections, and like to revamp the ancient metalwork styles into new designs for a modern customer. Mixing past and present is my passion.
Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.
I've designed and made jewellery for some great clients; for Kylie back in the '90s to Next, Swarovski and Clogau Gold. I also like breathing new life into family treasures, turning an old beloved wedding ring into a new piece, or choosing stones for someone's special day. The beauty is in the variety.
Can you recall a particular moment with a client that will stay with you forever? Could be a funny horror story or a fond memory.
A fond memory is having a buyer cry with joy at the collection I'd made. A funny horror story is when I was having a meeting with a famous brand, and in front of an office full of cool people, I took the wrong door to leave and ended up in the broom cupboard!
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
My Double Lotus ring is a favourite. The lotus is from pieces my Great Aunt had and handed down to me. But for this question I'd choose Peacock Pendant , as he's a quirky one with a lot of character and makes me think of exotic far off places.
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
Possibly working with children or animals! There are lots of teachers in my family. I've taught kids to make jewellery here in Wales, and found I loved the experience as it was really rewarding. I'm interested in Green issues too, so it may be worthwhile to have worked with animals.
What drew you to JewelStreet?
I was drawn to Jewelstreet's international appeal - there really is something for everyone here. It's an attractive, reputable platform for lots of exciting designers. I am very pleased to be part of the Jewelstreet family!
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
I walk someone's dog a few times a week which breaks up my working day. As I live on the coast, being outdoors is a tonic and I think of it as my gym! Time off is also vital, so box sets, seeing friends and family, and days out maybe with some art thrown in all tend to help.