Combining contemporary design with a relaxed and effortless everyday style, XISSJEWELLERY is an affordable and fun British jewellery brand. Founder and head designer, Kathleen Markwick began her career working with high end jewellers on Bond Street, London, where she learnt all she could about the industry, and how to succeed in it.
In 2015, Kathleen decided to follow her dreams and create her own line, and so XISSJEWELLERY was born. Falling seamlessly between fashion and fine jewellery, Kathleen’s designs support British and Italian craftsmanship and are all finished to the highest standard, marked with her signature ‘X’. We chat with Kathleen about why she wanted to create her own line of jewellery.
When did you fall in love with jewellery?
“I’ve always had a love for art and design. I studied Art History at university but I was unsure where that was going to lead me. After graduating I took the role as a junior at a Bond Street jewellers and it was here that my love for jewellery was ignited.”
How did you get into the jewellery industry?
“The workshop, office and boutique of the Bond Street jewellers I started at were all housed under the one roof and it was my job to float between the three. It proved to be an invaluable experience. Not only did it give me an insight into what it took to run a successful jewellery company, but I also gained a true appreciation of craftsmanship, quality and excellence. These are all qualities that I hold at the core of my jewellery line now.”
"I knew from the outset that I wanted to create an everyday fine jewellery collection; timeless jewellery with a relaxed, effortless and feminine style."
What drove you to start XISSJEWELLERY?
“I just felt it was time. I’d worked across the jewellery industry for over a decade in a number of different roles and I felt it was time to put everything I’d learnt into practice and go out on my own. I wanted to challenge myself creatively through the design process and also tackle all the demands I knew running my own business would throw at me. I knew from the outset that I wanted to create an everyday fine jewellery collection; timeless jewellery with a relaxed, effortless and feminine style.”
Values are hugely important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values at XISSJEWELLERY?
“Craftsmanship and quality are at the core of my jewellery line. I strive to use the finest materials so all my designs are produced with sterling silver, 14kt gold and precious stones.”
"This is exactly what I love about jewellery, it’s the story that each piece of jewellery holds."
What’s the most meaningful piece of jewellery you’ve ever been given?
“I wear a necklace every day that was bought for me by my boyfriend in a street market while we were on a trip to New York. It has no real monetary value but to me it’s priceless. I often find myself subconsciously playing with it while I’m designing and working, it holds so many memories for me. This is exactly what I love about jewellery, it’s the story that each piece of jewellery holds.”
How is XISSJEWELERY made?
“I work with two extremely talented workshops, one in Hatton Garden in London and the other in Vicenza in Italy. Both places are rich in jewellery traditions.”
Where do you source your inspiration from?
“It sounds like a cliché but inspiration is everywhere and often hits you when you’re least expecting it. But I often find inspiration by looking to the past and exploring the stories and meanings that are associated with jewellery. I’ve also been lucky to travel through India, the Middle East and Asia and I’m fascinated by the roles jewellery plays in these different cultures.”
"I design jewellery to be layered, lived in and loved"
How do you want someone to feel when they wear a XISSJEWELLERY design?
“I want them to feel like it’s an extension of them self. I design jewellery to be layered, lived in and loved; I want people to wear it every day so it becomes an intrinsic part of their style.”
What does the future hold?
“I think the essence of being a designer and running your own business means that you’re always looking forward. I’m always scribbling down ideas, there’s always a new mood board in my studio that I’m updating and I’m always thinking or working on the next design. In the future, I would love to expand my knowledge and work more with precious stones, they fascinate me, I love how there are so many stories and meanings associated with them. To me it feels like they're just waiting for someone to tell their story.”