A French mum living in London, Béatrice de Montille created her first Merci Maman bracelet in 2007 whilst sat at her kitchen table. Ten years on, the London-based brand has grown from strength to strength, being worn by Kate Middleton and recently winning The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.

Translating to ‘Thank you Mummy’ in English, the name of the brand celebrates the bond between mother and child and is a nod to the creators’ French origins. Their collection of necklaces, bracelets and rings are all finished with a personal engraving of your choice, making them wonderfully thoughtful gifts for loved ones. We chat to Béatrice about why she quit her job to set up Merci Maman, how she recharges her batteries and exciting plans to open an office in Berlin.

How did Merci Maman begin?

“After I had my second child, my employers didn't want to give me any flexibility, so I resigned and set up Merci Maman from my kitchen table! This was back in 2007 and at the time I spotted a gap in the market for elegant premium personalised gifts that you could buy online.”

"After I had my second child, my employers didn't want to give me any flexibility, so I resigned and set up Merci Maman from my kitchen table!"

What are your core brand values?

“Our core company values are quality, creativity, efficiency, culture and satisfaction. These 5 values are at the heart of all our actions and we are very proud to have 98% of happy customers.”

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

“Wherever I am – it lives inside me! I might be reading a bedtime story to my children and something, an image or a phrase, will inspire me and motivate me. This is also true of friends, movies, magazines, blogs, and following fashion trends.”

"Our jewellery is personalised by elegant and precise hand engraving, making the gift giving and receiving experience truly special."

How is your jewellery made?

“Each individual piece of jewellery is handmade in our studio in Fulham, London. Our jewellery is personalised by elegant and precise hand engraving, making the gift giving and receiving experience truly special.”

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Are there any clients you are particularly proud of?

“We are very fortunate to count some very inspiring celebrities and influential bloggers among our clients, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. She wore one of our necklaces engraved with her son’s name, George Alexander Louis - a gift from her sister, Pippa!”

Where is your go-to meeting spot?

“My go-to meeting spot is Petersham Nurseries in Richmond. I love flowers and plants, and the main glass house is the perfect place for our work meetings. It’s beautifully set up and very relaxing - the perfect set to take your business decisions!”

"We opened an office in Paris in 2016 and the plan is to open an office in Berlin in 2018!"

If you weren’t designing jewellery, what would you be doing?

“I'd be a midwife!”

How do you ensure you keep a good work/life balance?

“To recharge my batteries, I exercise with 10 friends and a coach every Friday morning in a park. A good mix of fun, gym and fresh air! And every year I ran a half-marathon to raise money for charities.”

What are your plans for the future?

“We’ve just been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017 in the International Trade category. We are very proud of our International expansion. We opened an office in Paris in 2016 and the plan is to open an office in Berlin in 2018!”

MEET MARIA DOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE JEWELLERY EDITOR 7

How do you ensure you keep a good work/life balance?

“To recharge my batteries, I exercise with 10 friends and a coach every Friday morning in a park. A good mix of fun, gym and fresh air! And every year I ran a half-marathon to raise money for charities.”

What are your plans for the future?

“We’ve just been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017 in the International Trade category. We are very proud of our International expansion. We opened an office in Paris in 2016 and the plan is to open an office in Berlin in 2018!”

Merci Maman jewellery is available to shop on JewelStreet here.