Liv Luttrell of the contemporary fine jewellery house, Liv Luttrell London, finds inspiration in a wide variety of art, architecture and natural forms. Classically trained as a goldsmith and gemologist, Luttrell works closely with her clients throughout the design process sourcing a unique selection of gemstones and diamonds. With a big focus is on sustainability, she works alongside trusted suppliers from the UK, ensuring that the gemstones used in her pieces are ethically sourced wherever possible. Liv is also a Fairtrade Goldsmith and each piece is hand crafted using Fairtrade Gold wherever possible, delivering social, economic and environmental improvements to the lives of miners and their families.
Where did the idea for Liv Luttrell evolve from?
I think the idea has grown organically over years. Marrying science and design started at school where my strengths lay in Physics and Chemistry and my love of art and design – which did fox the careers advisor! The love of quality and of beautiful design has always been a passion – art, photography, clothes – there is a magic in simple uncluttered beauty. My training as a gemologist and my time working as a goldsmith gave me an appreciation and respect for working with natural materials like gemstones and precious metals. I suppose the idea of starting Liv Luttrell evolved naturally from all of those passions.
From where do you find your inspiration?
As I said inspiration can be found in so many places – in a tiny perfect Japanese wooden box or a Persian rug. I spend time sketching in the V&A and I take a lot of photographs of totally different things that inspire, such as the angle of a roof or the ripple of light on water.
How is Liv Luttrell committed to practicing sustainability?
Early on in my work as a goldsmith, I was aware of the ethics and sustainability issues in this industry. I am lucky that consumers are becoming much more aware of the quality of the provenance of materials as well as the workmanship. I use Fairtrade Gold wherever possible and buy my gems from ethical sources likes Gemfields and other trusted dealers.
Why is sustainability important to you and the brand?
Sustainability is an important foundation stone of the company. We live in society that is used to a lot of ‘wear and discard’ – things that are cheaply made and quickly thrown away. Early on in forming the company and working out my business model, I faced choices about where I would manufacture and there were tempting options that would have made making the jewellery more profitable but I was aware of the carbon footprint that my pieces would leave. It seemed an easy choice to decide that all my jewellery would be made in the UK by the best craftsmen I could find.
Have you had a “pinch me” moment since your business began?
My “pinch me” moment was walking down the hallowed corridors of American Vogue on a recent trip to New York!
Who has influenced you professionally?
Personally, I have a wonderful mentor RH. He has an incredible wealth of knowledge working with fine and high jewellery and has been a great support in the development of my business. Aesthetically, the fine jeweller Repossi have made a big impact on me, a reminder to be bold and fearless when designing.
What is the worst business advice you have ever received?
“Starting a business is like going to war!” I think a lot of people are really caught up in a thrusting idea of entrepreneurship focused around pushy sales tactics and aggressive, relentless marketing. In my experience, business is a lot more about positive relationship building and, particularly in the luxury end of the market, about gently guiding and educating clients without being pushy.
Are you more emotional or rational?
I think I’m both which means that there is sometimes an internal tug of war! But running a creative business is the perfect canvas for both skills. Even in designing a piece of jewellery I need to be both because the creative has to be tempered by the technical.
What do you never leave home without?
Rationally, my phone. Emotionally, my lipstick.
What’s your first thought when you wake up?
If you were guaranteed the answer to one question, what would it be?
Will I become a world brand? Or perhaps what is the meaning of life?