Getting to know…Sushilla
The second in my ‘Getting to know’ feature focuses on Sushilla Done, founder and jewellery designer of Sushilla Jewellery. Raw, unpolished gemstones handpicked in India provide the backdrop to Sushilla’s unique jewellery. I am a huge fan, I have been ever since I stumbled across her collections of jewels that made me wonder if I were a jewellery designer, this is exactly what I would create. I wanted to interview Sushilla in person during the summer, but with her hectic schedule and a growing business, it wasn’t possible. So by ways of modern technology, we finally got our act together so that we can all get a little insight into the wonderful, colourful world of Sushilla.
When and why did you start SuShilla?
I launched SuShilla in January 2010 at Top Drawer, but this was something I had been working towards for a number of years. The answer to why is easy, I have always loved jewellery with stones. My father travelled to some amazing places while I was young, and would always bring us (I’m one of 4 girls) wonderful jewellery or clothes back from these trips. The jewellery was never expensive always silver set with an interesting semi precious stone.
Have you both always wanted to work as a jewellery designer?
It’s only really me, but with a lot of help from my husband who is a very talented fine artist. My husband has never wanted to be a jewellery designer!! I, of course, have, but had to wait for the right time. Being a mother has always been my priority, and it wasn’t until my son was in his mid teens I felt I could just leave him for weeks to source stones and work on designing. I source all my stones in India and have found that you can never spend enough time with the silversmiths or the stone cutters getting it right.
What are your current favourite pieces from your collections?
I am torn between the Calypso Rings and the new pieces in Tallulah. I am very excited about the new Tallulah Collar and the 2 stone earrings. Tallulah was my very first collection and it is the one I always go back to and try to add/improve on. I love working with the rough stones, the possibilities are endless.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My main source of inspiration is the stones themselves. Most of my designs are simple and this is because I want the jewellery to be predominantly about the stones.
How long does it take to create a piece of jewellery, from conception to the finished piece?
Anything from a few hours to a year. The new Tallulah earrings were very straight forward, I knew in my mind how I wanted them to look. I sat with my guy who was going to make them, we agreed on the stone size, shape and colour combination. He got it right first time. The Daisy ring on the other hand seemed to take for ever, in fact it was nearly a year!
What is your one piece of style advise you could give someone?
There are so many, but I think one of the most important would be, it should be fun.
Do you have a favorite place? You can pick from anywhere in the world! If so, why?
No I don’t have a favourite place, I love travelling, always have, I couldn’t chose one amazing place over another. To a large extent it’s all about a personal state of mind, if you visit a new place with an open mind, it can be incredibly exciting. I do however love cities over open countryside, London, Istanbul, Delhi, Florence, Khartoum the list just goes on. The colours, noise, people can be very exciting.
What is your main role within your company?
At the moment I basically do everything and apart from the book keeping love everything about it. From trade shows through sourcing stones.
Where do you see Sushilla in five years time?
I hope to expand beyond the UK in the next couple of years. I am very passionate about what I do and I hope that the passion will still be there in five years. In which case the collection will have grown, I hope to still be finding new stones to use.
Are you a bag or a shoe girl?
Boots!! Love my boots, whether they are black suede with killer heels or grungie AllSaints. I have lost count of the number of pairs of boots I own!
Do you like to collect anything?
Yes, boots. No, seriously, I do have a thing for mugs, looking around my kitchen I probably have about 30 and there are more in boxes in the attic that we haven’t unpacked yet (we moved 5 years ago)!
I think at the moment, because I am away from home so much, it would be spending time with my family.