Designer Glitzview: Sharon Mills London

Since starting Glitzbox we've met some amazing female entrepreneurs both pioneering businesses on their own and in teams. But one specific type of business partnership has always been close to my heart - Mother-Daughter duos! My own mother has been invaluable in helping me start Glitzbox, so I'm always excited to meet other businesses who have taken things to the next stage and actually set up a business in partnership with their mothers. 

This Mother's Day we are celebrating that special bond and these inspiring duos by delving into their jewellery boxes and discussing their relationship, their jewellery memories and the best bits about working with family!

First up are Sharon and Natasha from Sharon Mills London, one of the first jewellery brands to join the Glitzbox gang.

sharon mills London jewellery
Sharon (left), Lola (the pup!) and Tase (right)

A little info from them about their brand:

Sharon Mills London creates luxe, vintage-inspired jewellery with a clean, modern aesthetic in 18ct gold vermeil or sterling silver.

All our pieces are hand-crafted from precious metals giving a really luxe feel. We love to play with different colours and textures and work with a vibrant mix of 18ct yellow or rose gold vermeil and sterling silver, allowing you to personalise and layer up your look.

Guided by our design mantra of “everyday luxury”, we only work with hand-cut diamonds and semi-precious gemstones; premium, responsibly sourced raw materials are at our core.

And now on to the Glitzview:

sharon mills London jewellery

How did you get start working together?

Sharon-I really grew up in the jewellery business! My dad was a trained silversmith, and my mum had her own antiques business that she started with her mother. From an early age I helped my mum and grandmother with their business, and I suppose it was a natural development that I then decided to deal in second-hand jewellery myself.

My focus was antique fine jewellery, with a particular interest in Scandinavian silver pieces. I sourced my pieces from all sorts of antique markets and dealers, Portobello being a favourite. I’ve been lucky enough to supply my antique collection to John Lewis for many years.

sharon mills jewellery

Natasha- So I’d seen mum running her jewellery business, and wanted to get involved! I was working as a lawyer in the city, and was desperate to get into a more creative career. I grew up watching my mum and grandma working together, and surrounded by beautiful jewels so I think it was a natural progression for us to work together. I think you find that within jewellery, it’s very much family orientated and about experience.

Sharon- I always wanted to design my own range of new pieces,inspired by the gorgeous antique designs and skilled craftsmanship I’ve worked with over the years.  Our skill sets compliment each other, I’m the creative lead and Natasha runs the business.

sharon mills jewellery

Glitzbox: Do you split up the work between you or do you both do a bit of everything?

Sharon- I lead on the creative. I’ve got a clear idea of how a piece should look, its proportions, how it should feel and how it should be made. I come up with the ideas for new products for the range, but we do discuss it together before going into production.

Sharon mills jewellery

Sharon wearing their diamond lozenge necklace

Natasha- Then I run the business side. I liaise with manufacturers and stockists.

Sharon- Anything to do with the website i’m clueless about!

Natasha- So yeah it seemed like a natural partnership. My memories growing up is of mum with grandma and them both working together and that’s not something everyone can do, so we are really fortunate we work well together.

sharon mills jewellery
Natasha wearing the Sharon Mills London "N" diamond initial necklace.

What role do you want your jewellery to play in customers lives?

Natasha- A lot  of pieces from our own personal collections make us reminisce and evoke a lot of memories and feelings. We love the idea that the pieces we create will  hopefully bring about the same kind of feelings and attachments for our customers in years to come.  Whether it’s something your first boyfriend got for you or a piece you brought yourself with your first paycheck...

sharon mills London jewellery

Sharon- When I’m looking through my own pieces, and this applies to me more than you girls, when you’re younger, the pieces that you love, you love them because you’re mum gave them to you and you think “oh thats nice mum gave that to me”. However as you get older, and unfortunately you lose people and people aren't around anymore, those pieces become very precious and its regardless of the value. Jewellery is all about the memories.

sharon mills London jewellery

Now can you tell us about some of the pieces in your jewellery box?

heart diamond necklace
heart shaped diamond necklace

Sharon- the stones were actually from my grandmas eternity ring which she then gave to my mum. I decided to turn it into a little heart pendant because a few stones were missing from the ring itself. I particularly love the idea that the stones have been in the family for over a 100 years and it reminds me of my mum when I wear it.

elephant brooch Sharon mills jewellery london

Elephant brooch

Sharon- This is something I made when I was little.

Natasha- Mum’s first piece!

Sharon- My mum who was very creative, brought a home kiln in the 70’s and at the time it was probably quite cool to make your own enamel jewellery. I was fascinated by this kiln as a child. You put you’re white powder on the pieces and these little pre-cut sliced patterns and popped it in the kiln and it came out like this.

vintage charm bracelet
Vintage charm bracelet

Sharon- this was actually a gift from my grandparents, it’s a kids charm bracelet. I don't think I wore it very often when I was young, but used to wear it when I was around 16-17.

vintage charm bracelet

Natasha- Yeah this other bracelet is actually really cool, this is my charm bracelet from my other grandmother, on my dads side.

Sharon- This one is a classic 50’s piece!

Natasha- It’s a lot older, this one even has a pound note charm.

vintage charm bracelet
little charm with a folded up pound note!

At this stage of the interview we had all had a big ole laugh at us not realising what a pound note was due to our age at which point Sharon kindly explained.

Sharon- One is even older a ten shilling note.

Natasha- This is very cool because I remember when I was a child, this used to be at my grandmothers and I was obsessed with the notes and wondering how they got them in the tiny boxes. I haven't actually worn this one, I think I’d be too worried that one of the charms would come off and they can’t be replaced.

vintage engagement ringVintage engagement ring

Sharon- This is my grandmother’s ring from my dad’s side. So this was given to my mum when she got married to my dad. Then I was given this ring when I turned 21 . And then I gave this to my son-in-law when he proposed to Natasha. So it’s been through 4 generations now, and is exceptionally special to us.

vintage engagement ring

Natasha- I’d seen the ring before, but it had been tucked away in a jewellery box for a little while and it really is amazing how special it looked once it had been polished and the diamonds cleaned up.  I wear this engagement ring on really only special occasions because it’s such a precious piece to us and it holds so many memories.

Natasha's engagement ring and the vintage ringNatasha's engagement ring and the vintage ring
little pearl ring
little pearl ring

Sharon- I actually think I bought this pearl ring when i was around 14, when I used to work with my mother in the holidays. I’d go to the antiques market with her, and I used to clean the jewellery or get everybody lunches. I used to try and serve customers, but no one wanted to be served by a child! 6 weeks summer holidays’ worth of work for that ring!

We could have talked to Sharon and Tash forever about their jewels! Here are a few of our other favourites…

pearl ring jewellery
more jewellery
ruby ringvintage and new

Ruby and diamond vintage pinky ring next to Sharon Mills London stacking moonstone and diamond rings. We love the combination of old and new and can totally see how their vintage inspiration has lead to the designs in their collection.

Go check out the rest of their designs at www.sharonmillslondon.com and on instagram @sharonmillslondon_jewellery


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