Interview with Erica Illingworth of Molly Brown
We are thrilled to have the chance to chat with Erica Illingworth, the founder of Molly Brown London, who took the time out of her busy schedule to tell us a little more about her gorgeous designer jewellery brand for girls. We discuss her inspiration behind the brand, her all time favourite gifts and what we can expect to see from Molly Brown London in the future!
1. We are delighted to be partnering with Molly Brown London! Erica, can you tell us a little bit about your background and what lead you to start Molly Brown?
We are very excited to be partnering with Gifts Less Ordinary too! Molly Brown London was established in 2006 and is now the UK’s leading girl’s jewellery brand. I was looking for a change in career direction, having worked in Global Finance Executive Search and needed to buy a gift for my daughter. I was unable to find simple and yet sophisticated jewellery for children that was also excellent quality and importantly, affordable. So having seen that there was no jewellery brand in the gap, I decided to fill it.
2. Molly Brown has been described by Vogue as “Tiffany for Girls”. What else do you want customers to know about the Molly Brown brand?
For me, jewellery has always been a gift that is totally unlike any other gift. It holds your memories, it is a very emotive purchase. The Molly Brown jewellery is truly keepsake because it is fully adjustable and will fit most ages and sizes. It is designed to hold memories, to be loved and worn forever. The brand and the collections are award-winning having been UK Jewellery Brand of the Year Finalist in 2010 and 2011 competing alongside the likes of Pandora, Links of London and Swarovski.
3. Many of your pieces can be personalised, why do you feel personalisation is so important in gift giving?
I think personalisation adds that special touch, it shows you have gone the extra mile and so we offer a free engraving service to enable customers to do this easily and at no extra cost.
Personalisation is very popular at the moment but that said, we bring out collections every year that do not require personalisation because many people actually don’t want to personalise their jewellery and are looking for classic designs that speak for themselves.
4. What feeling would you like your jewellery to evoke when given as a gift?
The feeling of love and knowing that you are cherished.
5. Can you tell us a little bit about your team and how you all stay creative?
I head up the design team and am very actively involved in launching and developing new collections. We stick to our core brand values when brainstorming news ideas, the jewellery needs to be high quality, sterling silver with freshwater pearls and coloured gemstones, no synthetic stores, diamond chips or pieces ribbon that will dirty or wear easily.
6. What do you give the person who has everything?
Well, luckily most children don’t have everything so that’s a good starting position for Molly Brown! I think no matter how much you own it always comes back to the gift that is the most emotional and thoughtful rather than the most expensive. Also, I think if I had everything, I would still hand it all back for the health and safety of my family.
7. For yourself personally, what do you love about gift giving?
I love the packaging! When I set Molly Brown up, I knew we had to be the ‘go-to’ brand and so I created the jewellery box design in-house and then with the help of Saatchi and Saatchi, we created the brand. The jewellery box is very ‘dressing table worthy’ and is the perfect place to keep jewellery safe. Molly Brown packaging has been described as “Some of the best in the industry” by the jewellery industry, so my love for good gift-wrap obviously paid off!
8. What was the best gift you were ever given?
Oh, I can’t choose one so here are my top 3 - A giraffe made out of clay that my youngest child gave me when he was aged 3. A bracelet that probably cost about £1 that my daughter bought for me in a market somewhere in South America when she was on a gap year. My little black labrador Tess, a surprise gift from my husband.
9. What can we expect to see from Molly Brown London in the future?
We have conquered the Christening, Holy Communion and jewellery market for newborns to age 10 so we are going to focus our attention on the tween market and plan to launch an exciting bangle for AW17 which we hope will become a ‘must have' for Christmas.