Anna Hepburn: a disruptive and ethical approach of jewellery

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Welcome to Trayde's Brand Spotlight series. Here we take the time to appreciate the wonderful members on our platform. We have created this section to share inspiring stories about brands, their products and their meaningful purpose.

Today, we are highlighting one of our members Anna, founder of the amazing brand Anna Hepburn. Anna disrupts jewellery standards by introducing various forms, colours and textures into her work. In addition, Anna Hepburn is an ethical brand and a great example of a circular business model: she uses recycling and ethically sourced materials to create her products.

1. Please tell us about yourself and your background.

I put style and texture at the centre of my work and strive to be a circular business; recycling and using ethically sourced materials in all the products I produce when possible. I am inspired by texture and how this simple addition can change the dynamic of a room.

I have used fabric since I was young, influenced by my Mum who is also a talented maker. I studied a BA Contemporary Fine Art; Sculpture/Performance (Central Saint Martins; Byam Shaw School of Art), graduating in 2011, but often reverted to using fabrics in my work.

I returned to study upholstery in early 2017 and again to study furniture restoration, 2017 - 2019.

I have done many jobs alongside and prior to the business, each area having an exciting influence on my business decisions; menswear fashion, set design, for independent craft & design businesses and, created art installations featured in galleries across the UK.

Hepburn was my Grandpa’s family name - his name was John William Corral Hepburn.

2. What inspired you to create your business?

My love of fabric and a desire to introduce texture in alternative ways to modern interiors and to modern humans!

Photo Courtesy: Anna Hepburn

3. What are some of the products you have created/developed that are closest to your heart? Please share them with us!

One of the very first products I made was the Original Necklaces way before I had even considered registering the business.

This piece has taken on so many forms and colours, made discoveries such as great for teething babies, helped people with metal allergies wear jewellery again, and as a throw on piece helped sad days feel joyful. It's practical; stretchy and machine washable, planet conscious; made from repurposed fashion industry waste and stylish; bold, fun, classic.     

4. Where do you sell your products?

I’m really lucky to have some great stockists all over the UK – this for me is an absolute dream, as I never imagined myself being sold in shops to people I’ve never met before. It’s a strange and delightful thing knowing your things are out there and people are enjoying them!

Photo Courtesy: Anna Hepburn

5. How did you adapt to the current situation?

I ended up making Face Masks. If you'd asked me at the beginning of the year if masks would end up being a top seller of this year for me and I’ve have really doubted it!

A mark in my timeline I suppose of something we’ve all lived through.

6. What have been some of the proudest moments for you as an entrepreneur?

My collaborations with Alice Dansey-Wright who is known for her illustrative style here in Scotland.

We started with Face Masks, moved to bags and are most recently working on a design for my Fabric Planters.

 

7. How would you say the near future looks like for independent brands like yours?

BRIGHT! (I hope). It’s exciting to see the way people are slowly changing their shopping habits!


8. What are some encouraging words of advice you would give to current emerging businesses?

Don’t rush. Take your time. Rushing only means you’ll look back and realise what you’ve put out wasn’t to the standard you hoped for. Even if at the time it feels like you’ve hit gold.

Eat up all the resources you can and take advantage of ALL the business help even if some overlap. It takes time to find the people or person that you gel with. The Princes Trust was so helpful for me, but a lot of banks now have business mentorships. Visit your local big library for guidance too, they’ll know some of what you can access and might even have a business centre.

Research brands you like and identify what you like about them and why. Then feed this into your own business. Rushing into the fun bits of designing and creating for yourself is all very well but if the business doesn’t have a heart full of knowledge and intention then it will show to your audience.

Visit Anna Hepburn wholesale shop to stock up on their products.

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Written by
Julie Ribert
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