I was happy to be interviewing Pia Hallstrom at her beautiful house in South Kensington, in London. I arrived there on a chilly Wednesday morning, happy to get away from the rain and the wind of a typical winters day.
Pia opened the door wearing black leather trousers and a cosy cashmere sweater. The first thing I noticed was her jewellery, three layered necklaces sparkling away and a turtle finger ring which caught my immediate attention.
She kindly offered me a hot drink while we sat in her office chatting away like old friends:
Q: Could you tell us about yourself and what you do?
A: I am a fine Jewellery Designer, with a background in fashion design. I was Educated in New York, at Parsons School of Design. I came to London from New York (Ralph Lauren), to be the head of Design for Burberry.
Q: When did you first discover your talent for designing jewellery?
A: As a little girl I used to make my own jewellery. But it wasn't until I started making jewellery for myself that I saw the business opportunity.
Q: Tell us about your creative process and what makes your jewellery unique?
A: My jewellery are all pieces that I WANT. I am really just filling gaps in my own jewellery collection. Each piece is highly personal to me.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I like classic and elegant but with a twist
Q: What kind of woman do you design for and who would you like to see wearing your pieces?
A: EVERYONE can wear my jewellery. My pieces are designed to be worn everyday with everything. They are comfortable and practical. They are meant to stay on and be part of the wearers story for ever and ever. It's not a person, age or category I am designing for, but a taste level and attitude.
Q: Who are your favourite designers?
A: I LOVE Coco Chanel. She was the original pioneer of ready to wear and trousers for women. She was so modern during her time and still is.
Q: I know that you are conscious about your diamonds and other precious stones being ethically sourced. Could you tell us where they come from?
A: I am a HUGE believer in ETHICS and human rights as well as our precious planet. My stones are all ethically sourced. We buy them from a dealer in Germany. His quality is superior! After wearing my pieces day in and day out they still sparkle, that's his quality. We buy what's called Collection Quality Goods. Those are basically the off-cuts pave stones from larger stones. Our quality is VS and D-F colour.
Q: What is your favourite piece of jewellery?
A: My first engagement ring. Ha ha. it's not even from my collection. My husband designed it with Cartier. It's a band with stones all the way around. I always work with my hands so I did not want one stone as it would be in the way.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about running your own business and what advice would you give someone starting out?
A: It's hard. Learn the ropes from the best, then you set up shop.