Today, we are catching up with our founder, Susie Jones, to find out a bit more about her and learn why she started Mildred Jones Fine Jewellery.
Photo credit: Michelle Wildman
What Sparked your Passion For Jewellery?
Aged 8 I decided everyone had to call me Julie, as it sounded like “jewellery”.
But it wasn’t until I worked in an antique jewellery shop in Burlington Arcade that I learned what real jewellery was. It was love at first sight.
I met Mister Mildred in the jewellery world too, so it is no wonder that it holds such meaning for me. Even our son learned at a young age that “D is for diamond”.
What Do You Love About Antique Jewellery?
I am fascinated by the stories behind antique pieces: who owned them, what was the story behind their purchase, and who were they handed down to?
Our goldsmiths can do amazing things to restore old pieces. They also make the most incredible modern jewellery, using techniques that date back hundreds of years. That combination of old and new is so exciting. And that’s what I hope to achieve with the Celebration Pendant – it is a contemporary piece which is made to last and become a future heirloom – I love the thought of it appearing on Antiques Roadshow 100 years from now!
What Is Most important To You?
The most important things to me (apart from rocks and gold, naturally) are family, friends, and appreciating the good things in life, even the small ones – especially the small ones, actually, as they make up so much of our day to day.
I think the purpose of life boils down to knowing how to love life and live well, whatever that means to you. For me, it’s surrounding myself with people I love, trying to be kind, and doing my best.
Of course, life is challenging at times for everyone, but this is why I believe in celebrating all the good things we have. This is where our motto “Love Every Day” comes from.
We Hear You Are Obsessive About Quality And Detail. Why Is This?
I’ve always loved the finer things in life: I think it is the details of a piece that make it special. This is true of everything: jewellery, clothing … I even get excited about the tuck pointing on the front of our house!
I have always loved product. I love buying nice things. Some people dismiss it as unimportant, but I think having an original piece that someone has made using their creativity, hands, thought, care and skill – skills which will otherwise die out – is really special. These are the things we use and love every day, for years.
Even more exciting is buying an item that I have had some design input into. If I have the chance to commission my own piece rather than buy off the peg, that is what I will choose every time, whether it’s furniture, clothing, jewellery or art.
This is why our jewellery is made in London, rather than overseas. I am lucky to have some of the world’s best workmanship on my doorstep, and you really can see and feel the difference in their work. I’m a sucker for discreet luxury. I’m a Taurean, I can’t help it!
What Are The Best And Worst Things About Running Mildred Jones Fine Jewellery?
I love my work: it is extremely rewarding to create things that make people happy. I am so excited to be making a product that will grow in meaning the longer it exists, as it is handed down the generations and has more and more layers of story attached to it. It’s a privilege to be part of people’s memory-making.
I also want to be a role model for my son. It’s really important to me that he grows up to love and respect women. Most of our customers are women buying for themselves, which makes me very happy. I think it is good for him to be exposed to all of this.
It’s also brilliant to be there for him. I previously worked as a City lawyer, and if I’d carried on doing that, I would have missed out on so much. I’m all for mums choosing to work – I think it’s healthy for us to have that choice – but there is so little flexibility in most jobs that it is logistically difficult for many people.
The downsides are that it is extremely hard work. I love it, but there’s a lot to fit in and I never really switch off.
Why The Name Mildred Jones?
Mister Mildred has called me “Mildred” as a silly nickname for many years. I’m not really sure why, as it makes me sound rather elderly, but his quirky humour is one of my favourite things about him, so I went with it. I chose it as the name for my business as I think it conveys the values of quality, traditional craftsmanship and English eccentricity which I love.