I met Sophie Breitmeyer for a cup of tea and we spoke about jewels, bespoke jewellery and her dog Hackle (he’s a Dachshund cross Jack Russell, is super cute and goes absolutely everywhere with her.)
Sophie, who always knew she wanted to make jewellery, trained at Central St Martins and set up her jewellery company in 2012. She has just opened her first showroom in Westbourne Park, and Rihanna and Sienna Miller have both been spotted wearing Sophie Breitmeyer monogram rings, it is all very very exciting.
First of all, however, I must tell you, Sophie is an incredibly good secret keeper.
As the creator of the most beautiful one off fine jewellery pieces, including engagement rings, she is much in demand, with a number of very pretty shiny rings currently in creation. Your boyfriend may think she is his worst nightmare, but I promise you she is about to become his best friend 😘
So boys (or girls) who may soon be considering acquiring a very pretty ring, please do keep reading.
Sophie works from the principal that a beautiful piece of fine jewellery does not have to cost the world, and will work with a client step-by-step to ensure that the finished product is exactly as they had in mind.
For a bespoke commission she will first start with a consultation to discuss the idea you have in mind, this might be a completely new design, or perhaps a rework of granny’s old ring into a contemporary setting. For Sophie, it is important that the jewellery she makes stands the test of time, and she is very happy to guide you on a design as little or as much as you want. She will then talk through your proposed budget and is refreshingly understanding of that fact that fine jewellery is a big investment. And there are ways of creating the piece of jewellery you want at an affordable price, such as using a certain carat of metal, or quality of diamond.
Once a design has been agreed upon, Sophie will source the stones for you to choose from. She will draw up a computer aided 3D design and print a wax model of the ring in the exact dimensions and design it is to be made (I found this part absolutely amazing). She will give you the wax ring and a colour photo of the design, so you can be completely assured that the finished product will be exactly what you are expecting. Then it is time for the ring to be made.
You can understand why she has become the confidante of many men, buying an engagement ring is probably one of the most daunting things I imagine, and Sophie is able to seamlessly guide you through the process, so that the ring is all yours and ready to go. The proposal part is, of course, up to you although she says she once had a client ring her from an airport in a complete panic. It all turned out happily ever after in the end, you’ll be pleased to hear!
She has also made a range of one-off beautiful and affordable engagement rings, for those who might not have something specific in mind.
I loved talking to Sophie about designing and making jewellery, she really is an expert who wants you to fully understand her craft, and speaks about what she does in a very honest and straightforward way. She happily admits that she ‘just likes making pretty things’, and her favourite part is choosing the stones, she is like ‘ a kid in a candy shop’. She also loves giving a finished piece to someone, happy in the knowledge that she has assisted in helping them achieve the exact piece of jewellery they had in mind.
And quickly, back to Hackle her dog, who has been with Sophie since the beginning. He arrived as a present from her sister, when she was first starting out as a self employed jeweller. And there may have been just a few occasions when mishaps were blamed on ‘my assistant’…. but really, anyone could forgive Hackle the terribly cute four-legged assistant…
Here are some of my favourite pieces of Sophie’s jewellery:
And some favourites of the moment from Sophie:
SB piece: Diamond Tear Drop Earrings (although I never wear drop earrings!)
Jewellery designer: Jessica McCormack
Artists: Emma Bennett and Kevin Francis Gray
Listening to: The Next Black Soundtrack
Watching: The Good Wife
Reading: Nothing at the moment, but the best thing I have read recently is I am Pilgrim
Drinking: Vodka, fresh lime and soda with Angostura Bitters, it’s a bit too cold for Aperol Spritz these days!
Eating out: There is the most amazing Thai place next to my house called Poppies, and also Kricket in Brixton & Soho is amazing.
Place in London: Either Granary Square in Kings Cross, the top of Hampstead Heath, or down on the river in Chiswick
Most inspiring country you have visited: India
Alternative career path: History of Art – somehow I would have ended up in the jewellery world though, I think it was meant to be.