Edge Only is a brand that I feel in love with when I saw their lightening bolt and screw necklaces. They were unlike anything that I had seen before – and the fact that they were made from precious metals added to their appeal. They were, of course, the creations of Jenny Huston.
Jenny created the brand ‘Edge Only’ and the brand since it’s creation has just gone from strenght to strenght. Her design inspiration came from being a rock DJ and wanting to wear edgier designs that reflected her casual style (and the style of the people she worked with and interviewed), but that didn’t seem to exist in quality jewellery. She also though that sapphire’s rubies and emeralds can feel excessive at a music festival 🙂 I love that she seen a gap in the market and then decided to create a line to fill it. And I am delighted to be featuring her today on Floralesque.
I find your career path into jewellery design so interesting – can you please tell us a little about your path from DJ to Designer?
The Mother is a very talented goldsmith and gemmologist (she set up the Crafts Council of Ireland Jewellery Skills Course back in 1993 and ran it for 14 years). I grew up spending time in the workshop and selling precious jewellery in shops through college, so I always had a love of and respect for fine jewellery. After taking voluntary redundancy from RTÉ I started discussing designs that I wanted my mum to make for me. She suggested I design a collection, as I had
After taking voluntary redundancy from RTÉ I started discussing designs that I wanted my mum to make for me. She suggested I design a collection, as I had a clear idea of what I wanted to wear and knew no shortage of goldsmiths!
I started doodling and signed up for a Start Your Own Business Course the following month. Six months later we were testing the website. It all happened very quickly.
Your pieces are so unique and really stand out – where does your creative inspiration come from?
I’m drawn to everyday objects. I like to look as machines and tools and observe details in random things most people would probably walk past. I like clean lines, sharp edges and symmetry. Equally, I want jewellery to make people smile and react, so I’m drawn to expressions, symbols and shapes that trigger recognition and memories. Our Flat Too Lightning Bolt for example – for me it’s a regularly occurring symbol in music, from bands to record labels, but
Our Flat Too Lightning Bolt for example – for me it’s a regularly occurring symbol in music, from bands to record labels, but its also recurring in comic books. It means something different to everyone. When they see it people say ”David Bowie”, “AC/DC!”, “Harry Potter!”, “The Flash”, or they think of creativity “Bolt of inspiration!” speed, energy, electricity… I love that it conjures so many responses -all positive.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have designed?
The 14 carat Gold Skinny Lightning Bolt Pendant is one of my favourites. For me, it sums up Edge Only very well – elegant with an edge and a little bit playful. I love that you can wear it with jeans or an evening dress.
Are there any designers that you find inspiring?
I really admire what Stella McCartney is trying to do. With every collection, she is moving further towards ethical and sustainable. She cares about the environmental impact of fashion and about animal welfare.
Do you think having connections already in the entertainment world has helped with the publicity and promotion of Edge Only?
I’m sure it has. I was blown away by the support I had from people in Ireland when I first launched. People are understandably intrigued by my choice of a career change! However, I am completely unknown and without connections in the UK and our first retail presence was in London. It meant a great deal to me personally that Edge Only was accepted there on design and quality alone. The success of Edge Only in London has helped greatly with garnering press in Ireland.
I believe that all of your pieces are manufactured in Ireland. Do you think it is important to keep the manufacturing based here rather than abroad?
Very much so. When I set up I wanted to work with the pool of goldsmiths my Mother has trained and mentored. I believe strongly in ethical luxury. We don’t (and won’t ever) out source for cheap labor to India and Asia like so many jewellery brands do. We are able to make all of our jewellery in Ireland and proudly hand-finish our pieces to a very high standard. We source what components we can’t get here from Europe. I want Edge Only to be a luxury you can feel good about.
The pieces in Edge Only are made of high-quality materials – was it important from the start to use solid gold and sterling silver rather than start in perhaps slightly cheaper materials and work up?
Wanting to wear jewellery made from solid silver and gold was one of the main reasons I started Edge Only. I was tired of plating wearing off from my costume jewellery revealing the ugly base metals underneath (and the charming side effect of your finger or neck going green!). I wanted quality jewellery that would last, that had the same edge and playfulness of the costume jewellery world. Most high-end jewellery was classic, delicate, feminine and often tiny. I wanted larger, bolder pieces that suited the world where jeans are your go-to fashion staple and fine jewellery that equally represented your personality when you were dressed up.
Starting a new business can have its challenges, what has been the biggest challenge with setting up your brand?
Finding the right shops takes time. Because Edge Only fills a gap, it also means that it falls between traditional jewellery shops and regular fashion boutiques. We want to partner with fashion forward luxury boutiques, modern design shops and independent jewellery shops.
Do you have any advice to aspiring designers?
Niche is great – don’t try to appeal to everyone. Equally, don’t try to be cheaper, try to be better. There is a shift towards quality products that last.
What has been the biggest pinch-me moment with regards Edge Only?
There have been so many moments where I felt my heart swell and I felt really grateful that the hard work was paying off and that people liked my designs. Seeing our silver stacking rings on Dree Hemingway (Chloe parfum model and actress) in The Sunday Times Style cover shoot during our first summer was pretty fantastic. Equally being stocked in Brown Thomas (The Marvel Room) on our first Birthday felt incredibly lucky.
What does the future hold for Edge Only?
I have my eyes on the USA, but I will heed the advice “walk before you run!” It’s somewhere to work towards in the year(s) to come. The majority of our web traffic is from the States and we sell regularly to New York and LA so I know it’s a good fit for Edge Only when we are ready.
I want to say a massive thank you to Jenny for doing the interview and I honestly am so inspired by her. She changed her career a full 360 and that is difficult to commit to. She then forged out a brand new career and has made that also successful. Her pieces are unique, edgy, luxurious and beautiful all at the same time as well as having a certain elegance about them.
Edge Only would certainly make te most wonderful Christmas present for someone – man or woman, and certainly will make for a very happy gift receiver 🙂 Edge Only can be found online here and they also have an online store (so handy!). I would also say to definitely check out her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts as well – this is certainly one brand that I am always excited to see what comes next.