How Lisa Sanders’ business led to her supplying bespoke jewellery items to celebrities
PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:30 21 March 2014
Gorgeous jewellery gives you a boost that stays forever. Jan Raycroft met the lady who can provide that special and unique glamour
Imagine being at the counter of a major department store, and the staff there insist on calling the company’s buyer to see the personal jewellery you are wearing. Or standing in the bank queue when another customer politely inquires as to where you bought your unique and beautiful ring.
This is what happened in the build up to Lisa Sanders launching a fantastic business which has led to her supplying bespoke jewellery items to football legends including Sol Campbell – an engagement ring – and commissions for music stars including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, JLS and Take That. And all the time she’s also been designing and making jewellery for us less celebrated folk as well, from little treats (“No job is too small” she says) to fabulous once-in-a-lifetime statement pieces.
Lisa’s professional and personal life has enjoyed some fascinating twists and turns along the way and she’s never been afraid to try something new. She was originally in sales and marketing for IBM but her “arty side” lured her into starting a degree in that and she imagined she would end up teaching.
But all the time her true talent was becoming a stronger draw: “I loved making jewellery and people would ask me to produce some earrings or perhaps a necklace to match and before long I was out every night selling my pieces at home parties,” she says. “It was hard work, but very good fun.”
Along the way came a shop in Winchester for her business, Gioia, and a whirlwind expansion which saw Lisa trying to balance family life (she had three children between the ages of 10 and 14) and working on collections for stores such as John Lewis and Selfridges.
Indeed, Lisa recalls how when son Jake suffered a serious eye injury in an accident, his ‘rehab’ at home included getting involved in the intricate jewellery designs. Leaping forward in the story, it’s nice to reveal that in 2011 Lisa sold Gioia and now Jake runs it. He lived near the 2008 X Factor house in London, got to know some of the contestants, and before long orders were pouring in from the stars, and even publicity maestro Max Clifford.
As for Lisa, she has a new partner and the arrival of Tai, now a chirpy toddler, has not slowed her down at all. Her latest business, Hotrocks, sees Lisa producing bespoke items for individual clients.
These might be entirely new concepts or redesigns and “refreshes” of older jewellery, such as inherited pieces in need of a more contemporary look.
Lisa says: “As I don’t have the overheads of a shop I’m able to offer a very good value service with a personal approach which means I can meet with clients at their convenience, so we produce the perfect piece, just for them.”
Need a little sparkle in your life? See www.hotrocks.uk.com for more details.