Tuesday 15 September 2009

The story behind a bespoke design

Hallo everyone

My business card features one of the many tiaras I have made over the years:

This is the story behind this piece.

Maxine came to me, like many brides, having just bought her dress - an absolutely stunning, floor length, oyster- coloured satin dress:

Photography by Graham Bell

She told me that she was going to be wearing her great grandmother's necklace at her wedding:

Photography by Graham Bell

She knew that she wanted a tiara to wear too. Her only specification was that she wanted a 'low tiara in a modern design'.

So I went away and had a long think about the various elements that went into the design of her heirloom necklace. First and foremost there were the materials: gold, garnets, pearls. Then there was the design: delicate, graceful, curving.

I carefully brought all those elements together, and over eight hours, created a unique piece for her:

And this is Maxine wearing her beautiful, bespoke Gioia Mia tiara on her wedding day:

Photography by Graham Bell

'After the excitement of her wedding and honeymoon, she emailed me to say that 'I didn't want to take off my tiara at the end of the day, and I'm currently trying to come up with another excuse to wear it (other than around the house!). I love the way it complimented my heirloom necklace and earrings, and the colours chosen really worked well together…I felt very elegant in it. Throughout the day I had many compliments about it...beautiful and perfect for the occasion. Big thanks.' Maxine xx

I am really grateful to Graham Bell for his photographs of Maxine and Pete on their wedding day. You can see more of his work on his website: www.grahambell.co.uk

Saturday 12 September 2009


Well hallo everybody

I've finally made it, long after everyone else it seems!

So, my lovely company Gioia Mia came into being about 5 years ago now, but I've been designing and making things for as long as I can remember...usually the sorts of things which would drive other people to distraction, but I love working on a really small scale.

I wanted a name that was different, and one which reflected my Italian upbringing. 'Gioia Mia' popped into my head, and refused to go away. Whatever else I thought of, I always came back to it. It can mean two different things in Italian: 'my jewel', which is good for a jewellery design company; or 'my joy', which is perfect, as it sums up what Gioia Mia means to me.

Five years on, I'm busy all the year round designing and making bespoke pieces. I work mostly with brides (I love the excitement of working with a bride!), but I make pieces for gifts as well. My work has travelled all over the world, and my my pieces have been featured in magazines both here and abroad.

I'm lucky to work from a beautiful studio not far from where I live. It's wonderful, inspiring place full of positive energy and creative people, working in a variety of media. It's not usually this tidy, but this is the space where I work from. It's set up for an exhibition (the yellow sunflowers were a gift from my amazingly talented web designer):