Blingin’ beautiful bespoke jewellery
There are few jewellery designers I’d willingly drive more than 50 minutes to go and see, but India Mahon is definitely one of them. Her recently extended store in the lovely Stow-on-the-Wold – not exactly on a back street, but slightly away from the main shopping action – is the kind of place you are unlikely to just stumble across on a visit to the Cotswolds, hence this post!
India came into my line of vision last year through the Muddy Stilettos Awards and have been watching her progress since. Her jewellery – always Fair Trade – has a definite Indian influence, a kind of romantic flourish and sense of free spiritness that I really love. I took these photos in her shop to give you a flavour of what she does. The sense of space and the cool styling hark back to India’s past job in design.
India has plenty you can buy ‘off the peg’ in the shop or online, and I there is absolutely loads I’d buy in a flash.
Here, see some more!
Much of the jewellery is delicate and super-feminine, but I have to admit I’m kind of in love with this monster statement piece (below) – I’m clearly to small and wide to pull it off but it’s an incredible necklace
Despite the breadth of design in store, actually a big part of India Mahon’s business is in bespoke jewellery. I know someone who has commissioned a piece from her a few months back and she absolutely raved about the whole process, and the end result. It made me think about the old rings left to me by grandparents on both sides – they’re sentimentally precious but horrifically old-fashioned and consequently never worn. I’m definitely going to get India to reset those for starters, but am also very tempted to have something made from scratch (Mr Muddy, this is your five minute warning, dive for cover) – probably a necklace as that’s what I change mostly.
Ever wondered how a jewellery designer creates his or her pieces? For India it starts with a pencil drawing (below), over which she places real stones to give clients a physical impression rather than a computerised print off of what she will create for them. Then if you’re not sure about the jewels, she can swap them in and out, or even change the shape of the jewellery altogether. Cool no?
You can buy India’s stuff online, but if you’re close enough I’d recommend going to see her personally. Despite its fair share of bus tours and OAPs, there’s some cool stuff in Stow – just a few doors down from India is Saltmarsh, an organic supercool clothing shop I wrote about last year, plus there’s The Porch House for lunch or a stay over, a good second-hand fashion boutique Beetroot and of course you’re just a hop and a skip from the likes of Daylesford and Lapstone.
Can I also say, on an unrelated but somehow important note, that India, who is on a sliding scale somewhere in her fifties, was rocking a pair of quite extraordinarily vintage cool cowboy boots the day I visited. Respect for those lady, and since shyness has meant I’m not allowed to put a photo of her on the blog, these fellas say it all. Basically you’re going to find something different and special with this jewellery designer. Yee-haa!
India Mahon, The Old Sorting Office, Sheep Street, Stow on the Wold, GL54 1HQ. Tel: 01451 830676/07771 725945. indiamahon.com