1. How did you get your start?
As a student I loved dressing up in vintage clothes – 1920s flapper dresses, beaded dresses, loads of jewellery and masses of clanking silver bracelets. I had a large collection of them.
One Saturday in 1976 I decided on the spur of the moment to go to an antiques fair at the Granby Halls in Leicester. It was like an Aladdin’s cave and I blew a month’s salary on antique and vintage clothes. Next time it was on I took a stand there to sell clothes and accessories.
2. What was one of your first sales?
A magnificent early Victorian (c.1840) lady’s riding habit lined in green silk and matching top hat trimmed with feathers. They are incredibly rare to find intact.
I sold them through Christie’s and a museum bought them. With the money my father said I should pay my tax bill, but I used it to buy a sports car instead.
3. How do you use social media?
I love social media, especially Instagram, which was made for our business. I post jewellery images every day and interact with other Instagrammers. People love to see images and videos of jewellery. We have also started a YouTube channel.
4. What jewellery do you normally wear?
A Cartier watch, diamond earrings, diamond bangle and a ring on each hand. My mother said it was vulgar to wear more than one per hand but I sometimes break this rule.
5. Do you collect anything yourself?
I have three gold charm bracelets with over 120 gold charms between them. I bought my first one when I was in my early 20s and they tell the story of my life and travels. My latest is a little gold grandfather clock with a mouse that runs up and down it!
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