A note from the Founders

by Ilana Lever on

Dear friend of Motley, 

For those of you who don’t know us, we’re Cecily and Ilana and we founded Motley. We’re on a mission to hack the antiquated jewellery industry, and to put the designers and makers that power it where they belong - back on top. 

We started Motley because we saw how much was wrong with the jewellery industry - filthy supply chains, outdated marketing, silly prices, sloppy fast fashion chuckables. The designers at the heart of it all are either white labelled (so they don’t get credit for their work) or have to sell at high-tier prices because of production costs. As a result, the choice for consumers was either an affordable product that breaks or high end pieces most can’t afford.

There are plenty of challenges, but we also see endless potential. To us, the best jewellery designers are sculptor, engineer and artist all in one. Making something beautiful is one thing, but making something that’s functional too is quite another. It might seem trite, but wearing great jewellery is the bees knees. Whether you’re bold right off the bat or a little quiet but no wallflower, your most cherished pieces express who you are. Jewellery is one of the only things you’ll own that you can pass on to someone, who can have just as much fun wearing it as you did. The soles on your shoes will wear out, moths will get at your cashmere, books soak through when the basement (inevitably) floods. But your jewellery isn’t going anywhere. 

So, thought we. To use a Motley update of an old adage: if something’s broke... FIX IT.

To us, great designers embody a trait that’s endemically human - creativity. Through Motley they are uninhibited by narrow briefs, and unrestricted by production costs. Great design deserves the best execution, which is why we don’t cut corners when we bring their work to life. We go the extra mile (literally - we have travelled the world to find the best silver craftsmen), and we request they use techniques most jewellery companies view as excessive, artsy or too costly. But we believe there’s already enough ordinary jewellery out there, and we don’t need to add to it. 

The collections we have developed are deeply personal and innovative because of this reversal of the old power structure. Charlotte Garnett’s own experiences with mental health inform pieces she designed for us, and that’s why they resonate with so many of you. The playful, inquisitive nature of Christopher Thompson Royds collection calls on his childhood memories of playing with paper dolls. It’s not the kind of thing you can bottle, and that’s why we are so passionate about it. 

We believe challenging an antiquated industry with a new, better way of doing things has transformative power. We’re putting exceptional design back in the hands, wrists, necks and ears of the world. And we’d like to thank you for supporting us in this, and hope you come to love the pieces the designers create just as much as we do.

Tagged with: Women of Motley

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