Today’s Q&A is with Molly, founder of The Kiely Collection. She started her business at the beginning of this year, creating stunning designer jewellery from secondhand and vintage pieces such as old bags and keyrings. Her first collection launched on Monday and proved hugely successful, with 6 out of 10 necklaces selling within the first 8 minutes. (I may have been one of the six purchasers..!)
What encouraged you to start your business?
I had just been put into unpaid leave by my work for the second lockdown in a row, I had been saving for while and saw an opportunity to start my own small business and put all my time and effort into it. A lockdown is a perfect opportunity to start a small business as you can put all 24 hours in your day towards growing your brand and setting up.
I have always loved jewellery as my nan is a jewelley addict, as a child I always raided her jewellery box and played dress up. It all started when I brought a jewellery fixing kit and to fix a broken necklace of mine and realised that I loved making necklaces, it’s very therapeutic and I love a creative project!
How do you source the pieces for your collections?
Sourcing the pieces for my collections takes a very long time, I use loads of different websites and apps, vestiaire collective is one of my favourites however eBay, depop and Facebook marketplace are also some websites I use. Finding the right pieces are the longest part of the process of making my necklaces, I always ask for proof of purchase or authenticity from sellers if I am unsure. I look for the small items to keep the price of the items down for my customers as my customer age range is quite young and as I am only 18 I understand wanting designer but being broke! Mostly I look for makeup bags, keyrings, bag charms, or really worn out bags.
What’s your favourite designer fashion brand and why?
My favourite designer is Iris Van Herpen, I love her work because she creates amazing garments from 3d printing, this means there is no fabric waste! Her designs move in their own way due to them not being made out of conventional fabric, they’re amazing and somewhat whimsical. I love innovative designers that do things differently, and forward thinking brands. A very close second is Tribute Brand, their brand is 100% cyber fashion so no garments are actually produced however amazing looks are made and there is no waste or sweatshops due to the garments not actually being made. Virtual fashion will definitely be a massive thing in the future of fashion so definitely check them out! They add clothing to pictures and I love it!
Your products are all secondhand. Why is sustainability so important to you?
Sustainability in fashion is so important! Trends come and go and what comes along with that is waste and big companies that try to keep up just to make money. My course at London college of fashion had a module about the future of fashion and sustainability in fashion and it made me think about how I could make a difference, The Kiely Collection recycles all our waste by giving the makeup bags after to friends and family, in future I would like to give the fabric from all the bags to a small business that makes clothes from recycled material!
What advice would you give to other small businesses looking to start out?
My advice to anyone wanting to start their own small business is; Don’t think about anyones opinions, they will mean nothing when you are a successful business woman! Believe in yourself and your brand, you are capable of anything you put your mind to you have the power to build your best life, so what’s stopping you? And manifestation!
What are your future plans for the business?
At the moment I am talking to a friend of mine who works in a leather shop about taking their left over fittings from faulty designer bags that they repair and turning them into a collection. I’m also looking into working with loads of small businesses to run giveaways and boost their engagement, as small should always support small. My goals for the future are hitting 1,000 followers on instagram! And the long term goal is to have shop full of my jewellery that you can buy and a section where you can bring in your old designer and we will turn it into jewellery! giving it a whole new life, instead of throwing it away.
A huge thank you to Molly for taking the time to talk to me about her business! (P.S. she’s doing a giveaway over on her Instagram- @thekielycollection if you want the chance to win a reworked Prada chain, which closes on the 14th February).
*The photos in this blog were all provided by Molly from The Kiely Collection which I have been given permission to use.