Last month I was as flattered as I was honoured to be approached by the PR people at Cinderela B – cool name right – to feature the brand on these here very pages. It is one of the few times I have said yes as I refuse to sell out to brands that do not fit the interests of the ayduodd readership. Alas, Cinderela B was not one of these – a scouting of their site and a social media stalking left me intrigued to discover more.
Rachel Jackson chanced the designer dream on what transpired as an epiphanial meeting in South America during a round the world trip come self-discovery journey. Bourne out of a beginning in east-end market stalls, Cinderela B has stacked up stockists across the UK, after taking the leap of faith two years ago. Rachel invited me to her beautiful behind the scenes.
Nestled in the achingly cool, creative confines of a Brick Lane side street, Cinderela B’s hub is perched over Hanover Street, with a convenient or unfortunate (depending how you view it) birds-eye-look-in of YMC which sits opposite.
“I was travelling in South America and I met Cinderela and her entire family,” she tells me as we sip breakfast tea from appropriately vintage, china cups. “She had a huge amount of energy and quite randomly she taught me how make to jewellery.” Random it may have been, Rachel never knew jewellery designing was something she had such a burgeoning and innate passion for, although having always considered herself as a follower of fashion.
Rachel spent two months with Cinderela’s family, who happened to be the inspiring entrepreneurial sort, honing her new found hobby whilst being bombarded with confidence boosts. Rachel says it made sense to name the brand after this inspirational woman and praises Cinderela’s continued support, insisting she still has input into the brand.
Rachel returned to the UK brimming with inspiring ideas and arguably the key concept of the Cinderela B signature: the insect. “Because my initial inspiration was South America –bright colours exotic birds, butterflies – it’s been there right from the start. They remind me of when I was travelling, I felt very free so birds, bees, butterflies remind me of those feelings,” she explains.
As we chat and sip some more it unfolds that Rachel’s route into the sought-after lifestyle of stocked designer is a long and winding one: “You’re going to laugh when I tell you this but I actually did a degree in Sports Science.” Rachel then sided with the business heads and eventually ended up in various creative media roles.It’s an enchanting tale and a refreshingly positive story to hear, especially in these economic climes whereby double-dip recessions have placed creative capabilities in a tenuous position. “Believe in yourself and don’t ever take no for an answer. Talk to people, find out everything you need to know about what it is you want to do and keep going. You just have to go and do it and follow your dreams,” are her precious words of wisdom: duly noted.
Rachel says the round-the-clock buzz of Spitalfields attracted her to the East and was where she first tested the waters with the brand. Her five years as a market traded here proved a real test of trial and error: “Often the collections I thought people would love it wasn’t that collection it was something else,” she tells me.
She is as much as a sucker for vintage as I am telling me that that strand of the brand is her favourite to design as she thrives on the buzz of shopping for the vintage components. Although Rachel proudly says she “loves every single piece of our jewellery” she does admit to fickle tendancies saying: “I go through phases of wearing all be a bee one week and then next week I’m onto the pom pom.” But she is adamant the current collections: classic and vintage are the ones she’s most pleased with, to date. And rightly so.
Five years and counting, has she reached that point of ‘making it’ every designer longs for? I can gladly say yes she has and it was not actually that long ago. “I sat in this room just a couple of weeks ago. It was just an amazing feeling to think ‘wow I can’t believe this is actually happening’ as a team of people who I love sharing the dream.”