How Lily Charmed began…
Founder Lucy Lee had two very young children and a career in live TV, which meant working long hours away from home (on shows like Strictly Come Dancing) so she made the decision to start her own business and establish that elusive ‘work, life balance’ that you hear about.
With Lily Charmed the aim was to tell a story with jewellery, adding sentiment to each piece with a message card, so that when it was gifted, the piece of jewellery had meaning and a connection to the person receiving it. Pandora charms were everywhere at the time, and gifting and collecting charms has always been a wonderful way to enjoy jewellery, so we merged these ideas into a new charm jewellery concept, which was launched online in 2011.
The first collection of charms was small, around 10 charms in total, including 3 hearts! Quality was the main focus. We used various wax carving methods to create the first designs and the response was great. We knew we had something as Lily Charmed was invited to join Notonthehighstreet.com
The Challenges of Growing a small business
Working from home, in a small space, surrounded by family life was tricky, but workable. But early on we were horrified at being burgled, and loosing most of our jewellery – which wasn’t covered by home insurance. An Alarm and a safe were quickly installed, and when we grew and moved premises security was at the top of our agenda.
The location of our studio has changed 4 times in 7 years, and as we grow further I’m sure we shall move again, so the actual location of our premises doesn’t affect Lily Charmed as we are an online business, which gives us great flexibility with location.
A Family Business
Lily Charmed started as a family business and continues to be. Founder Lucy Lee works alongside her husband Jonathan, sister Jessica Pearce, and cousins Becky , Poppy and Emma. Lily Charmed is a wonderful place to work, everyone is valued, and it has a fun family atmosphere – somewhere you want to go to work each day!
Lily Charmed Jewellery Designs
Lily Charmed design all the time, Lucy and her sister Jessica are always having crazy ideas about what jewellery we shall create next. We launch a new charm when its ready, so some months there may by 10 new designs, in others only 1 or 2. We don’t give ourselves a timetable. When a design is ready, we launch. Some ideas we still love but are still being worked on after 6-12 months!
Our quirky designs, such as our, custard cream, flying pig and balloon dog charms, give us the edge when the jewellery landscape can seem a little ‘samey’.
We use the theory that if something doesn’t sell, we stop selling it and move on with other lines. This keeps our charm designs fresh and relevant. We also use facebook and Instagram to get suggestions and ideas from customers – which really helps with inspiration!
We also have strong ethical standards which we stand by. All our charms are made with recycled silver and are cast in Bali by a co-operative with each worker getting a profit share. Lucy visits our manufacture regularly to stay connected to every part of the jewellery making process, to maintain quality and peace of mind.
Lily Charmed customers are amazingly loyal, and once they find us, use us as their go-to site for gifting. We have a very special relationship with our customers, and value their feedback. Our reviews are 5 star, and we listen to feedback as this really helps us make Lily Charmed better an better. Thank you!
As each customer can personalized the message card that accompanies their jewellery, we get to understand the reason’s behind each gift, from the regular birthday message, to the ‘thank you for your kidney’ message, every piece of Lily Charmed jewellery takes on an extra special meaning for each customer, and for the team!
Key Milestones for Lily Charmed
2011 – Founded by Lucy Lee at her Kitchen Table with 10 Charm designs
2012 – Became a partner with Notonthehighstreet.com with 50 designs, created a collection for Mint Velvet.
2013 – Listed in John Lewis. Unlisted in John Lewis (we weren’t ready!)
2014 – Won Jewellery Lovers Award, from Jewelstreet.com for our Flying pig design. First Chinese wholesale customers – still a key partner!
2015 – Joined by husband Jonathan Lee, who introduced new brand look and feel.
2016 – Agreed Distribution agreement with partner in China
2017 – Launch of second brand ‘Scream Pretty’ for more fashion lead and self-gifting designs. Signet add a further 30 stores. China sales continue to grow. Scream Pretty’s first Trade show!
2018 – Launch of our Flagship store in China, with new distribution partner. Lucy Lee presents Lily Charmed on QVC and sells out while on air. Jodie Whittaker (the Time Lord, Doctor Who herself!!!) wears Lily Charmed jewellery while promoting Doctor Who.
Launch of our new retail website!
2019 - New Trade website launch (quite dull but really important for our trade customers!).
We want Lily Charmed to become the go to charm company for quirky, collectable, quality charms, but we also want to maintain our original concept, gifting jewellery on message cards – jewellery with meaning.
We are planning future international expansion and working with a high street retailer on some exclusive lines, which shall be in stores for Christmas.