Have you seen show-stopping cocktail rings and statement necklaces on your Instagram feed lately? Chances are they're from London-based jewellery label Daphine, because everyone is obsessed with it right now, as am I.
It was founded only three years ago by friends and mothers Damasia and Philippine, who started the business from their kitchen table.
Their cult stackable Oli ring soon made its way onto the fingers of the most stylish editors and influencers, including Bettina Looney and Anna Vitiello. Further collections included statement chains and bracelets with a 70s vibe, as well as luxe pearls and diamanté finishes.
Here, they tell me what makes their brand so unique, tips for starting a business and navigating everything from social media to a pandemic.
How has Daphine evolved since you started the brand?
Philippine: When we started Daphine, we were working from my dining room in London and Damasia working whilst heavily pregnant. There has always been a child under 5 involved behind the scenes! Three years later our Daphine family has grown, with three strong women who have joined our team and come from different backgrounds and challenge us every day. Having a team, even small, puts more responsibilities on our shoulders but also allows us to see things from different perspectives and build a stronger vision of what the brand is.
Damasia: I think we are much more focussed now as well. We are more confident in our designs which has allowed us to be more experimental. Nostalgia is always going to be the main drive in our designs, but we have gone from more minimal gold pieces to pieces that are quite lively and covered in crystals and pearls.
You have many friends of the brand, have they been key to growing your presence on social media?
Philippine: We can't thank enough our brand's many friends that were so key in helping us grow our social media presence. We want our online relationships to be as authentic as our ‘in real life’ ones so we always want to work with people who we admire so that we can support their work just as they have supported us!
Damasia: From the beginning we have wanted to collaborate with people that really care about the brand and we are blessed to have come across such kind women that have pushed the brand and supported us from the beginning - Bettina Looney, Trishna Goklani, Anna Vittielo, Abisola Omole to name a few. Daphine was built to honour the strong women in our lives and that same philosophy has been transmitted onto social media. We are all about women supporting each other — encouraging each other to be better and do better.
What was your inspiration for the new collection?
Philippine: We wanted to bring a sense of celebration to the newest pieces in the collection and create mood lifting jewellery that feels celebratory in style, whilst also championing our values of sustainability, classic pieces and slow fashion. This drop is full of jewels that act as little festivities to add to your outfit, your day and your mood.
Has Covid impacted the business in any way?
Philippine: The pandemic meant we had to adapt our way of working. It has accelerated a lot of things and forced us to put more processes in place, give more responsibilities to people we are working with. It also forced us to slow down and really think about what we wanted Daphine to be.
Damasia: It has also allowed us to re-think women’s relationship with jewellery and we believe more than ever in the power of jewellery in our every day lives.
What are your plans for future collections?
Damasia: In the immediate future - pure 18k gold pieces! We have been thinking about experimenting with gold for a long time and after three years later, the time finally feels right. We will start with releasing some of our classic pieces first (Oli Ring, Classic Hoops, Louise Hoops) on a made to order basis.
We are also going to continue dropping new pieces instead of full collections. We prefer to add the key pieces that we feel are missing from our jewellery boxes, instead of turning over so many products over and over again.
Anything our readers should know about if they want to start their own business?
Damasia: To really take the time to get to know who your customers are. We like to have an open dialogue with our customers on Instagram - we are always listening to them, to what they want to wear, their stories on what jewellery means to them. We are very inspired by this great community we have built and think it is our biggest resource.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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