Meet Alicia Jane, CEO and founder of Alicia Jane & Co. Her journey to opening her own company has made her who she is today, unfiltered, meticulous and unapologetically direct.
She has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is and she‘s had many ‘no‘s‘ thrown at her throughout her career. In her own words: ‘Believe me, it has been a long road. I‘ve cried, pounded the pavement, picked myself up, and brushed myself off time and time again. As someone totally unfiltered, she is meticulous, and some would even say that she‘s harsh, however, she refers to herself as unapologetically direct. A firm believer in persistence, she thrives under pressure and believes you can achieve anything you want if you work hard enough.
Hi Alicia, it’s great to catch up with you, you have a very busy schedule! You have achieved so much at such a young age, tell me where it all began, what inspired you to start your own business?
Thank you so much for having me. I always wanted to be my own boss, I like everything to be my way so it was the right thing to do, but actually getting to the place where I took the leap wasn’t as straight forward as I imagined it would be. I’ve always been absolutely obsessed with jewellery since I was a little girl but building your own company from scratch is an entirely different ball game. This is a cut throat industry and you have to be on top of everything, all the time. The online market is flooded with jewellery accounts, but not many are actually equipped to help beyond nice marketing. So, firstly, I studied. By trade, I am a gemologist. I learnt the old school way, 1:1, with a highly respected industry leader. We would spend hours upon hours looking at the same stone, then I would go home and soak up a 500 page book on theory, wake up, and do the same again the next day. I learnt how to grade, how to buy, how to sell; basically it was hardcore. Then I put everything I learnt into action and bit-by-bit I got things moving. Alicia Jane & Co. is the first company I have founded, I just built the rocket whilst flying it and now I have an unbelieveable team around me.
What made you decide to enter into the world of jewellery and the luxury space?
I moved into this industry because I truly couldn’t find the type of jewellery that I wanted without making it myself. I like things to be top, top quality and there are loads of great, generic
designs floating about; but nothing intricate and truly luxurious for a great price by someone that is actually a normal, approachable person that cares and is close to the source. So I became that person and my clients became like friends. It’s a very bespoke process and one that I am highly invested in to create exactly the outcome I would want if I was on the other side of the table.
Tell me more about the pieces you design and source…
Nowadays the brand focuses on a mixture of high and fine jewellery. Which for those that don’t know the difference, is precious and semi precious gems set into beautiful
wearable art. I’m hugely involved in every piece that is made and would argue the fact I am a militant perfectionist means that everything that comes out of my workshop is amazing. I would definitely say that the house provides jewellery that has classic elements with an innovative and unique edge, keeping things new and exciting.
After visiting Hatton Garden with you, it is clear that you have built a presence and are taken seriously. How have you achieved that in such a short space of time?
I work very hard. I don’t have time to waste. I’m direct, I’m determined and I’m a doer. I attribute my efficiency in great part to the fact that I do my best to be direct and make myself clear. I have no time to waste and I greatly respect other people’s. I don’t waste words on small talk, especially when I’m focused on important business and personal matters. Not only does this strategy eliminate confusion and misunderstandings, it also catches people off guard. You get where you’re going faster and it earns you respect. I’m proud to be known for my directness and standing by my word. People know when I say something, I am not bluffing.
Where’s your favourite country to do business in? Which is the most lucrative for you?
Alicia Jane & Co. is predominantly in the Middle East however, saying that, I would like women all over the world to discover my designs and feel what it is to wear them. Confident and bold. These women are in the image of my creations, they are resolutely modern, audacious and confident.
Why do you think you are so successful at what you do?
I think success is an interesting word. I wouldn’t say I feel successful on a day-to-day basis, but when I am sat here answering these questions in such a short time of putting myself in this rat race, I sit and quantify my achievements. I think it boils down to three things: Hard work: as I mentioned before, I work really hard. Some days I work 16 hours, sometimes 18. Being relatable: I think by launching the business during Covid it was going to be a make or break situation. Everyone was trying to figure out how to deal with the social change. People have a different mindset. People were unsure. People needed a relatable ‘friend’ if you will. I offered a genuine service that flourished quickly into a high turnover business and still remained successful but in an authentic way. I want to help people but at my forefront I am a businesswoman. I’ve come on leaps and bounds throughout the years. I am a normal person. I’ve had very hard times. I’m a person that came out the other side. Driven: I think I am a rare type of person that doesn’t stop, my brain is always working and I am like an idea hamster. I am thinking ten steps ahead. Far beyond my existing company, about how I can evolve as a person and as a business woman. I truly believe that success is achievable for anyone who wants to put in old school effort and hard work.
Tell us more about your daily life, every day must be quite different from the other…
The truth is, people think I live this super glamorous life but unless I am out for the purpose of work, I am at home in a tracksuit working from my iPad. The number one priority in life is my family so I make sure that I fit everything in around them. I do have help but I am very particular so I do most things myself. Even if I have a big project on, I will make dinner, then go to the workshop at 9 o’clock after and then come home. They think I am crazy but I fear taking my eye off of the ball. I am constantly juggling work life and personal life balance. It isn‘t something I have mastered yet as I truly come from a place of yes, all the time. I don’t turn opportunities away and with that said, I commit to everything. I don‘t know how I do it, I just do.
What are your main goals for 2023 and what are your thoughts about the cost of living issue, do you feel it will affect your business in any way?
I think my main goal for the next year is to continue growing the business. I hope it will alleviate some of the pressure from my daily schedule, but saying that I will probably remain a control freak and take on more but in another way! As for the looming economic downturn, its something I have anticipated for quite a while. Many see me as a jewellery designer but I am also very interested in financial markets and had to learn very quickly when the pricing of diamonds rocketed a few months ago, to unprecedented levels, how to actually buy in for my company. Everything is a learning curve. Whether it will affect my business is or not is still unwritten however, based on historic market crashes; gold and diamonds increase in value. Alternatively, I will also be buying in old pieces of jewellery to help people get access to money when they need it.
What are the main issues in your chosen field that you worry about, what keeps you awake at night, and on the flip side, what excites you the most?
I don’t worry because I know if things take a turn, it means something else is going to come. Whatever I do, I do wholeheartedly and am ready to take on.
And lastly, if you can name any celebrity you would love to see wearing your jewellery, who would it be?
Probably the late Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn… alive, Queen Rania of Jordan.