A spark of creativity, an eye for design and a genuine love for hand-crafted products brought Annie and her mum Helen together on their jewellery-making journey.
Their story started back in 2014 when the pair put their heads together to create timeless pieces that can be cherished and loved for a lifetime – much like their relationship.
Taking family values and rooting them into the business model, Renné is about making jewellery a joy. Something special that takes you back to a person, a place, or a moment in time.
A fine piece of jewellery is part of your identity; and that’s why Annie and Helen adore what they do best – bringing a design to life and watching its journey unfold as it makes its way to a new owner.
From studio to shopfront, this mesmerising mother-daughter duo are there every step of the way.
Luxe catches up with Annie following the opening of Renné Jewellery’s new store on Grange Road, Darlington.
What can you tell us about Renné Jewellery?
Renné is a handmade jewellery brand created six years ago in the heart of Yorkshire by my mum and I.
Designing unique, eclectic and timeless jewellery that can be cherished and loved for a lifetime is at the heart and soul of our brand.
Jewellery is very personal and we believe choosing new additions to your collection should be a joy, and wearing them even more so.
Your story so far?
After leaving boarding school at 16, I started college and decided it wasn’t for me. I worked in various jobs before packing up to go travelling for a little while.
From day dot I have been a creative soul but was unsure where to find my niche. I went to Hatton Garden School of Jewellery aged 18 to complete a course in silversmithing.
When I returned we found a course close to home with two fantastic jewellers who taught us more of our trade. During this time we built a very small workshop on our family farm where we continued to learn the processes of working with metal.
Admittedly, much of our learning was through our mistakes, but it was all part of the fun. Renné was never in the plan.
Our brand began organically from friends and family wanting pieces, to us needing a brand name, then packaging, then a full marketing plan. It was a snowball effect from there with us steadily growing over the last six years to where we are today.
How do you find working as a mother-daughter duo, and how is this reflected in your business?
I couldn’t ask for a better work life. Working alongside my mum is a total dream.
It helps that we are both on the same wavelength when it comes to our style of design and interests. We have recently taken on a full-time member of staff to work on the shop floor, which allows us to focus on what we do best.
What inspires your designs?
Our designs are purely created with our own needs in mind – what we would like to wear and how we want to accessorise or show our character.
Our love for antique pieces, our travels and childhood memories; all of these are huge factors for our collections. We design and make what we would want to wear. In turn, this is directed at what our customer would like to wear.
We’re always happy to take customer feedback and collaborate with creatives.
What is unique about a Renné piece?
Each piece has been carefully curated by us. We also have the advantage of two generations’ input and style, which broadens our market to women and men of all ages.
Can you tell us about your new store and why you felt like it was the right time to move on?
Like many during the pandemic, we were faced with some challenging obstacles.
The last six months have encouraged us to rethink our business plan and assess what direction we’d like to take with Renné. We have been incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to grow and expand the business near enough every 18 months since we launched.
This move is a very exciting one as we are taking our brand and putting it on the British high street. It’s a big step for us, but we know it’s in the right direction.
What can you tell us about the new site?
With our brand colours heading in a new direction, naturally our shop interior has too. We have used a combination of light creams with gold accents to create a warm and inviting space.
We now have a shop window which has brought in heaps of light, and we are fortunate to have our office and workshop on a mezzanine level, so the light travels up to the second floor too. It’s a really beautiful space.
What can you tell us about the current product range?
We get to road test a lot of new designs behind the scenes, which is always fun. We have a new collection of semi-precious pieces, all designed to complement and stack with your current rings and charms.
Think handmade necklaces taken from the traditional watch chain design with Albert fastenings, elegant chain anklets that you will instantly fall for, and a small collection of charms, hand-engraved with our favourite mottos to keep us smiling when life throws us a curveball – as we have all experienced in recent months!
Since we made our first sample, I have been wearing the Clear Quartz Ring non-stop. It adds the perfect amount of sparkle – great for this time of year as we’re heading into the party months. I like to stack it with two silver Halo Rings and a Gold Cirque Ring from the men’s collection.
Don’t forget to visit Annie and Helen at their new Grange Road store in Darlington, where you can shop the new collection and find out more about this beautiful jewellery brand, with North East soul at its heart. 8 Grange Road, Darlington, County Durham,
DL1 5NG rennejewellery.co.uk