In a recent chat with Nicole Wood, Martha Gothorp, owner of Salt & Co., explains why designing jewellery has always been her passion…
Nestled along the breathtaking Northumberland coast lies Salt & Co, a jewellery brand that marries the beauty of silver with the allure of the sea. Martha Gothorp, the talented owner and designer, has turned her childhood dream into a reality, crafting exquisite pieces that capture the essence of Northumberland’s coastal charm.
After chatting with a friend who had purchased several pieces from Martha, I decided to find out more and had the pleasure of sitting down with her to explore the origins, creative process, and timeless vision behind Salt & Co.
“I grew up on the Northumberland coast, surfing, kayaking, and beachcombing, and have always loved anything ‘shiny’,” Martha reminisces, her eyes sparkling with nostalgia.
“Salt & Co. was a dream I had as a child. I was captivated by the idea of ‘she sells seashells on the seashore,’ and now I quite literally do – sterling silver ones.
“I think I was always destined to make jewellery. When I was younger, I would always be making friendship bracelets and jewellery for my family out of beads. It’s always been something I’ve loved doing.
That combined with my love for the sea, it just works,” Martha explains.
The Origins Of Salt & Co
The birth of Salt & Co stemmed from Martha’s deep affection for silver and the sea. From an early age, she harboured a passion for jewellery-making and dreamed of one day opening her own shop.
To her surprise and delight, that dream became a reality in February 2022 when she opened the doors of her shop in Amble, located in the new Harbour Master’s building, Coquet House, conveniently nestled next to the fish shack.
Martha admits: “I still have to pinch myself every morning as I walk through the door.”
The mesmerising beauty of Northumberland’s coastline serves as Martha’s constant muse. She spends as much time as she can on the beach and in the sea, seeking inspiration for her designs.
Her Northumbrian shell collection is a direct result of her love for the area.
Martha scours different beaches, collecting shells that she then casts into 925 sterling silver, fashioning them into necklaces and bracelets – true keepsakes that embody the spirit of the coast.
“Northumberland’s beautiful coastline is always my inspiration. I spend as much time as I can on the beach and in the sea and always come back to my studio with some kind of new design idea to work on,” she explains.
Salt & Co: The Shop
Before establishing her physical shop, Martha successfully operated Salt & Co online for seven years. However, opening a bricks-and-mortar store was a dream she never thought would materialise.
Coquet House, a new building, presented its fair share of challenges, including an unexpected lockdown. But Martha asserts that the wait and journey were undoubtedly worthwhile:
“The incredible view outside my shop doors and the wonderful people I’ve met along the way make it all worth it. Not to mention, I get to walk into a job I love every day,” she says with a genuine smile.
Every piece of jewellery created by Martha is meticulously designed and handcrafted in her Northumberland studio using 925 sterling silver. Driven by her passion for the environment, Martha proudly shares that she now works with 70% recycled sterling silver and has set a goal to reach 100%
Her commitment to sustainability shines through in every aspect of Salt & Co’s creations.
Among all her designs, Martha holds a special fondness for the Northumbrian shells collection:
“I love my Northumbrian shells. They’re something I truly enjoy creating and are a true labour of love. Though the process is time-consuming, the end result – a piece of nature preserved forever in sterling silver – makes it all worthwhile,” she shares, a sparkle of pride in her eyes.
Salt & Co: The ‘Wave’ Bangle
Reflecting on her favourite piece, Martha’s face lights up as she describes the ‘Wave’ bangle. This particular design holds significant meaning for her, as it was the piece that marked the beginning of her creative journey.
“My logo is based on the wave of my wave ring and wave bangle, and it will always have a special place in my heart,” Martha confesses, clearly fond of the sentimental value it carries.
Unlike many who chase fashion trends and embrace fast fashion, Martha remains steadfast in her commitment to crafting timeless pieces.
“I have to admit I am not one to follow fashion trends and fast fashion. I create pieces that I personally love and wear on all my adventures,” she states with confidence.
Her desire to create high-quality jewellery that withstands the test of time is driven by her own attachment to her creations. Martha reveals that she never takes off her jewellery, emphasising the importance of maintaining the utmost quality in her designs.
When it comes to customer favourites, Salt & Co has its share of standouts. Martha reveals that her stud earrings, beautifully presented in a charming bottle, are a best-seller. The packaging adds a unique touch, making them a popular choice for gifts.
However, Martha’s most timeless piece, according to her, is the signature chain bracelet. Chunky and elegant, these bracelets possess an enduring allure that transcends fleeting trends and promises to remain stylish for years to come.
For Martha, the true joy lies in the act of creation itself.
“I love making things! Working in sterling silver and creating something from nothing is really satisfying for me,” she exclaims.
Locked inside her studio, accompanied by her favourite music, Martha immerses herself in the process, allowing her passion to guide her hands.
As Salt & Co continues to flourish, Martha Gothorp remains an unwavering force, driven by her love for Northumberland’s stunning coastline and a deep respect for quality craftsmanship. With each
meticulously crafted piece, she forges a connection between the wearer and the beauty of the sea, ensuring that Salt & Co’s treasures are there for generations to come.