Smith/Grey: You set up your store PÄRLA not that long ago, what made you want to bring this venture to life? Why retail and why jewellery?
Erin: Pärla is a pretty selfish venture of mine. It began when I noticed an increasing number of extremely talented jewellery designers that I loved and wanted wear myself. Most of them were London based and were creating cleverly designed pieces with a great deal of consideration being given to quality and price. I wanted to create a home for all of these wonderful collections and move away from the traditional jewellery shop environment. I wanted Pärla to offer a boutique, personal shopping experience without intimidation; just great contemporary jewellery design!
What does the name PÄRLA stand for and why did you choose it? We sense a love for all things Scandinavian?
Pärla is the Swedish word for pearl but can also be interpreted to mean bead, gem or stone. It really captures what the brand is about with it’s Scandinavian influence and multiple meaning. Each collection in Pärla has a Scandinavian feel to it in it’s design and the way it can be styled. Similarly, all of the pieces are versatile and can be interpreted in different ways depending on the customer.
It seems that your selection of designers and jewellery is very much inspired by your own personal taste and style. Do you rely on your own intuition only or do you sometimes ask for advise as to what to buy for the store?
I would definitely have to agree that each piece on display is chosen with my own personal style in mind and I would never choose anything that I wouldn’t want to wear myself. I also listen to customers and work closely with designers to select pieces that that the ‘Pärla Girl’ will need in her collection to compliment her lifestyle and wardrobe.
Is it a coincidence that most of the brands you stock are by female designers?
I think there are just so many fabulously talented young female designers around at the moment that I just can’t ignore them. It’s not a conscious decision that I’ve chosen only women lead brands, but perhaps I’m just drawn to their style.
Tell us quickly about your daily routine, do you spend most days in the store or behind the scenes?
Erin: Most days start with either a spin class, yoga or a run if I’m not having a much needed rest. Then I’ll usually have a meeting with a designer or catch up on emails and admin before opening the store at 11am. I love being in store so try and make sure I’m there most days. It’s a great way to understand and speak to customers and help them find exactly what their looking for!
You previously stocked our Pearlgatory collection and currently you got our new Secret Signets in store. What do you like most about these two collections? What's your favourite piece?
Both the Pearlgatory collection and Secret Signets offer a contemporary twist on something that is known for being quite traditional. I fell in love with the new use of pearls with the option to have them dyed pink and purple in the same way that I can’t get enough of the hidden heart, square and oval on the Secret Signets. I have the Cardinal Ring from the Pearlgatory collection and love wearing this for a special evening dinner or to give a focus of interest to an everyday jeans and t-shirt look.
What would you choose to have engraved on your very own Secret Signet Ring? Which of the three designs do you like most?
Erin: I would love to have the Secret Heart Signet in rose gold with my initials on top… And “TBC” underneath for now ;) !
Do you have any other favourite fashion brands you would like to share with us that would work well alongside the Secret Signet Rings?
I think Acne and Celine both really capture the Pärla Girl style. I feel that almost all of the pieces that are in store at Pärla could work well when teamed with these designers, especially the Secret Signets.
Your favourite place in London to hang out...
There are just so many! Paradise Row in Bethnal Green has completely transformed over the past few years and is now home to some of my favourite bars and restaurants. Clissold park and the shops and restaurants on Church St near my home in Stoke Newington are also great!
Your favourite piece of art...
That’s tricky. I went to Tracey Emin’s solo exhibition, The Last Great Adventure is You last year and loved so many pieces that it’s difficult to choose just one!
Your life mantra or favourite quote..
I have two…
- Everything happens for a reason
- Do one thing well
You couldn’t live without...
What’s up next for PÄRLA?
Good question! Hopefully, a busy christmas and some exciting exclusive collections in the new year!
Thanks Erin for taking the time!
Shop our SECRET SIGNETS and some selected Pearlgatory pieces at PÄRLA:
Mon - Sat: 11am - 7pm | Thurs: 11am - 8pm | Sun: 12pm - 6pm