Sunday sit-down with…Renné Jewellery
We caught up with Annie Rennison – one half of the mother-daughter duo behind Darlington’s timeless, ethically-sourced jewellery brand
In Partnership with Renné Jewellery
Mother-daughter dream team Annie and Helen share a love for design and creativity.
It was this shared passion – not to mention their own, very close bond – that ignited their jewellery-making journey back in 2014, spurring them on to create their own brand, Renné.
Fast-forward seven years and they’ve built up quite the collection. Inspired by their travels around the world, fuelled by their desire to create something truly unique for their customers, and helped by an innate knack for knowing just what looks darned good, you’re likely to find Annie and Helen’s timeless pieces splashed proudly over Instagram, glittering and gleaming from their Darlington shop window, or modelled by yours truly, (we’re big fans of Renné in the HLN office).
Using ethically-sourced sterling silver, gold and semi-precious stones, Annie and Helen focus on creating classic styles which hold intrinsic value, priding themselves on the love and attention to detail they put into each and every piece they hand-craft.
When they’re not working their magic in the workshop, you’ll find the pair in their studio: sharing their gorgeous collections with customers and helping them to find those sparkling new additions that promise to elevate their (or their loved ones’) seasonal wardrobe.
We caught up with Annie to find out how they’ve brought traditional jewellery-making methods into the 21st century, what some of her favourite pieces are right now and what it’s really like having your Mum as a business partner…
Tell us about Renné Jewellery – what’s the brand all about?
We strive to create timeless jewellery to be treasured for a lifetime – collectible talismans that tell your own story. We’ve created a brand that really speaks to our customers, because we create wearable, classic pieces which can also be collected.
You’re all about letting each collection of your jewellery ‘speak its own story.’ How do you inspire individualism and personality with your pieces?
Absolutely! There’s nothing better than being true to yourself. We encourage layering and stacking to create a collection that has texture, depth and meaning. Here are a few of our favourite tips:
- Accessorise with a variation of metals – By wearing silver and gold, you’re complimenting your skin tone and opening up your horizons with watches and other pieces!
- Wear a cluster of charms – Choosing charms that mean something to you and wearing them on a chain keeps precious memories close.
- Pair semi-precious stones together – Whether that’s rings or charms, by layering semi-precious pieces together, you can inject interest into your look with colour. Generally speaking, you’re drawn to a specific stone – they hold healing properties, so you’ll always feel a pull to the stone that’s perfect for you.
- Engrave a hidden message – Adding heartfelt notes to the back of a charm, bangle or ring is a personal touch only you will know about.
- Don’t be afraid of mixing chains that aren’t the same style – Layer 16” with 24”, or try wrapping a 28” chain around twice. Layering chains is an easy art to master!
Both of us have always looked out for the extraordinary, and the search for something only you have is magical. Our jewellery is marked individually, so no two pieces are ever the same. And, with the option of personalisation either hand-stamped or hand-engraved, you can create a totally unique piece.
Ultimately jewellery is about character!
What’s it like, working within the family?
As a mother and daughter duo, we started our Renné journey together in 2014. We’ve always had an exceptionally close bond, which makes business together simple. We agree on design, decisions, the future and will always have each other’s back at the end of the day. I wouldn’t want my work life to be any different.
We have found it’s important for us to spend time together out of work too, whether that’s a weekend away in London, Sunday lunches at home or breakfast dates before work!
How would you describe your own relationship with jewellery?
I grew up watching my mum create beaded jewellery. The pearls and stones always fascinated me – she had boxes filled with turquoise, amazonite, quartz, lapis lazuli and coral beads bought at bead fairs and shops in London. That’s definitely where my love for semi-precious stones stems from. That history of two generations’ interest was why we became the perfect pair to create a jewellery brand.
You hand-craft each of your pieces yourselves using traditional methods. Why is this important to Renné as a brand?
When we started making jewellery together, it was an outlet for our creativity; using our hands to make something beautiful was why Renné began. As we’ve grown, we’ve managed to maintain the manufacturing in-house. Our chains are made by one of Britain’s most well-known chain manufacturers, which is also a family business. We also use a local hand engraver, which is becoming more and more of a rare trade. Using top tier suppliers and craftsmen means we can keep a close eye on our collections and their processes. It also means we can check the quality and standard meticulously before it goes on our shop floor.
What are each of your favourite pieces in the Renné collection right now?
Annie: You will never see me without a stack of silver and gold Halo Rings on my fingers – they’re my everyday staple! However, my favourite recent addition to my collection would have to be the Chunky T Bar Bracelet.
Helen: It’s too hard to choose! One piece that makes me happy at the moment is my Laborodite Iris Ring. The colours really are magical.
Or pop in and see Annie and Helen in their shop at: 8 Grange Road, Darlington DL1 5NG