IJL KickStarter, Laura Parra of LaParra Jewels, has been voted by the industry as the winner of the much coveted ‘People’s Choice’ award thanks to her very successful social media campaign.
Event Director, Sam Willoughby, commented: "Congratulations go to Laura who really embraced the concept of social media to emerge as winner of ‘People’s Choice’ 2015. This year's KickStart line-up is, as always, very impressive and the battle for winner was hard fought. Our thanks go also to the industry for their ever valuable support of this British Design talent”.
Laura, who combines traditional jewellery techniques with contemporary silver-smithing, as well as drawing on her background in fine art and restoration, embarked on her winning campaign by immersing herself in social media. She attended several social media courses and workshops run by the BJA and Craft Central and invested considerable time online researching marketing and social media techniques. Laura reveals that one of the secrets to her success was contacting as many fashion bloggers from around the world as possible, using her newly acquired social media skills to their best potential. As a result her followers tripled in number and she enjoyed online sales. Laura said:”I am really pleased to win the People’s Choice Award. It is honouring and humbling to be selected by both trade and public among such talented designers. It means a lot to me and my career, and will provide me with the tools and knowledge to progress further and further. I am very thankful to a huge network of people for all the help and support they have given me”.
Highlights of LaParra Jewels are two collections, ‘Enlace’ and ‘Rocks’, both of which will be unveiled at IJL 2015. In “Enlace”, each piece is handmade and designed to show a relationship or connection between the stone and the metal. The pieces are built with overlapping drops of metal, an unusual technique that creates an organic, soft shape containing intrinsic textures. The collection “Rocks” uses different gemstones and every piece is unique and influenced by the gemstones, often set with sapphires and diamonds.
Now in its seventh year, the unique KickStart scheme run by IJL and supported by the British Jewellers' Association, is an excellent way for retailers and buyers to discover the new talent of the future. As the third 'People's Choice' winner, Laura will receive a free stand in the IJL Design Gallery in 2016.
The full line up for KickStart 2015 is Flora Bhattachary, Andrew Gold Neilson (GoldNeilson), Mirka Janeckova (Mirka Janeckova Jewellery), Francesca Marcenaro, Rosalie McMillan, Laura Parra (LaParraJewels), Samantha Rose (September Rose), Lauren Rowden (Ellie Air Jeweller), Ilene Steele (Ilene Steele Jewellery) and Ana Thompson.
IJL 2015 will run from 6 to 8 September 2015 at Olympia GRAND, London.
For more information about IJL 2015 please contact: Jennifer Hall-Thompson or Suzanna Hammond +44 (0) 207 630 6633 / +44 (0) 7770 802442 IJLPressoffice@reedexpo.co.uk
About International Jewellery London
International Jewellery London is your only dedicated UK jewellery trade event, unveiling the latest inspiring collections, contemporary and classic. IJL celebrates the most talented, innovative British and International jewellery designers, wholesalers and manufacturers. International Jewellery London takes place at Olympia, London from 6 – 8 September 2015. For further information please visit www.jewellerylondon.com IJL is sponsored by the NAG & BJA and supported by the GIA, Gem-A, The Houlden Group, The Company of Master Jewellers, Platinum Guild International, The Responsible Jewellery Council and CIBJO.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries. www.reedexpo.com