This week, we interviewed the inspirational Carolina Bucci, jewellery designer from Florence, Italy. Carolina now lives in London her husband James, and their two boys, Lucas who is nearly 7 and Julius who is 4 and a half, and a feisty little miniature yorkshire terrier called Arturo who is 11 years old.
How do you juggle such a successful company with your family life? What’s your top tip?
A very disciplined approach to your diary. I cannot just ‘wing it’ and see what happens. I make sure to book time out in the afternoons to spend with the kids and try to pick them up every day from school.
Where is your favourite family holiday destination?
Forte dei Marmi – it’s where I went when I was little and it is where we take the boys each August. We arrive off the plane in Pisa and instantly feel like it’s summer.
Are you children bilingual, and how easy is it to teach your children two languages from birth?
Yes they are, although the little one is much less fluent in Italian than his brother. It really wasn’t planned or much of an issue – I grew up in a bilingual household and it was just normal that my mother spoke English to us and my father, Italian. That is how we do things at home – I speak in Italian wherever possible – and as they are gaining confidence, they are beginning to really enjoy experimenting in Mummy’s language. I think they find it fun to have that special bond.
Did you always want to be a jeweller, and what was the first piece of jewellery you made?
Yes, it came very naturally growing up surrounded by it every day – I think the first real piece of jewellery I designed was my 15th birthday present. A set of 3 identical white gold rings which I designed to be worn together and were a little flexible so they moulded to the shape of your finger. I argued for ages with my father about those rings!
What are the differences between jewellers in England and Italy?
I think it has changed a lot, for me at least, since I left Florence at 18 to study in New York. Back then I was very frustrated at Italy being so insular, and New York and the exposure to fashion and design there felt like a breath of fresh air. Now, I relish visiting our workshops in Florence, where little has changed and the artisans are definitely not following the latest trends. For them, it is all about craft, and that focus helps me in my own design process. London, I think sits halfway between those two worlds – it has a little bit of the best, and the worst, of both worlds.
You’ve travelled the world, but where do you consider home?
Now it’s London, for sure. With the boys being at school, this really feels like home where our regular family rhythm is. Although at some point in the future, both my husband and I would like to spend more time in Italy.
Who are you most excited to see wearing your jewellery?
Of course, seeing celebrities in magazines is exciting. Particularly when it is unexpected. But I think I am most excited to see women wearing my jewellery out and about – on a table next to me in a restaurant, or at a party – it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see things actually being used and enjoyed.
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t live without?
Easy. Baby wipes.
We’re absolutely mad about the latest collection, what’s in the pipeline for you?
Thank you! It’s been exciting to launch this latest Dusk and Dawn collection and especially to produce our own scented candles to match. Looking ahead, we are working on a few things. I have two new ‘themes’ that I am building a collection around, but it is rapidly becoming 2 collections! They will be in stores this summer.
We are also working on a new collection of cashmere scarves to begin to push the boundaries of the brand.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Someone who loves to relax, but often finds it a little difficult to do so.