Tessa Packard is the founder and creative director of jewellery label Tessa Packard London. Launched in 2013, the brand specialises in creating unique, fun fine jewellery that turns heads and makes people smile, whilst pushing a few boundaries at the same time.
Tessa herself has been obsessed with design since a young age. By ten she was curating her own curiosity cabinets with found objects from the woods and fields; by twelve she was designing catwalk clothes for imaginary clients; at fifteen she started making felt handbags for her school friends; and somewhere beyond that she decided to pursue a career in the world of art and design and have some fun along the way. Tessa is also passionate about the great outdoors, her beloved ponies, wire-haired dachshunds, frozen yogurt ice cream and classic martinis and would have loved to have been an Argentinian gaucho in another life.
I love working in the jewellery industry because….
It’s so full of opportunity, especially for a brand like us that likes to be a bit different from the herd and explore the unexplored. Presently, the sector is looking very favourably on innovation, which has not always been the case. When we first started making hi-lo jewellery (mixing precious with non-precious stones and metals) we sometimes felt met with a cloud of scepticism. Nowadays, any feelings of resistance to change are long-gone – authentic creativity, innovation and individuality is very much actively encouraged and embraced in the industry by clients, buyers and press alike.
Tessa Packard is best known for…
Creating narrative-rich, design-led fun, fine jewellery at all price points, and a comprehensive bespoke service too.
My biggest achievement to date is…
Learning to keep things in perspective. In the past, I used to emotionally suffer when things in the business didn’t go right. I was very hard on myself because I care. Over time, I have come to realise that ultimately my brand should never matter as much to me as my family and loved ones do. So if Tessa Packard London never grows to the size I want it to, or generates the profits that I’d like it to, or for some reason it just fails, I now like to think that I will be able to remember the bigger picture: that there is more to life than jewellery and love is really all we need.
At Tessa Packard, I am inspired by…
Curiosity cabinets, nature, the kooky and the whimsical, paradox and juxtaposition and lots and lots of colour.
The current jewellery trends we’re loving are…
Chunky 18ct yellow gold engagement rings. More and more we are being asked to create bespoke engagement rings that look more like cocktail rings than traditional, solitaire engagement rings. This makes me particularly happy because I am a fundamental, signed-up, fully-paid believer in the church of yellow gold and weighty cocktail rings.
My bespoke jewellery is so special because…
I feel I can offer clients a very wide range of styles and budgets to choose from. Most bespoke jewellers are limited to designing work in one or two distinct styles. I pride myself as being the opposite – I can basically create anything in any style and adapt as needed to the client’s brief. Take engagement rings as an example. I’ve done modern and architectural, art deco and geometric, flowery and organic, chunky and bold, delicate and ethereal, eccentric and unusual, low budget and very high budget. I’ve also taken on projects and commissions that aren’t typical and normal to a bespoke engagement ring jeweller, such as a request to work with precious jade set in resin. I think that’s why a lot of clients come to me – because I’m adaptable, don’t have a rule book and they know I’ll give it a go.
My favourite place in the world to skip the crowds is…
Home in Scotland. The weather is predominantly crap but there’s no mobile signal and more sheep than people which makes for total bliss when you need to escape, unwind or be very focussed on design.
My upcycle collection is all about….
Plastic! Plastic Fantastic is a whimsical collection of jewellery inspired by the spirit and the glamour of the 1950s pool party. Set in steamy Florida, this collection is a story about sunshine, candy stripes, tropicalia, sweetheart necklines, cabana culture and the promise of something better. The use of plastics throughout this collection is intentional. Mid-century America saw an enormous boom in plastic production, including in the world of fashion and jewellery. Fast-forward seventy years on and most of it now lies unloved and discarded, with no material value. Plastic Fantastic takes vintage lucite plastic jewellery components and up-cycles them into new, modern, super cool designs. The aim is to show that pre-loved costume jewellery can be transformed into beautiful, timeless pieces; and that plastic can have a place in the world of fine jewellery – you just need to be prepared to look at things in new ways.
And finally, what’s next for Tessa Packard….
Something completely unexpected, but that’s all I can say right now.
Related Article: Engagement Ring Trends You Need To Know For 2023