Julia Speed is a jewellery designer with a difference. Her designs in silver and gold are “contemporary, with a chic, bohemian and sometimes rock and roll twist”. Her work has been featured in Vogue – a testament to her unique and striking designs.
Working out of her pop-up shop in Old Market, Julia creates custom orders, original designs, engagement and wedding bands which she also sells online. The pieces that Julia has selected for Bristol24/7 are items from her LOVE collection - perfect for Valentine’s Day. “Show someone how much you really care with a custom, made to order item of jewellery,” she says. “Nothing says LOVE more than jewellery embossed with LOVE.”
Passion is something that Julia puts into every piece she creates and she is inspired by “everyday things around me”. “Sometimes I can be walking in the street and I spy things. Like an elastic band shaped like a heart, discarded on the floor. That one thing can inspire me entire range. In the cringey, vomit-inducing words of Wet Wet Wet: ‘love Is all around’.”
Julia takes inspiration from Bristol itself and its “unique set of influences”. “The different cultures that settled in Bristol, its green and gorgeous surroundings, its strong and unique music scene, as well as the festival crews and the can-do attitudes of small designers and makers willing to test things out and support each other.”
Creating original one-off pieces is a time-consuming and surprisingly dangerous business. “As a general rule there are a lot of potentially dangerous tools to use which are lots of fun; saws to cut the metal, acid to clean the metal and flames to melt and shape the metal.”
Julia has chosen to donate the profits from her Bristol24/7 sales to Retrak, a charity that works with street children in Africa.
“I recently travelled to Uganda to document Retrak’s work and see what they were all about. Their motto is ‘a world where no one child lives on the street’.
“I came back in awe of the staff and their selfless work as well as admiring the children’s strength and courage.” As all of Julia’s work is custom made any items you order will take between two to five days to create so don’t leave it till the last minute for Valentine’s Day gifts.
www.juliaspeed.com / www.retrak.org