Getty Images/Michael Stillwell
Back when Hayley Jones, the founder of Welsh jewelry brand Spells of Love, was building up her small business, she decided to take a gamble: she came across Kate Middleton’s stylist’s contact information and emailed her. “Even though I wasn’t sure if it was correct or not,” she tells T&C, “I thought, ‘I’ll give it a go and try.'” It worked. According to Jones, the stylist got back to her and requested two pairs of earrings, and a week later Kate stepped out wearing one of her $104 Alia gold hoops in Wales.
That was two years ago, and since then the Duchess of Cambridge has added a few other dainty pieces to her collection: a $145 double-chained necklace and another pair of $66 gold hoop earrings that she has repeatedly worn in the last month—most recently in Belize during her and William’s eight-day overseas tour of the Caribbean.
It’s been a whirlwind few years to say the least, says the Welsh designer, and the “Kate Effect” has certainly gone into effect for her business. “It’s completely surreal. Kate’s really helped put the company on the map,” she notes. “I’ve had lots of customers—lots from the U.S. and lots from Japan, Peru, Hong Kong, countries that I never would have expected to ever know about the brand.”
But while the buzz-worthy company has only been making waves in recent years, Jones’s story actually began in 2016, when she decided to quit her job as project photographer and pursue a career in designing affordable, demi-fine jewelry that was also ethically and sustainably made. “I started making and selling my own jewelry on Etsy and absolutely loved it and knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she recalls. Since then, she’s had to enlist her sister-in-law to help her as the brand has grown immensely with not only Kate donning her baubles, but Kendall Jenner too.
When it came to creating unique pieces, Jones wanted to design with the intention of customers being able to wear them for all types of occasions. Explains Jones, “[It’s] kind of the idea of circular fashion—everyday jewelry that you can wear constantly.” Which perhaps is why the Duchess of Cambridge has gravitated towards the golden trinkets over the royal jewels she’s amassed time and time again. Though she’s “not entirely sure” whether that’s the case, there’s one thing the ever-so-humble Jones is certain of: how grateful she is for Kate and the impact she’s had on Spells of Love. “It’s been absolutely amazing,” she says of the success. “I still can’t believe it.”
And as for other pieces she’d like to see Kate wear? That’s hard to choose because “she looks good in everything,” jokes Jones, before adding that she thinks the brand’s new pearl drop hoops will suit the royal best. We’ll just have to wait and see whether she does so or not, but for the time being, adds Jones, “I am really honored that she has [chosen] to wear me.”
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