On a blustery day last week, I went down to The Daisy for a chat with the lovely Sinead Flood owner of July Child- a platform for a curated collection of worldwide cult jewellery. We talked all sorts including her brand, personal style and what it is like being a young woman breaking into the business world.
KT: Tell me about July Child? What is it and how did it start?
SF: So, July Child launched in May 2017. I previously worked in sales in the sports industry and I was living in London at the time. However, I’ve always had a serious passion for fashion and jewellery, and it wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties I had a bit of a ‘quarter laugh crisis’ (she laughs) and I just wanted something different.
I have always loved travelling the world, and one of my favourite things to do when I am abroad is to go hunt out all the amazing places the locals would shop and buy clothes and jewellery. I have always collected brands from my travels and I just love the stories accessories can tell – I can look down and my hands and think ‘oh that ring is from New York’ and it reminds me of certain memories and experiences every day. So I suppose July Child didn’t come out of an urge to please the masses – it was just sort of what I did anyway. It is just an extension of me.
KT: How would you describe the character of your brand?
SF: July Child focuses on bringing brands together that have a similar alignment. To tell you the truth it is a bit of a personal brand inspired by my own taste which works closely with other brands to create an online boutique of jewellery filled with unique, quirky bits of pieces – a treasure chest of jewels if you will. Every time you go on the website there should be new pieces to find. I still meet every designer I work with and how they run their business is very important to me- you know, ethically made and products made by hand. I intrinsically like bespoke brands, and enjoy the ‘treasure hunt’ of finding jewellery from abroad – that has never left me and it is no different to when I first started and I was just doing it for me.
KT: So what were the first steps to thinking you could turn your passion into a business?
SF: It was in New York City actually where I came across a designer in the East Village. She is an amazing designer who long story short tried to recruit me. I ended up working her pop up in London and after that she wanted me to come work in NYC. I didn’t end up going to New York, and instead, I just put everything into starting up July Child.
KT: So which designers do you work with? Anyone, I’d know?
SF: Well I have about 20 different brands at the moment which is amazing considering I started with just three back in the day! Working with the makers is the best bit. It is an industry of females and they are ALL incredibly kind, smart women which is so refreshing. Everyone wants to support and complement each other. It is an industry of treasure hunters working with precious stones and everyone wants to share it with you. It is a beautiful thing.
KT: Who are you loving at the moment?
Well, I love them all (she laughs), but the latest editions to the brand is designers like Cory Moranis who makes these almost gobstopper style rings which are amazing! I’ve got Susan Alexandra who created the original beaded bag which are really popular. There is also a UK designer called Susan Alexandra who makes these super cute grocery beads that go on earrings and necklaces.
On the whole, I look for anything fun that takes a playful spin on something. My brands come from the US, Australia, Paris and Berlin as well as Eastern Europe and as far as Bali.
KT: What do you like the most about your job? Or your business should I say!
SF: Definitely producing content. I love the shooting, styling, and mood boarding. It’s great having free reign to be creative. I work with a great photographer Sophie Traynor and when we shoot we just feel like we are working on something amazing and something big/magical. I love it.
KT: Was it a natural leap into starting your own business or was it something you never imagined you would do?
SF: Well I have a family of entrepreneurs which provides a lot of positive faith. When we were little, my family was very open in conversation and very interactive with us about business while encouraging us to be creative. So the idea of taking the leap was never alien. I thought about the idea and the business for about a year before taking the leap. I was in the risk zone in my 20s where I had the space to take risks, you know- now or never. And it turns out it was the best decision I ever made. I have met so many amazing people and am constantly learning and evolving as a person.
KT: What were the first few weeks like? Stressful? Surreal perhaps?
SF: First few weeks of launching there was a difficult family crisis that affected us all. That put a bit of a dark cloud on things and made it hard to focus on solely work. But slowly it began to grow. From family and friends ordering to gradually building a small community of people I connected with, it began to tick along. The small community continued to grow, and I even started having amazing spikes of hype around the brand.
KT: That is incredible! What advice would you give someone starting out in the world in business?
SF: First and foremost, owning a business isn’t about making money or just to say you ‘own a business’. It has to be something you love and are passionate about. I always thought if I wanted to stand out, I had to always be me and stay true to my own distinctive taste. So many businesses fail because they grow too fast and lose their spark, their core or go back on their original mission statement. So don’t do that. Also, learn that it is not all about luck!
KT: What was/is it like breaking through that as a female businesswoman?
SF: I suppose it is a bit different in jewellery. There are some industries like journalism and television where there is a big struggle and issues with for instance the gender pay gap. But as long as we keep progressing and talking about it the world will move forward. There will be no difference between being a guy and being a woman in terms of what we can bring to the table and what we are capable of.
KT: And how does it affect you personally?
SF: Personally, I’ve always been ballsy about it and I think that is because I have been brought up with amazing men. For instance, my brothers are the perfect examples of inclusive, forward-thinking men so I’ve never felt like I’ve been knocked back for just being a woman.
As females, we are on the way to getting where we need to be. People are speaking out and social media has massively helped with providing a platform in which our voices can be heard. Rallying together with the amazing women I work within the jewellery industry means that empowering women are everywhere. They are just ingrained into me too, my mum is a strong powerful woman and a very dominant figure in her friendship group and family. It’s all I know and I am so grateful for it.
KT: What are the highs and the lows of the experience thus far?
SF: I am not a person of extremes. Every single day there is something really nice, from a message from a customer saying it’s their favourite brand or when someone I idolise like Jodie Comer starts following the brand. The little things make me really happy. Small victories need to be celebrated and then we crack on and start working hard again. As for the lows, I can’t stand rude people! (She Laughs) There’s a lot of keyboard warriors who forget you’re an actual person and I take it personally because I care so much about what people say. It doesn’t happen very often but it does feel like they are out to get you.
KT: What’s next for July Child?
SF: As for the next step for the brand, I just want to keep doing what we are doing continue to grow. We’ve been growing very organically with very little investment in marketing. Now I want to use my marketing background, look for investors to grow in a very measured way without losing what we are about. Want to get involved with more pop-up shops too.
You can browse the stunning treasure trove of July Child using the button below. It was a pleasure talking Sinead and we wish her all the best with her already flourishing business – long may it reign!