I’ll admit that when I used to think of fine jewelry, images of dusty heart pendants and grandma-style clip-on earrings would pop into my head. But that was before Fancy Gray Design came along (totally my bad). Founded by husband-and-wife team, Lydia and Alan, Fancy Gray Design is a modern line of jewelry focused on timeless and simple design, but at friendly (read: affordable) prices.
Launched in January 2017 (around the same time that Lydia gave birth to their second child, Navy, now 16 months; big brother Hoxton is 4), these two are relishing their growing biz and family. And, it really is a team effort. Alan has been in the diamond and jewelry industry for over 15 years as a diamond specialist, diamond cutter and jewelry designer, specializing in bridal jewelry (sayyesdiamonds.com), minus the extreme mark-ups that are sometimes used by other brands. Lydia — who has a fine arts background — has a unique eye for jewelry and fashion (she’s even got a gorg IG feed, @fancygray). On working together, they say it’s easy. “We are very like-minded, and things flow well between us. When we run ideas by each other we usually agree on the result. Luckily, we both have the same taste in design, so it’s an easy process,” says Lydia. “We know our roles and try to focus on our strengths. It’s very important to ask for help when you need it.”
Shop Talk with Lydia and Alan
How would you describe your jewellery?
“We create simple, timeless fine jewelry for the everyday wear. Accessible to everyone and anyone who wants to feel fancy. We consider ourselves the Basic-T shirt of Jewellery; start with Fancy Gray Design and then you layer.”
What was your ‘a-ha’ moment for creating Fancy Gray?
“We are both really obsessed with fashion and fashion jewelry. We also wanted to start something that would give us a creative outlet together. Being in the industry already, we were able to take advantage of what was right in front of us, and set out to create simple, elegant solid gold jewelry at a really affordable price. We wanted to show the world that you can have staple jewelry items that are solid gold and real natural diamonds for much less then you thought. That was important to us.”
How did you get to where you are today?
With a lot of patience, creative flow and staying true to our brand. You always have a vision when you begin a new venture, and then you find that the market may dictate slight changes. As long as you are aware of the tweaks needed while staying true to who you are, you’ll ultimately be successful. Our philosophy has always stayed the same: We believe in fair pricing for quality, real gold jewellery. [As a new business] it’s important to find who you are first, create your identity, then follow it throughout the look and feel of the business.”
Describe your typical workday
“Day to day tasks might not sound interesting but we always have fun! Once the kids are fed and one of them off to school, we set out by sorting through orders and packaging what needs to be shipped out. But the best part is coming together and brainstorming new designs.We bring out new pieces on a monthly basis so we are always bouncing ideas off each other. Creativity is key!”
What is the thing you love most about Fancy Gray?
“We truly love our brand and the fact we can create new pieces constantly. We really love that we can operate this online. Combining that with the occasional pop ups, the freedom we have is what we love most.”
Share 3 things that some people don’t know about you.
We got married after knowing each other for only 6 months. When you know you know!!
For some reason we love to move. It may be strange to some, but we’ve lived in 5 houses in 5 years. A forever home is a concept we’ll never understand.
Lydia is an amazing baker! She is the baker in the house. And Alan loves to cook. We’re always trying anything new and interesting. We make a good pair!
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?
“Just do what you love. If you can do what you love, even if there are struggles at times, you’ll be happy every day.”
All photos courtesy of Fancy Grey Design