Meet the seller – Hiho Silver’s Emma Warren
PUBLISHED: 10:16 16 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:46 16 April 2015
Their equestrian-inspired pieces are a staple accessory at events around the UK. We caught up with Emma Warren, Director of popular silver jewellery makers Hiho Silver, to find out more about this Somerset brand
Have you always been creative?
Well, my early career couldn’t have been more different! I qualified as an accountant and worked in manufacturing. I started working with Hiho Silver a few years ago. I have always loved their silver and absolutely loved the creative process involved. Andrew and Caroline, the original founders of the company, taught me a lot - and our current team are all very creative. We bounce off each other and everyone designs new pieces. I know what things should look like, but can’t draw for toffee. Luckily, our artisan jewellers are very good at interpreting scribbles!
How did Hiho Silver come about?
Hiho originally started 20 years ago. Sat on a sack of potatoes travelling across to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, the original founders began a chance conversation between with an American called Willy. He introduced them to Mexico and they started selling silver jewellery at Horse Trial Events up and down the country soon after. Lots of things have happened along the way, but we’re very lucky that we’ve always had great people working for us and that makes a big difference. Now, we do about 35 shows a year, from the Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials to the Chelsea Flower Show. Plus there are two shops, in Sherborne and Dorchester, and our website.
Talk us through your range of products
We go from ‘posh frocks to wellies’ – meaning that our jewellery takes you through the day. Hiho is based in the country and has always had a strong ethos of providing classic quality pieces at affordable prices. We want customers to be able to wear Hiho pieces all the time if they choose to, so we don’t do flimsy! We want people to feel special when they wear our jewellery or receive it as a gift – so we work hard to make that happen. Silver, pearls and leather are strong features within our brand and we mix them up to create stylish pieces with a difference. From our leather strap bracelets with a Hiho exclusive slider charm on, through to our classic pearl and knot pieces – many of our classics are recognisable as Hiho pieces. We’ve also just started plating elements of favourite silver pieces with 22ct gold plate to provide a crossover collection for people who like silver, but also wear gold.
Do you have a favourite product?
It’s really hard to choose. I tend to wear the same pieces for months as they are so wearable, so I’ll tell you what I’m wearing today. A large turquoise pendant on a snake chain, our Suki bangle stacked with a new 22ct gold-plate and a bespoke piece called the Lone Ranger bracelet! For going out I would normally pick our Bobbly necklace or a Pearl and Knot piece.
What would you say is your signature piece or style?
Definitely our country silver – particularly the Equestrian pieces – the snaffle bracelet is a definite must for any Hiho fan.
Where do you get your style inspiration from?
Our everyday lives, horses, farms and the countryside.
Can you describe your workspace?
I work from a converted piggery on a small farm in the Blackdown Hills. There are stunning views, plus I have the chance to walk the dogs and cope with our young boys on holiday from school. I’m very lucky to be able to do that.
What’s a typical work day like for you?
My days vary so much. I can be working on email campaigns, writing copy, talking about upcoming shows and finding potential partners to work with on promotions. Or I could be working out how to source a particular piece, taking photos for social media or working on new designs with the team.
Can you share an interesting or unusual fact about Hiho Silver?
All Hiho’s amazing employees have great names like the Countess of Contentment, Duchess of sterling, Queen bee, King of the road - which all connect with their roles within the company. For example the Duchess of Sterling deals with the accounts and the Countess of Contentment keeps all of our customers happy and content.
If you want to see more of Hiho Silver’s elegant silver creations, head over to the Great British Life Shop.