A Bright New Business
A special request from a close friend reignited Tanicia Hayton’s passion for jewellery making and inspired her to set up her own business, writes Kate Ford. Photography: Phil Garlington
From her small studio, tucked away in a picturesque corner of rural Lancashire, Tanicia Hayton creates unique pieces of jewellery which, in her words, are inspired by sculpture, symbolism and subcultures.
Working mainly with silver and a variety of gemstones, Tanicia creates beautiful rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings, each piece individually crafted so no two items are the same. Although one or two are specifically for men or women, Tanicia would describe most of her quirky designs as androgynous pieces which could be worn by anyone.
“It’s not so clear cut anymore, who will wear what,” says Tanicia, “and I very rarely design a piece with a specific gender in mind. People ask me is your jewellery for men or women and I say it’s for anyone who loves it!”
Tanicia launched her business only this year, selling her jewellery through her website and also at TOTI, the shop and delicatessen which is part of The Cartford Inn at Little Eccleston.
“The Inn is owned and run by my aunt, Julie Beaume, and her husband Patrick,” explains Tanicia. “My cousin, Jeanie, looks after the shop and she was more than happy to give me some space for my jewellery. We put in a display and, three days later, made our first sale.”
For as long as she can remember, Tanicia has loved to draw and paint and, after school, she took a foundation course in art at Blackpool and The Fylde College. Naturally creative and quick to draw inspiration from both people and places, Tanicia began designing detailed and ornate headpieces. “They were definitely inspired by Jeanie, because we loved to dress up when we were younger,” she says.
Viewing the headpieces, one of Tanicia’s tutors commented that she would be good at jewellery design, and this encouraged her to go to university in London where she undertook a three-year degree course in that very discipline.
After graduating, though, Tanicia found herself moving in another direction. “For three years, I’d immersed myself so totally in jewellery making that I felt I needed a break from it,” she says. “Thanks to my Cartford family, hospitality is in my blood, so I decided to take a job in a restaurant in Notting Hill.”
Tanicia loved Notting Hill life, socialising with friends, working hard in the restaurant and still painting in her flat whenever she could. Within four years, she was managing the restaurant, but her thoughts were turning to a new, creative challenge.
“Notting Hill inspired me massively,” says Tanicia. “Through the restaurant, I met creative and successful people, like Stella McCartney and John Paul Gautier, who made me think seriously about running my own creative business. Moving back home was a positive step towards making it happen.”
Back in Lancashire, Tanicia worked for her father and continued painting and drawing. She displayed some of her artwork at The Cartford Inn but she still hadn’t made any jewellery since being at university.
Then, in December 2016, she received a very special request from Shee, the fiancée of her cousin, Jeanie.
“He asked me to design and create an engagement ring for her,” says Tanicia. “He said he trusted me to create something she would love, so I unearthed my old jewellery toolbox and set about the task in hand.”
When Shee presented Jeanie with the 9-carat, white gold band with a diamond, she absolutely loved it and it was made even more special by being created by her cousin. As for Tanicia, the whole process made her fall in love with jewellery design all over again.
A year later, she has several jewellery collections to her name. Using gemstones like emeralds, rose quartz, amethyst and sandstone, she creates pieces which reflect the landscapes and cities she has seen. She shows me her Cap Ferret collection, inspired by the blue waters and white sands of the chic resort on the Atlantic coast of France, a part of the world where she spent many childhood summers.
Other pieces are influenced by medieval artefacts, gothic sculptures or simply the people she has met. There will soon be a Notting Hill Collection, inspired by the urban glamour of the Notting Hill mums.
Next year, Tanicia hopes to open a small shop and studio at The Cartford Inn, where customers will be able to watch her work as well as buy her jewellery. “I’ve been influenced by so many places and people all my life, but it was Jeanie’s engagement ring which made me start making jewellery again, so The Cartford Inn will be the perfect setting for my business.”