Ford + Harris (also known as F+H Jewellery), is quickly becoming a pioneering force in the fashion industry. Launched in early 2014, F+H Jewellery has already gained an incredible reputation as Australia’s tough-luxe jewellery brand, and has been worn by numerous celebrities such as Margot Robbie, Lara Bingle, Jessica Gomes, Jennifer Hawkins and Jesinta Campbell.
Created in Thailand by artisan jewellers with over 50 years experience, F+H Jewellery epitomises high-quality craftsmanship and uses the highest quality materials to enforce pure luxury. With a focus on designing modern designs with a strong clean-lined aesthetic, F+H Jewellery is carving out a strong name for itself in the fashion world, and is definitely a brand to watch.
I chatted to one half of F+H Jewellery, the gorgeous Sharona Harris, who gave me an inside look in to her life as a jewellery designer, her tips on how to make it as an entrepreneur, and how to look stylish all the time!
Tell me the F+H Jewellery story. How did you begin? Did you always know you wanted to be a jewellery designer?
I have always loved fashion and worked in fashion-related industries however never thought I would go down the path of jewellery designing! A good friend who I was actually working with when I began the business was the one who suggested starting a jewellery brand and so here I am! I was very excited about the idea as I saw a gap in the market for luxe statement jewellery that wasn’t bohemian, or a copy cat brand… so to create something original with a strong, tough-luxe aesthetic was not only a great creative outlet but a good business idea.
Who is the F+H Jewellery woman?
She is strong, independent and effortlessly cool. She loves going out on the weekend, wearing her favourite leather jacket with some bold statement earrings with messy hair, minimal makeup and a wicked sense of humour.
What have you learnt about business and entrepreneurship since starting F+H Jewellery?
That it’s tough! Owning your own business is a dream in that you can set your own hours and follow your own ideas, however this comes at a price. You work everyday and so you need to be really passionate about what you are doing. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, people are generally very generous and you can learn most things by just asking a lot of questions!
What is the best advice you can give to someone who is aspiring to start their own business in the fashion industry?
I come across a lot of people that start small brands but actually don’t know anything about marketing or running a business, so unfortunately they don’t last very long. The key thing to remember the product is only a small portion of what will make you successful, there is no point having a great product if no one knows about it… so spend some time thinking about your marketing and distribution before you embark on starting a brand.
Your typical day looks like?
I wake up at 6am and head to yoga (which keeps me sane). When I get home I check emails and pack orders. After that every day is different, I could be researching designs, updating my website, styling a shoot or sending out press releases. I try to take a break around 5pm for a swim or walk and then flick over emails and Instagram when I get home. By 8:30pm I am in bed early reading a book or watching a movie and asleep by 10pm…. Ready to do it all again!
Do you get to travel much for F+H Jewellery? If so, where’s the spot you’re dying to go back to the most?
Travel is mostly interstate for quick meetings, so no glamorous jet-setting yet! I would absolutely love to do a New York trade show next year though… fingers crossed.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere… watching old movies, Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, nature… once you get an idea there are so many ways you can now research it which is fantastic.
Your favourite F+H Jewellery piece at the moment is? How would you choose to style it?
The “Richie” cross earrings are a must-have. They are super-cool and can be styled by day with a t-shirt and jeans for a casual look or by night they look amazing with a little black dress. They give your look just enough tough-luxe styling, without being too risqué!
What is your ultimate style advice?
Avoid following trends. Find a style that you love and that suits your lifestyle and body type and invest in good quality pieces and accessories to last a lifetime. Who wants to look like everyone else anyway?
Is there a particular businesswoman you look up to and admire?
I look up to so many young women that are giving it a go! I have an amazing networking of young, strong and confident friends that have their own businesses (Peony Swimwear, All That Remains, Vale Denim) and they are all amazing!
What does the future look like for F+H Jewellery?
It’s looking good! We will be working on national distribution for 2016 and then next the US… bring on New York!
Image credits: F+H Jewellery