CATHERINE RHYS JONES – FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF JEWELLERY BRAND CATCH RHYS
Tell us a little about yourself and your career background?
My passion has always been within creative fields. I studied Fine Art and have worked as an artist and painting teacher alongside other jobs for much of my career. I started Catch Rhys with the purpose of providing fine jewellery at an honest price point without compromising on design, quality or the planet’s wellbeing.
How did your background and experiences lead you to start your business?
I worked briefly in Fashion PR after graduating university and decided pretty quickly that I wanted a more creative career and to be my own boss – plus I really wanted to get a dog! I took some short courses in jewellery making with the original idea of creating a more handmade/design-led brand. However, once I got started I noticed that everyone kept asking me the same questions: where could they buy solid gold hoops, chains and rings at an affordable price. People were tired of spending money on plated jewellery that didn’t stay gold or turned their skin green. From there I noticed a real gap in the market for more affordable, simple precious metal jewellery, and Catch Rhys was born.
What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?
Perseverance is key – it’s taken me a long time to get to this point and there have definitely been days where I have wanted to give up, but my belief in myself and what I’m doing has kept me going. Many people have good ideas but the people who succeed are the ones who put the work in and carry on through thick and thin. If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing!
Catch Rhys is a British business, created and made in Britain. How important is this heritage to your business?
Keeping the production of the jewellery in Britain was really important to me from the start. Not only is it a much more sustainable option in terms of carbon footprint but it also allows me to support the incredible craftsmen that we have here at our disposal. The jewellery industry as a whole is full of smoke and mirrors, marketing jargon and a lack of honesty meaning that consumers are being charged insane mark ups by brands and aren’t really aware of what exactly it is that they are buying. Working with British manufacturers has enabled me to create a more traceable supply chain and to offer my customers a more honest insight into the jewellery industry.
Sustainability is very important to Catch Rhys’ business. What can other businesses do to improve their environmental footprint?
I personally don’t think you can start a business in this day and age and not consider your impact on the environment. The big issue is really around consumption; people have become too accustomed to buying new things all the time and not really considering the impact that has on the planet. It is the big, fast fashion brands that really need to make a change in how they are marketing themselves – too many people are buying things that are used once and then thrown away. That’s why with Catch Rhys, not only am I trying to make products in the most sustainable way possible, I am also trying to encourage people to buy less and buy better.
From where do you find your creative inspiration?
London and everything in it! I’m a born-and-bred Londoner, so have been fortunate enough to have access to its amazing people and culture all my life. When I really need inspiration, I love going to exhibitions – next on my list is Frank Bowling at the Tate Britain.
What’s next for Catch Rhys?
We have some exciting new products launching soon, including a range of clip on charms so you can customise your jewellery. We also have some charity collaborations in the pipeline, which I’m excited about. Watch this space…
Follow the latest updates from Catch Rhys here.