Barbara Laws is a traditionally trained third generation goldsmith, she is dedicated in creating delicate timeless pieces that draw inspiration simply from colours, nature and art. Using raw and cut gem stones combined with precious metals, Gem&Tonic jewellery pieces are based on women, their personality and skin tone. As every woman and every gem stone is one of a kind the designs reflect uniqueness and range from playful to effortlessly elegant, always stylish and with a subtle, sophisticated edge.
This is a brand that we just can’t get enough of here at House of Coco so we spent some time with Barbara to find out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I launched Gem & Tonic in 2013. I am very passionate about matching gemstones with the right precious metals and when I’m designing a piece of jewellery for my clients, I want to make sure that it also complements their skin tone.
Jewellery should be very personal and my mission is to design matching and stylishly chic fine jewellery that completes my client’s wardrobe and at the same time reflects their personality. I decided to call my business Gem & Tonic. ‘Gem’ represents the jewellery side and ‘Tonic’ the colour consultancy.
What’s your background?
I was born in Austria into a family of goldsmiths. My grandparents and both my parents were jewellers so I decided to train as a Gold and Silversmith and started an apprenticeship with me eventually qualifying as Master Goldsmith. More than a decade ago, my British husband and I moved with our two very young children to Surrey. While focusing on bringing them up I helped to build our own marketing company. Now with the children ready to fly the nest, I decided to pursue my passion and picked up my tools again. I’ve always been fascinated by colours and their effects on people so I trained with Colourflair to become a colour consultant.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Not finding enough time to materialise all my ideas. Apart from designing for my clients I’m launching ring collections like my very successful Gembuds® and now my brand new collection “from A to Z”
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Creating a custom made design for Lewis D Weedon , Style Icon, Celebrity Stylist and Celeb Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust. And now to be featured in the latest HoC issue, thank you very much for having me.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Ojon oil for my hair to keep it frizz free, Eve Lom TLC cream and fragrance which is currently Escentric Molecules 01
… knowing your colours and knowing who you are. Style is an attitude and should be applied to all areas in life. It’s about self-respect.
Best thing about London to you?
It’s uniquely stylish and extraordinarily trendy.
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Definitely statement bag. It always feels good to hold on to a stylish bag whilst showing off my latest ring designs 😉
If you had to, what item from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
My Ugg boots! I’m useless with cold and they keep me warm but I only wear them at home and in my workshop.
Favourite love song?
The original version of ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’ by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
It is universal, it makes me happy.
Best place for a coffee?
On a busy piazza in Italy watching people go by.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Be careful with your thoughts and words, they are energy and will manifest in one way or another.
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On Neckar Island talking business and asking advice from the one and only Sir Richard Branson!
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
There are quite a few options like collaborations or franchise possibilities, however the nature of this concept is very personal and I would like to keep that somehow. It is extremely rewarding to help someone to find their colours and matching their jewellery with their wardrobe.
Where can people find out more?
Or Emal to Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org