I discovered this beautiful jewellery brand last year – I love its delicate, natural motifs – and I thought it would be nice to get to know its designer-maker a little better. Dublin-based Chupi Sweetman was aged just 21 when she was scouted by Topshop from her first year in college and became the youngest designer ever to work with the retailer.
“I went from scruffy student to serious designer overnight and I loved it. After six years in fast fashion I wanted to create something that would last, to celebrate Ireland’s design heritage and my love for wild beauty. I’ve always been fascinated by jewellery, how good jewellery, serious jewellery marks a moment, an event, a time in your life. I fell in love with sparkly things; every piece I make has a story, it’s where the magic is.”DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE WORKING DAY/WEEK
I don’t have an average day or working week. Depending on the time of year, I could be designing, plotting brand strategy or, like I will be in the next few weeks, in London exhibiting my new spring summer pieces at Scoop.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE YOUR OWN BOSS?I was the kid covered with glitter & glue, the one making some new crazy things out of papier mâché but I never thought I’d end up making beautiful sparkly jewellery as my career. I never set out to be my own boss but since I was scouted to be a womenswear designer it just worked out that way. I ran a hugely successful womenswear line for years before closing the company and moving into jewellery.
I’ve always adored jewellery so it seemed to be the natural progression for me. I adored designing clothing but I really loved the idea of jewellery being forever and it makes me so happy to think that something I’ve made will mark a special moment for someone.
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? HOW DO YOU LIKE TO WEAR CHUPI PIECES?
My personal style is sparkle and the more of it the better! Everything from sequin garments to the rings on my hands has to have a little bit of bling. That and layering, my pieces are all quite delicate so I like to layer and stack to introduce some drama.
ANY OTHER FAVOURITE BRANDS / PRODUCTS?
Oh this is a hard one. For bags I don’t think you can beat Mulberry, for candles I’m obsessed with Jo Malone and fashion wise I love exploring Wolf and Badger. We’re stocked there so anytime I pop in I always leave with something.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON YOUR PERFECT WEEKEND?
My perfect weekend would include a walk in the park with my wonderful husband and two dogs followed by some amazing food and if I’m lucky some wine.
TELL US ABOUT THE NEW CHUPI COLLECTIONS
The new collection is inspired by wild and natural things, beautiful glimmering gold and the sparkliest of gemstones.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS. Sparkly, bubbly and hardworking.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN? Stay true to yourself.