During a week celebrating the wonders of women, both International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday, we have been busy behind-the-scenes chatting to three superwomen about how they’ve juggled work, motherhood and family life during the pandemic. Today, we introduce you to Katie Service, author of The Beauty Brief & Beauty Editorial Director at Harrods
What is the most special piece of jewellery you own and why?
I have a little heart-shaped signet ring that I found in an antique shop in Cornwall and instantly fell in love with. There is something so simple and wearable about it – it goes with everything I wear and is a little different from the average signet ring. Plus, a psychic friend of mine tells me it was once a gift from a grandmother to a grandchild, which I kind of love. Antique jewellery is so special in that respect in that it has lived a life before you. There’s a charm to that.
Has your mother passed down or given you a piece of jewellery, and if so, what was the meaning behind it?
Haha – no, not yet! She is still hanging on to it all, but she has given me plenty of new jewellery over the years, and she lent a beautiful solitaire diamond pendant to me for my wedding day. That was very special. I can never get over how beautiful diamonds are. I could stare into them for hours.
From the SB collection, which piece have you fallen for most and why?
Definitely the diamond pendant/hoop earrings – wow – I have never worn such beautiful earrings. I can imagine that they elevate absolutely any outfit. In a very Vogue 1990s way, you could wear them with a T-shirt and jeans and look a million dollars or pair them with a gown to an event, and they would still stand out. They are classic, but there is still something very modern about them, especially since the pendants are hung from a hoop rather than a stud. I’m obsessed.
How has being a working mum been during lockdown – did you come up with any tricks that helped you cope?
Honestly? A mixed bag. I was lucky enough to spend the first lockdown with my parents, and so we had help while I worked. I have to admit. Although it was a stressful time, it was a real treat to leave my home office for a coffee mid-morning and get a hug from Aurelia at the same time. That never happened in the old days! This second lockdown has been harder as I am back in London in a smaller flat with just one room as my office and her playroom. She appears on many Zoom calls! Mostly though, I would say seeing her more in the day has been a real plus, and I am pleased that she can now be back in nursery having a semi-normal life with her little friends. Luckily 3-year-olds really have no concept of lockdown! She’s been loving life.
What would you say has been your biggest success in coming out of lockdown?
Can I say two? The first is publishing my skincare book, The Beauty Brief with Thames & Hudson. When the first box of books arrived on my desk, I cried with joy! And the second was launching my own crystal aromatherapy bracelet business. I started it on a very small scale before Christmas and have been overwhelmed by its continued popularity. Hand-making them on long lockdown evenings has brought me so much pleasure and has been quite cathartic. Plus, I adore getting feedback from people who have bought them, saying how they have found support and comfort in scenting and wearing them during this stressful time.
If you were to design a piece of jewellery to wear now and give to your child/children later down the line – what would it be?
Definitely a gold and gemstone Etruscan ring. I am obsessed with googling them and love spotting them in antique shops. One day I will buy one or have one made and then, yes, hand it down to Aurelia – I would put an amethyst in it because she is an Aquarius, and that’s her birthstone. So that when I wore it, I would always think of her. I think a ring, especially if you never take it off, is a lovely thing to hand down to your daughter or daughter-in-law – it has really become a part of you and your daily life, so you are passing on so much more than a piece of metal.