It was a follow on Twitter that caught my eye of this website- The Native State, which is a carefully curated collection of jewellery and accessories that are all handmade and have a uniqueness like no other. I have managaed to get an interview with Frankie, the Owner and Creator of The Native State...
1. How did the idea for The Native State first come about?
The actual idea of The Native State came together pretty quickly although the desire to own my own business had been brewing for many years. It all started when a friend introduced me to Spell and the Gypsy Collective just over a year ago and like most of us, I fell helplessly in love. From Spell I began discovering other incredible jewellery and accessories labels from across the globe and knew that I wanted to bring them to the UK market. So within about four months I came up with the name, raised some finance, produced a mock-up of my website and sent out my first email…to Spell. When they came back with a yes, it just started to grow from there and I knew The Native State was what I had always been dreaming about.
2. Why did you decide to start an e-commerce business?
My parents ran a bed and breakfast and as a child, I would take photographs of the local area and sell them to the tourists coming through town. I loved that feeling of creating something and people connecting with it enough to want to buy it. This was the beginning of my dream to own my own business. I didn’t want the financial outlay that comes with a bricks and mortar shop although we haven’t ruled out opening pop-up shops in the future. My customers are not just UK-based, having shipped orders to Norway, US, Canada and Australia. E-commerce allows me to open my doors to the world.
3. How do you source and select the pieces you stock?
Through one label you stumble across another. It is very important to me that everything I sell is something I would wear. I know, it is a little self-indulgent but if I don’t have a connection with a piece then I can’t expect others to. Ultimately that is what The Native State is about….connection to the pieces and connection with the individuals behind the designs. I just go with my gut when selecting pieces and it seems to be working so far.
I am very lucky that now the e-boutique is open, I have wonderful designers approaching me wanting to get involved. When I think of how I started, sending out emails with my mocked up pdf of the site, asking people to have faith in my words and belief in my concept, I can’t help but smile at how far The Native State has come…
4. What three words best describe The Native State aesthetic?
Indigenous inspired adornments
5. Do trends and the fashion seasons have an impact on you and what you buy?
Although I have yet to go through a fashion season I don’t feel it will have too much of an impact. Having labels from different hemispheres I am already dealing with different seasons. For me, the magic of jewellery is it is not weather dependant nor does it really go out of fashion. You can always reinvent it by changing how you where it –wear a necklace as a bangle or change anearring into a bag ring. It is all about you and your individual style.
6. Which of your e-store’s items have proved the most popular?
I have been so lucky with the labels that have wanted to get involved in The Native State and love that we sell well established labels but also provide a platform for up and coming designers.The Vanessa Mooney Longhorn necklace has proved popular from the beginning as has the Alushia Sanchia Arrowhead necklace. They are both just really cool designs which look great with everything. Spell is obviously really popular as they have such a dedicated fan base and our newest arrival, The 2 Bandits, is creating a real buzz too. We are the only UK stockist which is a really big deal to us.
7. Do you have a celeb style icon or muse you would love to represent The Native State?
I always think Sienna Miller, Mila Kunis and Drew Barrymore look great, feminine with a little bit of edge. However Erin Wasson is my total girl crush. She is just amazing. Sexy and cool and can rock an awesome tattoo too. The fact that she also happens to have her own jewellery label in LOWLUV is just a bonus and we would love to have it in store one day.
8. What do you hope to achieve with The Native State?
Quite simply if I can wake up each morning and love what I am doing, then I have achieved
everything I had hope with The Native State.
9. I love the Blog that is linked to The Native State site, tell me more about the blog and what its
I have been blogging for a few years. At first I created a blog called ‘The Fleeting Moment Project’ where people wrote in with advice they would give to their younger self if they had the chance to meet, for a fleeting moment. I was working at a dull desk job and the blog was my opportunity to be creative, putting images together with the words I was sent. So I see The Native State blog as an extension of the store and another opportunity for me to be creative, sharing news and inspired images with my customers.
10. Now a little more about you Frankie; What inspires you?
The saying by Ghandi ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ plays a significant part in
everything I do – I even have it tattooed on my shoulder! I feel so fortunate for everything I have and I am continuously inspired by the world around me. From the city I live in, the cities I have visited and places I hope to go to, my beautiful friends, the kindness of strangers and the love of a good man.My mum, sister and gran are also a huge source of inspiration - three strong, kind and beautiful human beings. The Native State is what it is from growing up with them standing by my side. They continue to inspire me on a daily basis, more than they will ever know.
11. How do you keep yourself busy other than your website?
I love to run and have been known to throw myself up and down hills on the weekend taking part in some sort of adventure run, the muddier the better. I have a bucket list and right at the top, is to run a marathon in every continent…I am two down, which ain’t bad!
12. In 10 years where do you see yourself?
I’ll be curled up on my sofa, cup of coffee in one hand, laptop open and my faithful dog by my feet(Dutch the dog, doesn’t exist yet but one day…) writing a response to one of The Native State’s customers. In essence I want The Native State to be doing what it is doing today – growing and evolving! I want to grow our customer base daily through word of mouth and continue to add new and well established names to our store. If I’m doing that in 10 years I will be a very happy lady!
13. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Edinburgh of course ;-) I live in a small suburb surround by independent retailers, coffee shops andparks. I can walk 15 minutes in one direction and be in the city centre and 15 minutes in the otherand be walking the Scottish countryside. I own a cute one bedroom flat which my boyfriend is in theprocess of moving in to and I am really enjoying seeing my home through new eyes. Oh but if you did forced me I might take three months out and live in Vancouver in the Summer. Ilived there in 2010 and I miss my friends, the creative spirit of the city, the sunshine and the outdoor lifestyle. A small part of me is most definitely Canadian…
14. Describe yourself in three words…
Grateful, content and free.
Here are two of the labels' campaigns that The Native State sell:
The 2 Bandits (Holiday 12 Campaign)
Here are some of the items that are on my wishlist and are soon to be ordered:
ALUSHIA SANCHIA Pyramid Poison Ring
ALUSHIA SANCHIA Arrow Pendant
SCOUT & CATALOGUE Rorschach Silk Scarf
KELLY MCALLISTER - Studded Top Knot
CEEK Turquoise Slab Stone Ring
These Prints are amazing- i can't wait to get my hands on one and frame it!
RIVER LUNA River Song - Large Signed Print
RIVER LUNA Elm Feathers - Small Signed Print
Take a Look.... @ The Native State
Take a Look.... @ The Native State