This week we have not just one but two fabulous Willow women from Edinburgh-based Pretty Pink Eco Jewellery. Pretty Pink was founded by fashion enthusiast and jewellery designer Ilana Ewing, who had the brilliant and compelling idea of bringing new designs and materials from the Amazon Rainforest, 60% of which is located in her native Brazil, to the ever-changing and developing fashion scene of Edinburgh. In 2018 Ilana partnered with fellow Edinburgh resident and Brazil native Amalia Wragg to create stunning, vividly coloured jewellery that allowed them to showcase the wonder of their country of origin to the European market which was waiting for something new and unique to come along. Taking care of the planet is key to Ilana and Amalia and only use ethically sourced materials such as tagua, otherwise known as vegetable ivory, the harvesting of which creates tens of thousands of jobs for South American residents. From the skilled hands of workers from small cooperatives who polish the tagua, drill holes and dye the precious materials it is then Ilana and Amalia who affectionately and delicately hand make every jewellery piece here in Edinburgh.
1) How did your business come about?
Ilana - Wow it seems like a long, long time now, but it all started with a trip to the Amazon and the feeling of being homesick while living here.
Amalia - Ilana has started back in 2005, she will let you know more about it....however I joined in 2018 as I saw the potential Pretty Pink has
2) What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business?
Ilana - Start today and embrace the transformation to your like. You and your job will become one.
Amalia - Be prepared for criticism and people often saying no to you. Believe in yourself.
3) What's the best thing about being your own boss? What's the worst?
Ilana - Best thing is the freedom to make your own decisions and I guess the worst would be, to be prepared to face the consequences of those decisions, but only if they don't work out.
Amalia - Best is being able to have control of your life/schedule Worst is working non stop as I feel I need to be available 24/7.
4) How has lockdown been for you? What coping mechanism works for you? Have you had to adapt your business to fit in with the 'new normal'?
Ilana - We started retailing online. We have been very busy. I think for me in particular it was the challenge to work at home with the family also at home 24/7.
Amalia - Lockdown has been challenging at times, I feel like I have never worked so hard in my life, however being focused and having to adapt our business to a more focused online base has definitely helped.
5) Where's your 'Happy Place'?
Ilana - When I am creating 🥰
Amalia - Definitely my happy place is on the beach.
6) What's your favourite song?
Ilana - Depends on my mood, but I love Bossa Nova!
Amalia - Heroes - David Bowie
7) Who would play you in a movie?
Ilana - Blank 🥴
Amalia - Scarlet Johansson
8) What did you want to be when you were younger?
Ilana - A fashion designer
Amalia - Be a teacher
9) What advice would you give your younger self?
Ilana - Don't care too much of others think of you and don't try to please everyone.
Amalia - Live life to the fullest and go after your dreams!
Thanks for taking part ladies. You can see their stunning range of jewellery here https://www.willowboutique1.co.uk/pretty-pink-eco-jewellery