MY LIFE (IN A NUTSHELL):
My favourite activities on childhood holidays and weekends away were swimming, learning to sail and waterski, cove-hopping around Greek Islands, and endlessly following fish with my goggles and snorkel on. When my family upped sticks and moved from Oxford to a small town on the East Coast of Spain when I was 13 I couldn’t have been happier. I have always had an affinity with the water, so to spend my teenage years on the sand was a dream come true - even our school PE lessons were on the beach!
At 15 years old, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and took my diving qualification, which allowed me finally to experience the underwater world properly, something I now do all over the world, as often as I can! I returned from Spain to finish my last two years of school in Oxford, then spent four years at the University of Liverpool, including one at the Universidad de Alicante studying Spanish and Portuguese.
However, that path did not set me alight and a yearning for a more creative outlet led me to about-tack into jewellery and silversmithing once I had graduated. I spent four years training under Nerissa Parker at the Kingham Jewellery School and David Hart at The Guild of Handicraft in Chipping Camden, learning as much as I could and slowly building up a catalogue of tools. I initially began working under the name JHWSilver, creating bespoke commissions of everything from rings to teapots.
One such commission was from a professor who asked me to create a bracelet for his niece. I was very fortunate to be given access to a Natural History Collection, so I was able to design and make her bracelet from a mould I took from a Seahorse in the collection. When I was finished, there was one silver seahorse left over. Not wanting to waste it (and with his permission of course) I set a pair of aquamarines in the eyes, turned it into a necklace and wore it on my upcoming diving trip to Mexico.
The seahorse was such a a hit that I came I home with orders to make more and, before I knew it, my two loves - silversmithing and diving - had combined and the Ocean Collection was born. From there I developed the range to include all the nature-inspired pieces in the Wild & Fine range today.
The scuba diver in me always heads towards the sea. As far as dream destinations go, I couldn’t pick just one (my list is extensive and ever growing), but take me to the warmest waters where the fish are prolific, and sharks are plentiful, and I can take my surface interval in the sunshine, with a coconut in hand. That said, my next dream destination would be Belize
THE LITTLE THING I DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
I always wear reef-safe sunscreen. It is an easy decision between one product or another that can make a huge difference to our marine life. It’s a tiny thing, but if we all make tiny decisions for the better we can make big changes.
THAT ONE MEAL I ALWAYS FANTASISE ABOUT:
We lived in Venice during Biennale season one year, and in the summer when the sun was at it’s hottest and Venice was at it’s busiest, my husband and I found ourselves ducking through the side streets to avoid the crowds. We stopped at a restaurant for something to eat, but when the waiter waxed lyrical about their specials, all hope of a light lunch went out of the window and I found myself confronted with an enormous bowl of spaghetti Carbonara and an Aperol Spritz. It was rich, inappropriate and a total cliché, but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Maybe it was because the Aperol Spritz went straight to my head, maybe it was the sun on my face but, when I hark back to a great meal memory, it is always this one.
CURRENT FAVOURITE SMALL BUSINESS:
My favourite small business is Nadia C. She works with artisans in Colombia, creating beautiful hand-painted Panama hats. Her range of designs is full of personality and the vibrancy that Latin America represents. We love wearing them both at home in the UK and on our travels around the world.
FAVOURITE DESIGN IN THE WILD & FINE RANGE:
My favourite design is the Cordelia Seahorse. The most bashful of the six seahorse pendants, I love both her curled form and her demure personality. The name Cordelia is associated with the Celtic ‘Creiryddlydd’, which means ‘daughter of the sea’ which resonates strongly with me and my affinity with the ocean.
WRITER & CREATIVE CONTENT
Reading, writing and crafting were Hannah’s favourite childhood pastimes and, having spent many years as an adult exploring different paths, she is now forging a career from her writing. When not chewing the end of an old biro and wondering what to say next, she can usually be found walking her dogs or taking part in running races in exciting international locations.
Usually to be found with her picture-perfect whippet, Luna, Tracy joined the Wild & Fine team at the end of 2019 as our Distribution Manager. Passionate about travel and fashion and with a keen eye for detail, Tracy ensures that all Wild & Fine orders reach their destinations on time and looking gorgeous. Her work is the lifeline of the business during the coronavirus lockdown - we literally could not do it without her!