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Boutique Spotlight & Interview: Parla

Wednesday, 5 November 2014




Imagine finding a shop that has everything you absolutely love, a major part of your life and tailored to your specific requirements? That's how I feel when I discovered Parla contemporary jewellery boutique stocking all of my favourite jewellery designers under one roof. Parla curates a small selection of British, Swedish and Norwegian jewellery designers all with the same ideology; everyday wearability, sustained minimalism and individual statement.

Eager to find out more, I spoke to the ever lovely boutique owner and creative director Erin O'Conner about the concept of Parla, the designers she stocks and what makes Parla unique from everyone else.


1. Tell us a little bit about Parla. When did you first become interested in setting up a jewellery boutique?

Pärla is a contemporary jewellery design boutique showcasing a small and select number of designers, based in the heart of Shoreditch.  I have always wanted my own boutique and my love for jewellery and minimalist made the concept behind Pärla a pretty obvious choice for me.  Unashamedly, it's a rather selfish venture of mine!  I have chosen designers that I would buy and wear and that I believe my friends would also love.

2. Have you always been in the creative/jewellery industry? What did you do before starting Parla?

I have always had a keen interest in fashion and moved to London five years ago to complete my MA at London College of Fashion.  During my time there, I spent my weekends working in a boutique in Primrose Hill before graduating and going on to manage online and in-store retail for a small brand in Chelsea.  Working in such a small team really taught me how to run my own business.
3. What is your typical day in the boutique?

My routine changes on a daily basis depending on what's going on! If I have a personal shopping appointment in the morning then I'll come in early to pick out pieces for the client otherwise, the store will open at 11am. Giving customers excellent one-on-one service is a priority throughout the day and with men making up a large percentage of those shopping at Pärla, some need more guidance than others.  Most of the designers live locally to the store and pop in on a regular basis to catch up. It's great for them to see their work on show.

  4. What is the advantages of having a boutique in places such as Shoreditch?

Shoreditch is the perfect location for Pärla. It's situated in London's most creative and engaged district, and home to those who crave and appreciate art, design and culture; elements that I have tried to reflect in the pieces selected and presentation of the store.  The first Thursday of each month I hold an event in store which can be anything from meeting the designers to giving an exclusive preview of new collections.  There is always a great turn out from those living and working in the local area which you just wouldn't get anywhere else in London.





5. The boutique houses British and Scandinavian independent jewellery designers. What are you looking for in jewellery in terms of its aesthetics and concept?

I want Pärla to be the go-to space containing collections to compliment and complete any look.  Every necklace, earring and bracelet is versatile and wearable.  Each piece makes an interesting and individual statement that can be worn from season to season or update a classic look with a modern twist.

6. How does your boutique differs from others that houses independent jewellery designers? 

The edit is clean, contemporary and beautifully crafted.  The designers are incredibly talented and passionate about their work which shows in each of their pieces I have in store.  At the moment, I stock eight designers, most of them are London based with a Swede (COOEE) and Norwegian (Bjorg) giving that authentic Scandinavian edge to the collective. I have also recently started to stock the highly acclaimed V Jewellery. Laura Vann, the lovely lady behind V, comes from my home town of Birmingham, making me even more excited to have the brand become part of the Pärla gang!

Additionally, I stock Clarice Price Thomas, EA BURNS, Smith/Grey, Jessie Harris and Jenny Sweetnam.





7. What is your personal style in terms of fashion and jewellery?

I have a love for streamline shapes and muted colour pallets in interior design and fashion and nowhere does this better than the Skandi nations.  I try to reflect this in my wardrobe choices and see what I wear as a blank canvas to show off the clean lines and elegant shapes of the jewellery I have in store.  This instantly 
transforms the look and bring the outfit alive.

8. You're quite active on instagram and other social media channels. How important is audience engagement for Parla? What do you do to achieve this in terms of creating your boutique's unique identity and voice?

Social medial is so important to any brand when trying to create an identity and connecting with the customer.  It presents a lifestyle that you want to tap into and be a part of and also shows the in-store experience to those who can't visit for themselves.  The Pärla brand image is ageless and aspirational whilst at the same time, accessible, no matter what the your budget may be.





9. What are your future plans for Parla?
In the short term, we have a number of exciting events coming up.  There will be private shopping evenings, bloggers previews, a pop-up sale at Shoreditch House and a Pärla Christmas Party.  After that you will continue to find us in-store at Boxpark in Shoreditch and online at www.parlaonline.com with new collections from the designers in the new year!

10. Describe Parla in 5 words.

Minimalist, clean, contemporary, beautifully crafted.

Visit www.parlaonline.com 



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