Today we welcome a guest post from Stacey, the owner of Aquila Jewellery in Dukes Lane, who gives us an insight into taking her business from a pop-up to a permanent shop and her commitment to sustainable jewellery. 

From Pop-up to Permanent: My Journey to Sustainable Jewellery

In December 2020, I took a chance and opened a small pop-up jewellery shop on Dukes Lane, hoping to earn some extra cash for Xmas. With only a limited selection of jewellery, some borrowed furniture and a few plants to fill the space, I convinced my friend, Marta, to help me stock the shelves with her lovely range of natural products by Floating Feather. Despite lockdowns looming, high unemployment rates and people thinking we were slightly crazy, we decided to give it a go! After all, having experienced redundancy through Covid, I had nothing to lose…

We opened and traded for 5 weeks in the lead up to Christmas and to my surprise, the shop was a huge success. I didn't realise how much people were craving that in-person shopping experience. They wanted to try on jewellery, feel the quality, speak to a real person and enjoy the scent of a fragrant candle!

Almost three years later, this temporary project has turned into permanent employment, not only for myself and my staff but also for Marta, who transformed an unused room upstairs into a cosy treatment space for her clients. I believe our journey is a testament to the power of passion. If you believe in what you're doing, it will carry you to where you need to be and with this mindset, I am now grateful to think outside of my own shop and about the bigger picture, which led me to embark on a sustainability journey.

I have long been aware of the environmental impact of precious metal mining and its effects on habitat destruction, deforestation, and soil erosion. It was something that never sat well, but a wise person once told me to choose my battles and for a while, I did just that. 

Two years down the line, the little voice got louder and I recognised my responsibility to help protect and preserve the environment. In 2022 I made a pledge to use 100% recycled precious metals ahead of the 2023 gifting season. And so, my search for a new production partner began! I discovered the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), a globally recognised organisation that focuses on the production of responsible jewellery throughout the entire supply chain. They unite companies in their mission to provide responsible, sustainable business without harming people or the planet. You can read more about them here.

As a small business, utilising organisations that have done the groundwork for you is invaluable, it meant that what I thought might take years to achieve, only took one year! That is from meeting my new artisans, sampling and production, to the jewellery being in-store. 

In addition, as we phased the new jewellery in, I also switched from our original 14ct gold colour to a softer, more neutral gold tone — based on customer feedback. Two massive missions completed in one! I remain committed to creating eco-jewellery that doesn't cost the earth. As I strive for a more sustainable Christmas, please join me and support all environmentally friendly businesses this year.

Thank you Stacey! To find out more about Aquilia Jewellery you can visit the website and follow them on Instagram.


Dukes Lane
Shopping Centre
Dukes Lane Brighton

Welcome to Dukes Lane – a hidden gem in the heart of Brighton for those in the know to shop, eat and simply be. This unique retail destination offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.



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