Licensed to Charm is a designer and maker of quirky collectable jewellery which is full of character, unique and totally authentic. Everything is designed and made in the UK and collections include both officially licensed ranges and our own design creations.
Founded in 2012, the business was initially a small family-run workshop and boutique shop creating and making its own designs. In 2018 during a visit to Bologna bookfair founder Maggie Calmels had the idea to recreate favourite characters and objects with a special place in people’s memories as collectable charm jewellery to be sold via e-commerce – and so Licensed to Charm was born.
The first brands to come on board were a trio of British Classics: The Beano, featuring much-loved comic characters Dennis the Menace, Gnasher and the Beano gang; Aardman Animations with Wallace and Gromit and Shan the Sheep; and Watership Down, a moving countryside story with unforgettable rabbit heroes. Since then the list has grown to include Thunderbirds, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Hello Kitty, Miffy and Pusheen and we continue to seek new opportunities with brands that share our values and ambitions, and contain characters to immortalise in silver and gold vermeil.
Our Development Process
All our licensed jewellery begins with an idea for a collection which is submitted as part of a proposal to gain an official licence. Once that’s agreed the development process begins. The creative fun starts with the selection of the most memorable moments of the main characters and their stories, taking account of their most endearing traits, and the costumes, poses and objects that make them instantly recognisable and loved. Once a character pose or an item is selected it’s up to the artistry of our sculptor to create a design that is both aesthetically pleasing and workable as a jewellery item – and of course accurate enough in detail to gain approval from the licensor. Each design goes through three stages of official approval starting with an initial design concept, then a prototype and finally a pre-production sample.
Our Battersea Studio
Our small shop in Battersea doubles as a studio workshop, with a retail boutique shop located upstairs. Downstairs in the studio, we commission our designs, manage the component sourcing, and also assemble, finish and pack the final pieces, as well as having fun team meetings, in person or at the moment via zoom, with our Marketing and Social Media Managers, and our Accountant. Meetings are usually interrupted by our resident pup Roxy the Fox Terrier. We are a small business with big ethics; it is important to us that we use ethically sourced materials and try to minimise waste and recycle wherever possible. We use only reputable suppliers for materials and are building long-term relationships with our component manufacturers, all of whom are also pre-approved by our licensors.
Made in the UK
Our products are all made in the UK using highly skilled artisans in the established jewellery trade in London, Birmingham and Scotland to create the figurative components. Highly detailed CAD drawings are used to produce 3D prototypes for most licensed products however our designers also produce pieces using traditional wax carvings and graphics for flat tags and key rings. Once approved the designs are manufactured in 925 grade sterling silver, in different shapes and sizes to suit different items. Charms and pendants are made using traditional lost-wax casting while flat tags are made using a photo etching and engraving process.
Our Aims and Ambitions
It’s our aim to offer our customers the opportunity to buy unique items, specially made to order. We will be including hand engraving on some exciting new designs, as well as with some existing licensed items, and are developing new ranges with a ‘mix and match’ philosophy allowing the customer to curate they own selection of items to combine in one piece. We are also working on improving every aspect of our customer experience, from delivery to offering friendly help and advice, plus jewellery after-care.