Who we are
Licensed to Charm is a designer and maker of quirky collectable jewellery full of character, unique and authentic. Everything is designed and made in the UK, prioritising sustainability by using recycled Sterling Silver and locally made recyclable packaging.
Founded in 2012, the business was initially a small family-run workshop and boutique in Battersea, creating and making everything on-site. Today the business is still run from Battersea and with the creative team spread across the UK from Belfast to Birmingham.
In 2018 Founder and Creative Director Maggie Calmels had the idea to develop licensed jewellery collections to recreate favourite characters and objects with a special place in people’s memories as collectable jewellery.
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 Shaun the Sheep; and Watership Down, a moving countryside story with unforgettable rabbit heroes.
Since then, the list has grown and includes some iconic brands from the much-loved Miffy character created by Dick Bruna in the 1950s has become a true icon, inspiring little ones and grown-ups worldwide.
Then there's Pusheen, the delightful snack-loving cat. Originating from a popular webcomic, she's become a modern-day sensation with her cheeky antics and insatiable love for treats. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, authored by the illustrious Eric Carle, this vibrant tale has not only taught children about metamorphosis but also instilled in them a love for reading.
Beyond these characters, our brands also celebrate figures from art and culture. Frida Kahlo, with her iconic self-portraits and distinct style, has become synonymous with self-expression and breaking conventions. Similarly, the National Portrait Gallery holds a repository of faces and stories that chronicle our shared history.
We’ve also had worldwide success with our first Fantasy film collection featuring the unforgettable characters from Jim Henson’s movie Labyrinth, which has become a cult classic beloved by fans of both Henson and the film’s leading man, David Bowie, who is the Goblin King.
We continue to seek new opportunities with brands that share our values and design ethos and contain characters and themes to immortalise in silver and gold vermeil. Unlike our licences, our jewellery is made to last forever, and we hope our buyers will continue to enjoy their pieces long after we’ve stopped producing them.
Our Development Process
Some of our licensed jewellery collections are simply inspired by works of art or the lives and loves of the artist who created them and interpret themes and motifs from their work to adorn highly wearable pieces that resonate emotionally and aesthetically.
These pieces are often made by our designers using traditional non-computer generated methods, working from a sketch for concept approval and then moving to a hand-carved wax or a 3D computer model for mould making and casting.
Much of our character brand-based 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 selecting 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 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 products are made in the UK using highly skilled artisans in the established jewellery trade in London and Birmingham. The figurative components use the traditional lost-wax casting process with many stages. Once a master and mould have been made, every item is cast first in wax. The waxes are attached on sprues to a ‘tree’, which goes into an investment plaster cast which hardens and sets around it. Molten metal is then poured into the cast.
Once the metal has cooled and hardened, the plaster cast is discarded, and the individual items on their sprues and cut from the tree, ready for cleaning, polishing, finishing and assembly.
We use recycled materials as much as possible but are always looking at ways to improve further, aiming to fully transition to recycled silver and gold by 2024.
Our gemstones are ethically sourced from responsible vendors, and our jewellery is handmade in the UK by artisans, preserving traditional skills and techniques.
We want you to wear your jewellery every day, and our pieces are the perfect partner; we make them deal with the daily grind and travel through life with you. We use premium materials chosen to be beautiful and resilient.
What’s not to love?
We care about the environment and want to do what we can to protect the beautiful world we live in and preserve it for future generations.
Our products are designed and made in the UK, so we have a low carbon footprint. Our boxes are made in the UK using locally sourced material.
We are slowly replacing our foam inserts with a card or bag. We have worked hard to move to more sustainable options; for example, the jiffy bags we use with some orders can be recycled.
So in the meantime, please reuse them where possible rather than throwing them away.