Jewellery designer Emma Cassi invites us into her lovely home and gives us a glimpse into her enviable life.
It’s been 13 years since Emma Cassi left her native France to set up home with her husband Bertrand in South West London, and today the couple couldn’t be happier with their lot. Emma is a former stylist and now makes a living from her own hand-made lace jewellery designs, selling pieces to independent shops as well as larger stores and online.
Anyone looking at Emma’s jewellery would be forgiven for thinking she had years of training in her chosen craft, but the reality couldn’t be more the opposite. In fact, Emma has never taken a sewing class and is completely self-taught, something that somehow makes her jewellery even more special. She explains: “I started off making bags and kind of fell into making jewellery from there. I used to draw but had never done any work with needles at all. I had wealthy friends who would buy beautiful garments that I couldn’t afford so decided to make something similar myself. It’s grown from there.”
Things weren’t always quite so simple for Emma, who found working alone difficult when she first arrived in London, particularly with the language barrier. In a bid to better her English she joined the team at Country Living Magazine, working as a stylist, a job that she instantly found she had a passion for. “I like that people feel inspired by your ideas,” Emma comments. “The skills I learnt there have really stayed with me and helped me to develop my jewellery business, as well as to decorate my own home.”
Emma and Bertrand now have two children, Anton who is eight and two-and-a-half year old Hope and life as a busy mum means that Emma now concentrates solely on her jewellery design business. Their home is a five-room flat in Barnes, an area that Emma says they fell in love with due to its country feel and its close proximity to central London. She says: “We’ve lived in the area ever since we came to the UK and have been in this flat for seven years now. We just love the fact that it’s such a green area, just five minutes from Richmond Park; it’s lovely.”
Emma’s home reflects her personality completely; it is very feminine and completely cosy. This very personal space totally matches the style that can be seen in Emma’s work, with a mix and match of old pieces and things that have been hand-made by Emma herself.
Seven years on from moving in and the family have really made this space their home and although Emma and Bertrand have plans to make the kitchen space bigger, on the whole they are more than content with how things have turned out. “We did it all without any disasters,” claims Emma. “The only mistake we made was with the paint for the living room floor. I wanted a shiny finish but didn’t realise the paint I used wasn’t meant for floors and would take two weeks to dry. We needed to get back in here before then, so it did get scratched.”
“Overall though it’s full of personality and feels very homely, with lots of knick-knacks everywhere,” says Emma.