THE STORY SO FAR
Take a walk down memory lane with us. Right back to where it all began. Five years of hustle and hard work have gotten us to where we are now, but there's still a long way to go. Let's start at the very beginning, shall we? This is the story so far.
Gary gets his hands on a state of the art laser machine. Seeing the level of detail it’s capable of producing, he puts it to work experimenting with his lifelong love ... jewellery. His first design was the Texas Longhorn and although the size and weight of the pieces went through some iterations, he still wears the first original piece to this day.
A brand was born. Kind of by accident. But mostly by design. These designs. Named ‘Tattoo Candy’, our first 12 pieces were grittier, edgier - inspired by the tattoo world and the myriad of cultures that feed it. The original 12 are still, five years later, some of our best selling designs. And while the brand will continue to grow and evolve over time, they will forever be a key ‘tuning point’.
Bangles Were Born
Through our own network of friends and family, it became clear that the ability to engrave whatever we wanted gave us a huge opportunity for personalisation and bespoke designs. We created products especially to cater for that, honing our signature carnival font to add the CarterGore stamp to the simplest and strongest of statements.
The product range grew. And, as with all things in our journey, it grew via request. We were asked for our designs as earrings ... so, our designs as earrings is what we made. In both long and short drop, so that our customers could pick n’ mix and mix n’ match.
We were first called Carter & Co. Classy, right? Apparently someone else thought so, too. Close to launching the brand, we realised we couldn’t legally protect the name, so our brand became CarterGore, a take on Cathy’s double-barrel surname.
Even though we had the branding. And the product. And the vision. It felt like CarterGore was born on this shoot. Lead by the incredibly talented SaneSeven and defined by Ellie Powers frowning pout, our brand came to life in front of our eyes. With huge thanks to the team.
The Great Launch
Well, if you’re going to launch a company, it may as well be with a bang. The Great British Tattoo Show was the perfect place to announce CarterGore to the world, along with our Tattoo Candy collection. And we did okay, selling 70-odd pieces. (Our best ever trade show).
While CarterGore was always made to be a digital brand, we always knew that Retail would be important part of our journey. Our jewellery is made to look and touch and feel. Our first retailer - ERJ - has been our retail partner from the very beginning and still one of our closest.
Wolf & Badger
Highly respected retailer and curator of incredible brands, Wolf & Badger are known for their fine eye and discerning edit of products they offer their customers. Being accepted onto their brand roster was a defining moment for us and one we will forever be very proud of.
Somerset House, London Fashion Week
A huge honour for us to be welcomed to exhibit at Somerset House for London Fashion Week. Unfortunately, it also fell upon the same week there was a bomb scare on the tube, but we did get to meet some incredible makers. And got some great feedback and advice from an editor at Vogue. (Yes, Vogue, thank-you very much).
Styling Darcey Bussell
The Prima herself, Darcey Bussell wears the living daylights out of our sugar skull in custom pieces made especially for the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween Special. Sadly, the only photo we got was a quick snap of the tv with a surprised and delighted yelp,
CarterGore x GHQ
We experiment with brand collaborations and make some lifelong friends in the process. Our private event at GHQ in their Chester barbershop combined jewellery with music and a lot of booze.
Trust us, it adds up to a very good time.
The Second Shoot
The team reassembled for our second shoot. We poured over moodboards for months, perfecting the story of our CarterGore girl as she faces into the world and makes it hers. Full of story, life and personality - it will forever be one of our favourite shoots.
Big thanks to @saneseven @ellipowers @veganviking
Diamonds Are Forever
Teaming up with renowned Northampton-based jeweller, Steffans, we launched our Diamond collection. And, no, that’s not just a name. That’s honest-to-God diamonds. You can find us still in store at Steffans.
(Or we can create custom sparkly pieces, if the word ‘diamonds’ just got your attention).
London Tattoo Convention
Hosted at The Tabacco Dock, a grade 1 listed warehouse in the east end of London and the historical home of exotic exports, The London Tattoo Convention is a true celebration and live demonstration of tattoo-culture at its finest. We loved being amongst the vendors and visceral energy of the performers. And we sold a fair bit of jewellery too.
Our range continues to grow and evolve, fed by the uniqueness of our process.
Because each piece often starts out as a commission or customer request, inspiration comes thick and fast, which quickly saw us reach 50 designs.
Collecting CarterGore pieces was becoming a big thing for our customers, designs were emblems of parts of their personality or chapters of their life. So, we started playing with miniaturising our designs to make charms. And charm bracelets. An accessible way to build your story.
New Product - Multi Charms
A delicate take on our designs, the multi charm necklace features five miniatures of any one design (or different designs, if you want to go bespoke) for a layered look that’s lighter and more paired back.
In Support of Mind
Our first charity sponsorship. And a huge honour to be part of. Hosted at the Suburbs, Wirral, the event was in support of Mind, an incredible charity championing the importance of mental health. We provided 60 necklaces and dressed the tables for the ladies lunch event, which raised £6,000 for the crucial work of Mind.
Our first trade show and a step in a new direction for us. We know having Retail partners will be big part in growing our brand, so exhibiting at Pure was all about meeting like-minded makers and boutiques. Despite raging storms and the creeping concern over Covid, we met and signed some fantastic new retailers here.
The world went to hell in a hand basket. But for the carnage that was 2020, the rainbow became an emblem of hope, togetherness and a profound respect for those that keep our country going. We designed a rainbow pendant, and donated 30% of sales to charity as well as gifting the design each week to well-deserving nominees amongst our social media community.
The Creative stops for nothing and no-one. With the latest designs including soul-story pieces like The Tree of Life and Buddha, as well as a whole litter of Dog designs, we wrack our creative count up to 75 designs. That’s a whole lot of choice, people.
Our Retail Roster grows to 15 partners - each of which contended with the nightmare of 2020 with resilience and creativity. Despite being forced to close by fluctuating national restrictions - CarterGore reached more and more customers through our close network of committed boutique retailers.
Defining The Brand
Shot by Molly Glenn, and featuring stylist-come-style-queen Sara Wilson, we got to work creating the look and feel for the next phase of CarterGore. Clean, commercial but full of attitude and soul, Molly’s talent for capturing the kinetic wildness of the female spirit helped us level-up our digital brand game.
Shoe-Lewery, with Terry De Havilland
Epic shoe maker Terry De Havilland approach us for a collaboration. Jewellery + Shoes = Shoe-Lewery. And yes, the partnership of dreams. That’s all we can say for now. Stay tuned on that one.
North Star, Anyone?
January 2021 was the line in the ground we’d all been aiming for throughout the nightmare that was 2020. And then it turned out to be shit. To do what little we could to compensate, we put out a call on social offering to give away a North Star pendant to people that needed a lift. We received hundreds and hundreds of requests. We read each and every one of them. And gave away as many pieces as we could.
Launch of our New Site
And that brings us to here. A brand new website. That we worked meticulously on to get just right. For you, our customer. To make sure you can can find what you want, when you want it and to share with you the provenance of design and the symbolism of our pieces.
Meet Team CG
We’re makers. We’re revellers. We’re believers that the best things in life are made with soul and made by hand. Get to know the team.
Get to know Who We Are
We believe in creativity. Authenticity. Craftsmanship. Dig deeper into who we are and what we stand for.
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