career a one - day diary from morning latte to lights out
worklife Annoushka Ducas MBE, 48, is a jewellery designer, creative director and founder of Links of London and Annoushka jewellery brands. She lives in Sussex with her husband and business partner, John, and their four children: Marina, Oliver, Chloe and Oscar. I get my entrepreneurial spirit from my mother, who was also my first customer.
cream leather strap. The first thing I do when I get into the office is check in with my team to see if anyone has any queries and I always check my emails to figure out what my priorities are for the day.
I then sit down with my design partner, Liz Olver, to go over our latest designs. Lunch is often on the go, if I’m really busy it’s a bag of Metcalffe’s popcorn from the closest Pret!
She wanted to give her male staff cufflinks for Christmas and asked me to design and make them, I made twice the amount needed and took the remainder to Harvey Nichols, it was from here that I got the idea for Links and my husband and I set up the company in 1990 with a £2,000 personal investment and sold 17 years later for £50m.
“My mother was my first customer; I get my entrepreneurial spirit from her” Once a month in the office I make sure we sit down and enjoy a nice team lunch together, luckily we’re all big fans of sushi which is great.
We started Annoushka Jewellery in 2009 which was an incredible challenge- not only were we reentering the industry as a new brand but as one with very high expectations because of Links.
I don’t have a usual clocking off time, it depends if I have meetings or events to attend but John and I try very hard not to bring work home with us which, being business partners, is not always easy.
Annoushka Jewellery is a lot more akin to my personal style and I hope that it also serves as a way for other women to express their individuality through jewellery. Everyday is different for me; if I’m the office then I’m usually there at 8am. I’m one of those people who often skip breakfast, but if I manage to squeeze it in then it’s something light like yoghurt with fruit and a little honey for sweetness.
A nnoushka D ucas MBE
F ounder & C reative D irector , A nnoushka J ewellery
My style is quite eclectic and I like to be individual, I travel a lot to get inspiration for the Annoushka collections, so I always try to find independent clothing boutiques to and functional- a shirt or blouse bring home items that I know no-one with trousers and trainers or pumps, else will have! because I’m always on the go so comfort is a necessity, my style is When it comes to clothes, I always quite laid back but, for designers, say that life is about dressing up your I think Ann Demeulemeester and jeans, not your ball gown and that’s a Philip Lim both make beautiful phrase I live by . clothes. I also couldn’t live without my Balenciaga leather jacket! On a work day I keep my style simple
Of course, I always wear jewelleryeither my own designs or one off pieces that I love collecting on my travels. I have a lovely watch from Bremont, where John is a founding shareholder and the Chairman of the board, its rose gold with a
plan b : restaurant supplier I can’t say I ever really had a plan B and I think I probably would have found a way into the jewellery industry regardless because I love what I do, but if I hadn’t, I would have run my mother’s business which was a company that supplied wet fish to top London restaurants; I’d already taken over a lot of the day to day before I got heavily involved in jewellery design so it would have been a natural next step.
When I get home I love to curl up on the sofa and cuddle my two French bulldogs, Pedro and Eric and spend time with my kids whenever they’re home from university or school, raising them has definitely been the biggest and most enjoyable achievement. I exercise regularly by running; I really enjoy it as it relaxes me and keeps my head clear. We try to spend as much time outdoors as possible to keep life balanced. Dinner is normally something light and bed is around 10pm, although I always promise myself it will be earlier!