On & Around the Street

The Women Inspiring Sloane Street’s Designers

With International Women’s Day encouraging us to honour the achievements, creativity, contributions and importance of women, we asked some of the talented and creative women behind Sloane Street’s brands to tell us about the woman who has most inspired them…

Watch our series of interviews with Sloane Street’s talented women on Instagram

Maya Angelou

“I am inspired by Maya Angelou and her quote, ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ This is the rule I abide by every day in trying to find innovative, sustainable and visionary ways to make the jewellery business more transparent and earth-friendly” – Anabela Chan

Margaret Thatcher

“Margaret Thatcher inspires me. She was the first woman Prime Minister with a can-do attitude and she was determined to give entrepreneurs a stage.

“I took full advantage of her enthusiasm and set up my business along with quite a few other women at that time. Back in the early 80s’ it really was a man’s world, and she understood what it was like for women to succeed in business” – Kiki McDonough

Frida Kahlo

“Frida Kahlo’s independent creative spirit and fabulous sense of fun and colour inspire me. I created the Frida pendant to tell the story of her love for Diego Rivera, twice her husband. Frida took a basket filled with a picnic to Diego every day as he painted. I created a golden basket pendant and filled it, not with a picnic, but with beautiful stones, and called it Frida” – Cassandra Goad

Tamara Tuganova, Boodles Senior Designer

“In my view, my mother, Zarina Tuganova, embodies the values of self-esteem, confidence and pride that come with knowledge and competence. The inner strength that lives at her core is always inspiring to me.

“Growing up in a vastly patriarchal society, I was fortunate to be surrounded by strong working women. My grandmother was a chemistry teacher and my mother chose a career in finance. But my mother’s warm, gentle heart is her greatest quality. She always says, ‘Your strength should never manifest itself as temper. No matter how successful you are, never lose sight of your humility’” – Tamara Tuganova, Boodles Senior Designer

Annoushka Ducas

“My mother was – and is – the most inspirational woman to me.
“Sadly, she died when I was only 23, but I still feel her presence today in the way I think and approach life – always trying things and encouraging my own children to have the confidence to just give it a go – that was her attitude all over.
“She had tenacity and courage, and also a wicked sense of humour! She taught me about opportunity and instinct – she showed me how to run a business and after she died, I continued to run her fish business – and I learnt lessons that have shaped my career. My mother was my rock, my confidante and if I could achieve just a little bit of what she did for her grandchildren, I will feel proud” – Annoushka Ducas

To mark Women’s Month and International Women’s Day, Annoushka has launched the Helping Hands collection of pendants ($350), made from 14ct yellow gold, sterling silver and diamond. £35 from each sale will be donated to the Women Supporting Women initiative, run by The Princes Trust.

Monica Vinader

“My mother inspired me to become who and what I wanted. My earliest and fondest memories of jewellery come from exploring her vast collection. I was always free to try on and play with the jewellery from a young age and though many of the pieces were precious, my Mum was never precious about them herself.
“She encouraged me to see, touch and enjoy and this generous attitude towards jewellery had a profound effect on my outlook, shaping my brand vision. I also credit her with instilling my sister and I with our entrepreneurial spirit – she ran an antiques business with my father and her strong work ethic, passion for her business as well as her treatment of others is what inspired me to start my own company” – Monica Vinader