Dorothea Kanellopoulou is the brains behind Dotty K, a range of hand-made fashion jewellery that I cherish. A little chat with her proved that her label is about much more than cute bows and girly necklaces.
What’s your background?
I was born and raised in Greece, where my father was an interior designer so literally from birth I had access to plenty of drawing paper and pens and he encouraged me to find my passion for creative projects. I used to design and make models of jewellery using flowers, mud and rocks from the garden as well as helping my self to my Mum’s jewellery (which I got into loads of trouble for!)
Upon finishing school, I decided to move to the UK to study applied arts, and more specifically jewellery design. Once my studies were completed I moved to London, with a bag full of ideas, but no business brain at all…
So for a couple of years I did research and partied… And then I fell in love with my wonderful husband Gavin, who helped me get my creative brain in the business gear and dottyk was born in 2006.
What inspires you?
I am very proud of my Greek heritage. Art, philosophy and romance inspire me and I’m very passionate. I love weird and beautiful objects and images so go through periods in my life that become addicted to people, fashion, food, all sorts.
The last few collections have been about the girl, the diva, the fashion icon, all the different facets of the female presence and the symbol that no woman can live without, the bow! I love style divas and femininity in all its expressions, I love watching things like drag queen shows and Audrey Hepburn movies. As long as it’s big and cheesy but elegant I love it and it inspires me.
My main goal is to create pieces that appeal to all ages, backgrounds and styles.
When did you decide to set up your own label and work for yourself?
Having my own label and designing jewellery has been a childhood dream. In 2006 4 years after my graduation and 2 years after working for one of the UK’s most renowned gemstone dealers, I decided to take the plunge and go for it! My decision was derived from a combination of different factors, I was already in a 2 year relationship with my husband, a wonderful man who supported my decision with all his might and I had loads of emotional and financial support from my amazing family, especially my mum, brothers and auntie, they helped me not only with dreaming the dream, but actually supported me in making a start at fulfilling my aspirations!
I have a great network of friends that have helped with photography, the website and promoting my business, Dotty K truly would not have happened without them. And last but not least the stone dealer I worked for was a tremendous help and inspiration to me as well as being a great friend over the years, she supplied me with endless amount of stones and pearls and I have to admit I may have got special treatment but understandably getting the initial stock together is one of the trickiest things in jewellery. The materials are so precious, that even producing samples is a very expensive exercise and can hold creative talent to ransom…
Current girl crushes?
Possibly a bit of cliché but my favourite all time classic girl crush has to be Audrey Hepburn! Sophisticated, elegant and timeless – all words to describe Audrey Hepburn, I think she has made a massive mark in the 20th and 21st century and I believe she is an icon that will dictate fashion for many years to come.
Otherwise my current girl crush has to be Alison Goldfrapp, she is really aware of how to pull off an effective, original and interesting stage outfit and she does it with so much grace, style and humour I think its hard not to become fascinated by her. I just love all her outfits! She is a true 21st century girl that does not bow down to one style, she mixes and matches and changes in a very independent way. The bottom line in fashion is to have your own style and I think she does it well!
Do you wear a lot of jewellery?
Yes! I have an extensive collection of pieces from other jewellery designers, as well as my own. My favourites are Marianne Anderson, (who actually made my engagement and wedding rings) Alex Monroe, Dicha jewellery and obviously Chanel (fashion and precious collections)!
I love wearing jewellery, but mostly I like to see others wearing my jewellery. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing people in town with a dottyk piece…the first time that happened a couple of years ago, I couldn’t help my self, went up to the girl and gave her a big hug, went on to a big “ oh its amazing to actually run to someone wear it and OMG this is so fantastic!!!…” luckily she was pretty amused by it all and we have kept in touch since….I have now learned to suppress my urge to do that, as it is kind of weird to be stopped and hugged by a stranger claiming to have designed your necklace…instead I give my self a little pinch to make sure it is all true and I call my husband so I can brag about it down the phone!
What’s your favourite accessory?
It has to be my classic bow and ball necklace, simple easy to wear and super girly. Otherwise I love handbags! I collect handbags from Lulu Guiness, it’s a very expensive habit but I just can’t help myself.
Describe your personal style?
I find it hard to describe my personal style because I am inspired by so many different styles that I don’t stick to one apart from maybe looking glamorous otherwise I would say eclectic so perhaps the best way to describe my style is glamorously eclectic? My favourite clothes brand had to be French Manoush, simply because the colours and the statements their clothes have. In general I stick to the style mantra of always having a statement coat for winter a really comfy but stylish pair of shoes and an interesting handbag…
What are your holiday plans?
That’s easy, Lesvos Island in Greece! For as long as I can remember our family have had a rustic stone house near the sea that we use as a holiday home. It’s a very beautiful place and holds a lot of beautiful memories for me so I am always looking forward to getting back there.
Its so wonderful to go out for dinner by the sea…The ideal way to escape from the business of London…we are very very lucky.