This weekend marks our 5th Birthday and 5 years since we opened the door of Last Night I Dreamt, Southwell for the first time. Little did we imagine the journey our little Nottingham jewellery shop would take and the successful destination jewellery shop it would become. Sometimes it’s good to look back on life and take stock of the blessings and bumps along the way. So here’s a reminder of our story, how it all began and what we’re looking forward to in the months ahead...
For those who don’t know the story of how Last Night I Dreamt came to be, let me begin at the very beginning! Jewellery has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. I remember falling in love with my Grandma Beatrice’s gold 1930s locket and I’d often sneak into mum and dad’s bedroom to explore Mum’s jewellery box. My passion for jewellery stretched to fashion too and from an early age I was aware of trends and had my own distinct style. People may find it odd that my background wasn’t always in jewellery but television. In actual fact, many of the skills I used in my various roles in production I now use at Last Night I Dreamt - the ability to connect with people, research the best designs (used to be interviewees and locations!) and the creative visual merchandising aspect of my job as well as the social media and writing side - all things I used to love about my old career.
Life took a different turn with the arrival of children, first Reuben in 2007 and then Beatrice in 2010. My TV career was put on hold and I threw myself into full time Mummydom. With that came a whole lot of highs but also, if I’m honest, my confidence took a battering. Rightly or wrongly much of our self-esteem comes from what we do and I felt like my life was no longer exciting. “I’m a full-time mum” didn’t have quite the same ring as TV producer. In a sense life unravelled somewhat when my youngest started school. In the years since having the children we had moved to Southwell, Nottingham (not exactly a media hub!) and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I did quite allot of soul searching within this time...reflecting on how if we pin everything about our identity on what we do how very tenuous that is. Maybe there’s more to our identity than the job or role we take on. This is definitely something I continue to think about (even now I have the shop!) My whole world and identity is not defined by Last Night I Dreamt, being a TV producer, being a mum [insert own role]! So maybe there’s something to be said for that difficult period in my life of facing the unknown.
It was the Easter after Beatrice had started in reception year and the word on the street in Southwell was that a shop was becoming available. A jewellery shop for 10 years previous, the landlords wanted to keep it as a jewellery shop. When an idea is formed it doesn’t always happen with big flashing neon lights around it. A seed of an idea can often begin to grow and as you consider it, that seeds grows and takes on a life of its own. This is what happened when I found out about the shop. I thought I could do that! I felt excited about the new possibilities, researching the best designers, creatively designing how I wanted the shop to look and feel. I could see there was a real gap in the jewellery market (particularly in the East Midlands) for a design led jewellery boutique that stocked high end brands that felt like a contemporary, warm and creative space, without being cold and intimidating.
But what to call a shop? That pressure is real! It came to me in an instant. I was thinking about my name and the fact Mum and Dad loved the novel and name Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Who can forget that famous first line, ‘Last Night I Dreamt I went to Manderlay again.’ There it was, staring in the face in black and white ink...Last Night I Dreamt. And so Last Night I Dreamt came to be.
On a Saturday in mid September after months of working on the shop, I nervously opened the door of Last Night I Dreamt, Southwell for the first time. Since that day hundreds of people have discovered our little slice of jewellery heaven and word has spread! We have become known as mini Liberty of the East Midlands and certainly in Nottinghamshire we are the leading destination jewellery shop for so many designers. You can shop our collections here.
What I’ve loved about the last 5 years? Perhaps my greatest love in life is people. I’ve always loved hearing people’s stories and engaging with people, wherever they’re at. I’ve always wanted Last Night I Dreamt to be a safe place where people feel fully accepted, safe to share their story and enjoy looking for jewellery, whatever their budget maybe. I love how often jewellery is used to mark threshold moments for people and it’s been a privilage to help folk choose jewellery, whether it be for a wedding, to mark a new arrival, someone passing or even a divorce ring. I’ve loved the team we’ve created, from Lisa who is in charge of our website, to Libby (our assistant Store Mananger) and Lisa our style consultant. Lisa has written our latest Autumn/Winter Trends blog which you can read here. Meet the team and find out more about us here. Perhaps our greatest achievement this year has been the arrival of Last Night I Dreamt online. More than ever this has put our little boutique on the map and during lockdown so many new people around the UK and world discovered our online jewellery shop!
As a dreamer and someone who loves coming up with new plans, I’m forever dreaming up new ideas for Last Night I Dreamt. Rest assured we’ll always keep things fresh and keep bringing you new...whether it’s a new designer...This year has seen the launch of Rachel Entwistle and Motley London at Last Night I Dreamt and we have a few new ones up our sleeve so watch this space! During lockdown we thought of fresh ways to engage with our community...from lives, to podcasts, giveaways to blogs, Last Night I Dreamt is so much more than just a jewellery shop...we are a family and you are a massive part of our story. You can listen to our podcasts here and we are planning more in the Autumn so keep your eyes peeled! Watch out for more exclusives to us too! We are the only exclusive stockist of Daniella Draper in UK. Alex Monroe has designed an exclusive piece for Last Night I Dreamt, recently worn by Nottingham’s very own Vicky McClure and we are expecting more of those to land in the next few weeks. Shop our exclusive Alex Monroe Rays of Love necklace when it comes back in here. We are also designing our own exclusive handbeaded contemporary friendship bracelets with Mishky at the moment. We’d love to know what word you’d like to have on a Mishky bracelet so do let us know. You can get in touch with us here.
As Summer turns to Autumn and another cycle of of a Last Night I Dreamt year is complete and a new one begins, we couldn’t be more excited for the new adventures that lay ahead.
Big love and the hugest thank you for all your continued support! You are the biggest part of our ever changing story. Your loyalty and love of Last Night I Dreamt is helping us grow such a strong brand in the world of jewelelry and we are forever grateful.
Make sure you take full advantage of our Birthday weekend 15% off from midnight tonight until Sunday midnight. USE CODE: WEAREFIVE
With love and gratitude,