Learn more about us, the English-Sicilian sister duo behind Soru Jewellery.
Between Birmingham and Mondello...
Hello! We are Francesca and Marianna, two half-Sicilian half-English sisters. We grew up near Birmingham, England, to an English mother and a Sicilian father. Each summer, we would stay with our nonna in Palermo, the bustling capital city of Sicily, where we’d be with our father’s incredibly large family, including our 11 uncles and aunties!
The stark contrast between our lives in Birmingham and our holidays in Sicily left a great impression on us, particularly the women we were surrounded by; all of them strong, passionate and always draped in plentiful bijoux jewellery. We take inspiration from those women, those memories and our love for Sicily itself. This, coupled with the dedication and Black Country work ethic from the women on our mother’s side, was the perfect recipe for Soru.
During our early adult years, we worked together on the shop floor of Selfridges, dealing with customers face-to-face and completing styling requests. Francesca moved into jewellery buying for the European division of Claires Accessories for 5 years, while Marianna worked towards her photography qualification.
Soru Is Born!
In 2013, we both had small children and had recently left our careers to become full-time mothers. During this time, we had a go at creating our own jewellery, something we had always dreamed of.
We set ourselves the goal that if things did not work out by the time our children had began school, we would give up and find alternative jobs... but, if on the other hand it did work out, we could create a career around our own working hours, doing what we loved as well as being there for our children…
We started with £6000 borrowed from our husbands (who were sure they would never see it again) and used this money to create our jewellery, which left us with no money for branding, marketing, website - anything. We ended up using a free font found on Google for our brand logo and set the entire website up ourselves, just from following YouTube tutorials every night after the kids had gone to sleep.
We set up an Instagram and Facebook, neither of which we had much experience with, and we learned slowly how to build the brand. Fortunately, we started at a time when Instagram was just emerging as a great tool for business, and we were lucky that it was not yet saturated with brands all fighting for attention. We started to build and amazing community and met likeminded people, with which we are still friends with to this day.
The Story So Far...
Through this online community, our brand started to slowly grow. Within 3 months, we were able to pay our husbands back. After 3 years of wrapping up orders while watching evening TV at home, we moved into our office. 5 years later, we ditched the free font and had a beautiful new logo designed for us.
Today, we are still very much hands on. Our team still consists of the two of us, with some friends helping us answer customer service emails and package orders. Our children have now started school, and we still have Soru. It all worked out! But our story doesn't end here - there's so much on the horizon for Soru that we cannot wait to share with you all!
The reaction we've had to our products has been overwhelming and incredibly moving. We're so happy our customers feel a connection with the brand and our jewellery. We love what we put out and work hard to make sure each collection is designed with passion and excitement, so seeing that reflected back from our customers is wonderful. We honestly do love seeing how our customers wear Soru, and encourage everyone to tag us on Instagram @sorujewellery and use #SoruJewellery so we can see how you wear our products!
If you'd like to get to know us more, here's a journal entry where we both interviewed each other. You can also watch our feature on the SheerLuxe Show with Laura Wills of The Fashion Bug Blog here.