My London: fine jeweller Jessica McCormack on all that glitters
Home is…Harlesden. I’ve always been in north-west London. When I first arrived from New Zealand 20 years ago I was in Kensal Rise. What is your earliest memory of London? I saw the flat that we lived in with friends. I had what was essentially their wardrobe as my room to live in. What was your first job here? I came to London to do an internship at Sotheby’s in the jewellery department. That’s what set the foundations of my career. What’s your favourite pub? The Island [in Kensal Rise] is great. I take the children for fish and chips on a Sunday. Which shops do you rely on? It is really, really dangerous for me to work opposite The Row. Sometimes I have to be like, ‘Don’t go in! Don’t look directly at it!’ I love it all. There is a shop in Notting Hill called Aimé that does beautiful French brands. I just went to a Chinti & Parker sale, which I loved: cosy cashmere knits. And our new offices are above Planet Organic; I feel healthy just going in there, even if I’m buying chocolate and macaroons. How do you get around? Every day I tube, I walk and I cab. I love doing all three in a day. Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you? ‘I can’t understand your accent.’ I’ve been here for 20 years! But I do have a cabbie who lives near me in Harlesden. Carlos, my bestie! Where’s a good spot for a first date? I don’t even know if dating was a thing [when I was single], I can barely remember. I wouldn’t want to go on one now. If the date goes well, what advice would you give for buying a diamond? The worst thing to do is google ‘how to buy a diamond’. Go and look at things and trust your instincts. It should be brought with love and romance. Who do you call to have fun? Because I’m from New Zealand, my friends are my family here. I have a really amazing group of girlfriends. I could call any of them and say ‘who wants to go out?’ In London you’ve got so much opportunity for meeting new people and friendships. Where would you like to be buried? My ashes scattered wherever the children want. Nowhere but everywhere. What motto do you live by? It will be all right on the night. When you’re planning things, whether it’s a big party or something at home for the children, it will all be fine. What’s your biggest extravagance?Barbara Sturm products and facials. She’s a friend and always says, ‘You’re a jewellery artist and I’m a face artist.’ I’ll take that! What’s your favourite piece of art here? That’s kind of like asking for my favourite child. What I’m loving at the moment: we have in the Townhouse an amazing Louise Bourgeois, I’m obsessed with Sally Mann and the Haas brothers, who I’ve been working with for 10 years now. What are you up to for work right now? We’re redoing the workshop and opening a new store on Sloane Street. I’m so excited, it’s like a proper little jewel box. Who is the most iconic Londoner? David Bowie. Amazing. A real icon. What’s your London secret? There was a Nineties punk fashion designer Michikono Sushino and she has opened a Japanese sushi place in Queen’s Park. I promise, it’s the best, best, best Japanese.