Photo by @tomjoyphoto

Looking for bold jewellery at an affordable price and uninspired by what was on offer, Mags Walker decided to have a go herself. ‘I didn’t want to offer the same as everyone else, I wanted something unique,’ says the Yorkshire-born founder of Toolally jewellery. ‘I’ve always been obsessed with dressing up and the history of fashion,’ continues Walker, a qualified accountant-turned-marketing director with a keen interest in design, ‘I’m quite crafty and was always drawing and knitting. So then I started investigating a bit more and found an acrylic factory up the road…’

The response to her eye-catching, handmade jewellery was instant and a chance meeting with Lucinda Chambers’ assistant at the Vogue Festival, when the company was still in its formative stages, led to a request for a selection of earrings to be sent in to the magazine. ‘ I didn’t even make earrings at the time!’ laughs Walker, ‘and so I spent all weekend creating some!’ Her enterprise paid off and the colourful, Perspex accessories ended up in a 1980s editorial worn by model Lara Stone. Result.

Asymmetrical ellipses from Toolally’s latest LBD collection

‘I love the 50s, 60s and the 80s,’ Walker adds when discussing the brand’s retro-inspired styles, ‘It’s a bit like Stars in Their Eyes, which era are you going to be tonight, Matthew!’ Two and a half years later, Toolally has become a family affair. Walker has been joined in the jewellery business by her husband who is in charge of production and her teenage daughter who has a practical role in the manufacturing process – and still finds time to continue her work as a marketing consultant for an advertising agency. Based in Barnoldswick, the studio now has a team of seven and is set to produce between 15 and 20 thousand pairs of earrings, this year. ‘I’m still in a state of disbelief about what’s happening,’ admits the company founder, ‘I feel blessed, I never dreamt that this would happen – that people like my jewellery means so much to me. It’s so amazing, I cry buckets at the thank you letters and emails.’

The Shards: from Toolally’s latest LBD collection

As a fan of super-sized earrings what I like about Toolally designs is the fact that they’re light enough to make a statement without the sagging lobes. When we chat on the phone, Mags tells me that when styling an outfit she starts with the earrings and goes from there. Then she turns the tables and asks how I would style Toolally: for a touch of Casual Glamour, I would recommend wearing the ‘Cassies’ earrings (first photo: inspired by the inner spool of a tape cassette) with a trouser suit or tuxedo and trainers. The ‘Shards’ with a slouchy cream cashmere sweater, black leather leggings and loafers. And the Hepworths (in blue) would be perfect with double denim:

Toolally’s Blue Hepworths

 

The first three pairs of earrings are from Toolally’s LBD Collection, handmade in the UK. The Hepworths are from the main range. All earrings have gold vermeil or sterling silver posts and are also available as clip-ons from the Toolally website HERE. That’s Not My Age readers have been exclusively offered 15% discount (until Christmas), simply use the code: Alyson-Walsh-15%*

 

This is a sponsored post.

 

14 thoughts on “Going doolally over Toolally jewellery

  1. I’m one of those that thinks cool jewelry is ageless!!! Why not have fun with these baubles??? And finding ones that are lightweight and easy to wear for all day is icing on the cake!!!
    Thanks for this intro Alyson!!!
    These would be a great gift for even my mom (the 70+ model on my blog)!! She loves big and interesting earrings!!
    XOXO
    Jodie

  2. Love them…a real sixties vibe going on. However just to be picky (and this is purely personal) I notice the colour/metal used as contrast is gold in colour. Hopefully there will be silver too, otherwise fab….well dependent on price!

  3. I bought a pair at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield earlier this year and they are a fantastic addition to my wardrobe. They never fail to provoke comment and finish off an outfit to perfection. I love them.

  4. Don’t know whether it’s true in this case, but I’m continually looking for ear clips as I don’t have pierced ear lobes due to an allergi for nickel developed in my younger days. I love the Toolally range, but are they all for pierced ears? Or does anyone have a good idea for where I might find good ear gear for my humble lobes?

    1. Check out places that sell vintage costume jewelry! They usually have a fantastic selection of clip on earrings from designers like Weiss, Coro, etc.

  5. I wear earrings almost every day, they’re my “adornment” of choice. I also love the Art Deco style, and some of these are Deco like. There seems to be an abundance of really cool earrings around, and I’ve been writing about them a lot as well. Because I do wear them everyday, I also really appreciate a great price as well! But I’m not sure, do you wear earrings, Alyson?

  6. The earrings are great and unlike anything out there. There’s a strong Marni vibe in the colors and shapes. I love to hear success stories like this! I’m always looking for new resources as I make my way through my year of living designer free.

  7. The ladies should just visit the Toolally site. Yes some earrings do have silver metal, and yes there is an option for ear posts, ear wires, or clip on.
    I’m addicted, just ordered my 6th pair. (Sadly just hours before I saw the discount code here! ). Toolally also do some necklaces, brooches and beautiful silk scarves. They earrings are presented in a lovely box with a pouch too, so they make fantastic presents.

  8. Inspirational! In the 70s I used to design jewellery at art school as a secondary subject (even won an RSA award!), loved it and have always meant to go back to it. I read about someone like Mags and wonder why haven’t I just got on with it?
    It’s good that her designs are available as clip-ons for those few of us without pierced ears. I’m on my way to the website now…

    1. Hello Gill, sorry about that I’m going to check now. Update: just checked and the code seems to be working OK, did you include the dashes/hyphens?

  9. Big earrings bring modern to any outfit. I’m loving that they’re back in style and wear them whenever I can. There’s also a practical aspect. They’re often easier than a long necklace–which seems to be the other option I’m most often choosing between. I’m headed over to Toolally’s site.

  10. Thanks Alyson. Sorry – my fault. I didn’t include the asterisk! Looking forward to receiving some earrings as a present for my daughter. Then I just might get some for myself! Gill

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