How a Belfast jeweller brought the latest fashion trend to Northern Ireland

Belfast’s only permanent jewellery brand, Monday’s Child, originally launched during the pandemic with the aim of creating affordable, tarnish free jewellery.

Laura McBride with her Get Linked Jewellery that she hand makes from her studio in east Belfast. Picture by Peter Morrison

After seeing the popularity of permanent jewellery in other parts of the UK, the store’s owner, Laura McBride decided to bring the trend to Northern Ireland.

“It’s that weird situation in which it’s like: ‘Well no one is doing it, why? Is it a case that it’s not wanted here?’

“There are differences between the UK market and the Northern Irish market, but whenever I launched my service, it was really a couple of TikTok videos and then it took off for me. Since then I’ve never really looked back.”

Jeweller Laura McBride working on her jewellery. Picture by Peter Morrison

Since first offering permanent jewellery Monday’s Child has been gradually growing in popularity with Laura having done around 1,000 pieces so far.

“It’s been going really well, it’s nice to see people coming back for their second and third piece, it sort of gives me the confidence that people actually enjoy it,” she added.

“It used to be that TikTok was the main way people were discovering me but now it’s through friends and family that already had one and love them.

“There really is so many reasons why people get them and every reason is so personal.

“So for example I would have new mums that maybe come in and get a bracelet with their child’s initials on it.

“I’ve had best friends that are maybe moving across the world from each other so they get them because they just want something to signify their friendship.

“I’ve had people come in together and get their partners initials. It’s really just unique to everyone, and there are people that just come in because they love them.”

Jeweller Laura McBride. Picture by Peter Morrison

Despite its name, permanent jewellery isn’t actually permanent, it can be taken off if the customer decides to change the style or needs it removed for a medical reason such as an MRI.

“I’m trying to come away from the word permanent because it can be taken off if you want it to, it’s not like a tattoo or something, if you need to take it off you can,” Laura explained.

The jewellery is waterproof and tarnish free and can withstand everyday wear and tear.

However, Laura said how long the jewellery lasts is ultimately up to the individual and she has also been keen to challenge some of the popular misconceptions about the pieces that have emerged online.

“It really depends on the person, I’m not saying they are bulletproof or anything, you can damage them but I can just weld them back on, they are fine pieces of jewellery but I would say I have done maybe 1,000 pieces now, and I’ve only had a couple of people that have managed to break or stretch them somehow.

“But even then I can just weld them back on and they will be just the same as before.

“I have a TikTok for the business and a lot of people have commented under some of my videos asking about putting a tan on and honestly, that’s no bother, because they are so fine, you can just put the tan on around it and it doesn’t leave any lines.”

The chain is welded together instead of relying on a clasp. Picture by Peter Morrison

She added: “If we have maybe three generations of people coming in to get them done together, the granny might be concerned that the bracelet is going to be welded to their skin, so we have to clarify that the piece is just welded to itself and we have little protectors so it doesn’t hurt when you get it done.

“We also have some people who think that you can’t wear them going through the airport but it is 100% fine to go through the airport. You don’t have to take them off at all, it’s the same as your wedding ring, you wouldn’t take it off at the airport either.”

Given the level of interest so far in the trend, the jeweller is convinced the popularity of permanent jewellery is only going to increase.

“I think that the market is so new here, and I’ve been really, really lucky to get in there first,” she added.

“There are still people just finding out about me, there are still people coming back for their second bracelet, we also offer anklets and there is a lot more we are hoping to offer soon.

“It’s definitely a pretty new service to the Northern Irish public and I would say it’s going to continue to grow.”

Laura McBride owns Get Linked Jewellery. Picture by Peter Morrison

Belfast Telegraph News