Winter is the party season here in the Gulf and one of the biggest parties we all plan are our weddings. We confess to being perfectionists here at Saffron Souk and so it’s essential for us to get every detail spot on. It is all about the details, afterall, and so that brings us to Sixpence Wedding Design.
Gem and Layla are the incredibly talented designer-makers behind Sixpence Wedding Design and they are all about the details; those little touches that result in true perfection!
Want to know more about them and their stunning collection? Then read on…
What sort of products do you market?
We design and handcraft bridal accessories such as intricately beaded headpieces, veils, bridal sashes and garters as well as venue decorations. We’re also building a collection of beautiful birdcages and lace parasols adorned with silk flowers for rental.
1. Just a few examples of Sixpence Wedding Design’s unique handmade range…this is the stunning Sia headpiece 2. The pretty Emily ring pillow – a wedding day essential! 3. The Julia sash, with hand stitched pearls, antiqued rhinestones and silver seed beads
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
We made everything for our own weddings and received so much positive feedback. As a result we had friends, friends of guests, customers of the photographers and the owners of the venue itself, asking us to make products for them, so we decided to make it a business.
What’s the best thing about setting up your own brand?
The freedom to be completely creative. The buzz that you get from making a bride-to-be something really special that may potentially become a family heirloom is priceless.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Finding the time for social media as all of our handcrafted products take a very long time to make!
What do you love about selling online?
The fact that your reach is literally global is the biggest plus.
Where do you source your materials?
We source materials from all over; Dubai and the UK mostly but we also order things online from the US.
1. Here are some of the beads and other materials that are used by Gem and Layla. Even the sewing box is pretty! 2-3. Amazing detail and workmanshop in these headed and lace headpieces
What sets your products apart?
We handcraft and design everything so all pieces are truly unique. We also offer a bespoke service; we were recently asked to make bejeweled mini burger skewers, which turned out beautifully!
What’s your favourite colour?
Gem: I don’t really have a favourite colour, my preferred colours change depending on if it’s in clothes, home décor, nail polish, haha! My favourite colours to wear are White and Olive Green!
Layla: My favorite colour is Orange.
What’s your favourite film?
Gem: I really hate to admit this but I would have to put Dirty Dancing up there as my favorite, eeek cringe!
Layla: Horton Hears A Who.
What are you reading right now?
Gem: I just finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
Layla: Essential Buddhism.
1. A few of Gem and Layla’s favourite things…
When did you last laugh?
Gem: The last time I laughed so hard that I cried was when I was demonstrating how to dance to drum and bass to my mum – I do not actually know how to or even know anything about drum and bass which is what made it really quite funny!
Layla: At Gem.
What keeps you awake at night?
Gem: My fidgety husband!
Layla: Nothing thanks to memory foam.
Do you have any regrets?
Gem: A few, but the most important thing is to learn from any mistakes you’ve made, they are all part of the fabric of life and have been part of making you who you are today.
Layla: No, as any mistakes I just count as lessons learned.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Gem: I think most people have insecurities about themselves but my mum always told me never to portray them to anyone because people will always play on them given a chance.
Layla: I’m quite happy how I am.
Who would you most like to meet?
Gem: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, I’d thank him for having such amazing vision for Dubai and for letting me live in this vibrant country!
Layla: The Dalai Lama.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Gem: A ghost.
Layla: Someone with claustrophobia.
You’re throwing a fantasy dinner party. Who do you invite, alive, dead, real or ficticious?
Gem: I’d make it a pot luck dinner and invite Michel Roux Jr, Jamie Oliver, Feran Adria, Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson (she’s on pudding) and James Halliday.
Layla: Leonardo Da Vinci, Timothy O’Leary, Sigmund Freud & The Dalai Lama as I have many questions to ask all of them.
1-2. Take a look at what the Sixpence Wedding’s ladies dinner parties might look like…it sounds suspiciously like Gem’s not planning on doing too much cooking!
Do you have any pets?
Gem: No, I’m allergic to animal hair but I am one of those that coos and ahhhs at every single dog that goes past me in the park!
Layla: No, but I would have a zoo in my garden if I could.
Do you collect anything?
Gem: Yes, anything that sparkles; beads, sequins, crystals, prettiness……!
Layla: Anything Buddha related.
What do you think you’d taste like?
Gem: I’d like to say organic vegetable juice or something equally as wholesome but it’d most likely be a cream cheese, cucumber and sweet chili sandwich because that’s what I just ate!
Layla: Sweets of course!
Do you believe in luck?
Gem: Yes, absolutely. But I also believe that you quite often get back what you give out, and what may appear to be luck, is just a case of picking up on something that others may have missed.
Layla: Yes, but I also believe in fate.
Do you have a motto?
Gem: Appreciate what you have whether it be a lot or a little because there will always be someone less fortunate in the world than you. And always be grateful for every day because life is short.
Layla: Live positively and in the moment.
What is your golden rule?
Gem: Never speak badly about anyone because the world is a very small place and it will most likely come back to haunt you one day or another!
Layla: Make sure that you laugh at least once a day
Who is the best super-hero? Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
Gem: Superman. Any man who can get away with making a career out of wearing enormous, red fat pants and still be cool, has to win, hands down.
Layla: None of the above, my dad’s the best super-hero!!!
What’s the best career advice anyone ever gave you?
Gem: Work hard to make you own dreams come true, otherwise someone will pay you to work hard at theirs.
Layla: To love your job.
1. Gem packages up one of Sixpence Wedding Design’s handcrafted headpieces 2. Layla gets busy working on a veil
What is the greatest mystery of the universe?
Gem: The Bermuda Triangle and how only one of my black flip-flops has disappeared from my wardrobe never to be seen again.
Layla: What happens when we pass away.
What is your greatest aim in life?
Gem: To one day run the London Marathon.
Layla: To have peace and happiness.
What was your worst holiday?
Gem: I honestly haven’t had any holidays that could be classed as the worst.
Layla: Me neither.
How many foreign languages do you speak?
1. Much of Sixpence Wedding Design’s collection is for the bride…like this pretty Mia Garter… 2. and Rosie Sash 3. A close up of the Bella Sash – look at the detail! 4. We can see this Isla Headband on a flowergirl 5-6. But they also have the groom and groomsmen covered – look at these unique boutonnieres…simply white and peachy
What is the oddest habit you will admit to?
Gem: Sub-consciously looking for Sheikh Mohammed’s car every time I’m driving around Dubai – everyone else seems to have seen him, why haven’t I?!
Layla: I really can’t think of anything, I don’t think I have any actually!!
Do you like girl groups or boy bands?
Gem: I can appreciate genuinely talented musicians and you don’t usually associate them with the term girl group or boy band.
Layla: I don’t like either, soreeee!
What are you most embarrassed by?
Gem: The fact that I used to think clay pigeons were a breed of pigeon! No wonder I never wanted to go clay pigeon shooting!
What are your 5 favourite finds from the Saffron Souk market?
Only 5? All of the shops on Saffron Souk are just gorgeous, so many talented people out there.
Nighting Oils’ Garden Buddy, all natural insect repellent, so much better than spraying nasty chemicals onto your skin, 2birds (we love all of their cotton summer dresses), Reiki Touch Dubai – our mum is a Reiki master so we love anything to do with Reiki, The Linen Souk – such beautiful quality linen and RAW – I want the gold sequined clutch with pink detailing.
1. Here’s Nighting Oils’ all natural Garden Buddy insect repellent, a must have for the party season! 2-3. Saffron Souk are big fans of 2birds dresses too. We’re loving this blue flower dress, but there’s plenty of others to choose from too
1. Reiki Touch Dubai’s jewellery is made from semi-precious gemstones. They are reiki energised to enhance their natural healing properties 2. This is Sixpence Wedding Design’s favourite RAW clutch. RAW makes a unique range of bags and accessories which feature gorgeous braids and detailing sourced from the souks of Dubai
Thanks ladies – we’ve had such a great chuckle!
Sixpence Wedding Design understands that every Bride and every wedding celebration, elaborate or simple, is truly unique. The distinctiveness is in the detail. From boutonnieres to cathedral length veils, they handcraft high quality, finishing touches for your perfect day. Don’t miss a look around their online boutique at Saffron Souk – we know you’ll fall in love!