Bec Clarke reveals what makes her tick.

In 2006, with a background in ecommerce and venture capitalism, Bec Clarke founded luxury online jewellery site, Astley Clarke and now counts Nicole Kidman and Sarah Brown amongst her roll call of famous customers. So what's the secret of her success? Where does she like to escape? And what are her top beauty secrets? We dropped her a line to find out....

I launched Astley Clarke in 2006. Our vision to create a luxury jewellery online environment is an industry first – I wanted to change the way that luxury consumers shop for jewellery online.

I recognised a gap in the market for online luxury. This was fuelled by my disappointment when shopping for fine jewellery – there was a lack of orginality. I knew of many independent designers who were creating really desirable pieces, but they couldn’t compete with the big brands. I wanted to create a ‘new’ online space to address this balance. Many people thought that I was mad but I am proving them wrong!

I have a natural ability to look at the bigger picture… but it requires discipline to make sure that I do not become too immersed in the day to day. I also have a knack for spotting new talent in the jewellery world – I get really excited by the prospect of supporting new designers and giving them a platform for their work.

I admire… warriors and artists who rally against misguided beliefs – Mandela, Ho Chi Min and Oscar Wilde.

My most treasured possession is… my Astley Clarke Engagement ring – self explanatory!

The best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given are… there is always a solution if you look hard enough, never put off tomorrow what you can do today, and laugh at yourself before others – all given to me by my father – he has climbed Everest on more than one occasion and has experienced some of the most difficult mental and physical challenges imaginable.

My finest moment was… giving birth to Thor Pearson my son and Astley Clarke winning Best Online Luxury Brand.

My home is… warm and welcoming – if a little frantic!

Our best selling product is… The Baby Astley Ring (right) – this beautiful ring features a lovely pearly white moonstone cabochon set in 18ct rose gold, surrounded by pave diamonds. It is subtle and feminine - classic designer jewellery with a contemporary edge. We have found that the recession has encouraged customers to purchase fine jewellery investment piece rather than cheaper mass produced jewellery. Astley Clarke jewellery is original yet timeless

My personal style is… eclectic - I like colour and often wear simple styles that act as a canvas for the jewellery I am wearing.

My biggest beauty secret is… the quicker the better – I do not have much spare time – lots of water, fresh air and laughter!

You might not know this but… I have an MA in politics and philosophy and I love to eat hamburger and oysters – obviously not at the same time!

At the moment, I’m reading... Jewels – A Secret History by Victoria Finlay (Victoria also wrote a fascinating book on the history of colour). The book gives a historical and cultural background to gemstones from all over the world – it is absolutely fascinating.

If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would be by… Lake Como, Italy

I can’t live without… my son, husband and…a glass of Chablis!

My favourite website is… Astley Clarke! It gives customers the ultimate edit of original, fine and contemporary designer jewellery – hand sourced by myself and Lorna Watson, Creative Director. We also take great pains to ensure that our own label collections are utterly beautiful and unique - we always strive to be original and give so much more to our customers. With exquisite front end design, excellent faceted navigation, improved jewellery wish-list and gift reminding features; the site speaks directly to the new generation of designer jewellery connoisseurs.

Where I’ll be in ten years is… a top secret – but I hope that I am still learning - life is a lesson after all.

Visit www.astleyclarke.co.uk

12 February 2010