Wear and Resist was started by me, Sarah Day, in early 2017.
Having grown up in both the US and UK, the political events of 2016 affected me strongly. I had to find a way to channel my frustration (and rage) into a creative endeavour, and I wanted to raise money for womens' charities. All of a sudden I became acutely aware that the fight for women’s equality was nowhere near over, and I wanted to do waht I could to protect women’s rights, which I saw being eroded by Trump’s policies and the growing right-wing movement in the UK.
I have always had a love of eye-catching jewellery, but all of a sudden I felt the need to wear something around my neck that made an actual statement; something that would speak to other women. Inspired by the jewellery worn by suffragists and suffragettes, I wanted to create pieces that would demonstrate an allegiance to this suddenly urgent feminist cause.
Women's March, London 2017
Eliza and I went on a very crowded bus to London. I had my first prototype small Resist necklace in my pocket and was already desperate to get them made. The march and Eliza's passion for the cause removed any doubts I had that I could 'do this thing'!
The word Resist was soon joined by Nasty and then Persist when ‘Nevertheless she Persisted’ – that then became a feminist rallying cry.
Wear and Resist has grown word by word and colour by glittery colour. Each item is designed by and hand-made by me in my Oxfordshire studio. My daughter Eliza is my model and inspiration to keep going. She is also an expert chain maker!
In the lead up to the Irish Referendum on Abortion, I made Repeal necklaces and raised money for ARC, and Feiminí was designed in collaboration with Irish Gaelic speakers reflecting this growing feminist movement in Ireland.
Helen Lewis wearing a Repeal necklace on the Andrew Marr show. She went on to ask me to design necklaces to celebrate her book, Difficult Women.
I had already collaborated with Mary Beard to make a necklace to celebrate her book Women & Power.
After Lady Hale delivered the UK’s Supreme Court ruling I designed the All Hail Lady Hale Spider Brooch with £2 going to Women for Refugee Women.
When I'm not designing or making jewellery you’ll find me writing in my wonderful oak summerhouse built by my husband Matt. (Any writers in search of a beautiful writing space do get in touch!) My books have been longlisted for several major novel prizes. Having always had a deep interest in both writing and art, (I also has an MFA in painting and worked at Sotheby's auction house for many years) I have a passion for the aesthetic appeal of fonts, and the use of text in art.
My ideal art collection (which I am constantly perfecting in my mind) would consist entirely of text-based works and would definitely include the neon piece below by Tracy Emin.
I didn't know how to run a jewellery business before I started. I just didn't give myself time to think and did what I loved doing. I simply followed my own creative urges. I think this might be the only path to take if you want to love your job as much as I do.