Meet Hetty Stephen Founder of Lighthouse Antiques

We spoke to Hetty Stephen - founder of preloved, sustainable brand jewellery brand, Lighthouse Antiques. Follow Hetty over on @lighthouse.antiques and find her latest collections at

 Choosing jewellery to gift this Valentine's Day, where do you begin? 
I’d say the sensible place to start would be to get an idea of your Valentine’s style - generally people fall into one of two camps: yellow metal vs. white metal, and then often a preference of new vs. vintage/old. You can then base your search on these parameters - also women tend to be pretty good at dropping unsubtle hints of what they do and don’t like, so pay attention to those! You could always check if they follow any particular jewellers on Instagram too. 


Why do you love jewellery?

Mostly it’s the sentimentality - if you ask someone about a piece they are wearing, they will almost, always have a story or anecdote about it. I think that’s quite unique to jewellery.

Any tips for buying jewellery? 

"Invest wisely and research what you’re actually paying for."

Often gold-plated pieces from well-known retailers are almost as expensive as a second-hand gold equivalent. There is a saying “buy nice or buy twice” and I think that’s spot on for jewellery.

What’s your favourite pieces at the moment? 

It changes almost daily but at the moment in my personal collection: my emerald and diamond panel ring, and in stock: probably the seal engraved wild boar gent’s signet ring by Richard Ogden.



Tell me about Lighthouse Antiques? 

Whilst I do bespoke commissions (predominantly engagement and wedding rings) the motto of the brand is “turning pre-loved into re-loved” and that’s really what I’m passionate about. Sustainable shopping has become a 'buzz' topic especially amongst the fashion sector and it seems only natural that jewellery should follow suit. I specialise in vintage gold (you won’t catch me dead in white metal, sorry) - I’ve always been an old over new kind of girl and as people have often been kind enough to compliment me on my own jewellery collection, I thought creating a curated brand of pieces I love that represents my style seemed like a good idea!

Why did you begin your business? 

I wanted to make good quality solid gold jewellery accessible to younger people at a price point that was in line with what they might be spending at high street stores. I have tried to my best to cater to all price points so there is something for everyone.

Where do you source and find gems?

All over the place if I’m honest, it’s not all glitz and glamour and a lot of my job is trawling through junk either online, or in person, to find something worthwhile. Generally, my sourcing locations are auction houses, antique centres and other dealers. 

Why is sustainability important to you?

I think any brand nowadays needs to have it at the forefront of their ethos - over consumption is a real issue. I firmly believe in investing in one of two good quality, slightly more expensive items than multiple cheaper ones that you only have for a year or two and then throw away (in all things, not just jewellery). Obviously, I am mindful that this may not be possible for everyone but financially over time, you probably won’t save money by going down the inexpensive route and also gold is a good investment that holds monetary value unlike the plated pieces.



Any advice for someone starting a business?

Do your research. See what other similar brands are doing that make them successful, but DON’T copy them. Most industries are very saturated at this point. If you’re not bringing anything new to the table you won’t stand out, and success could be harder.  Do NOT make it your full time job (straight away)…

Working for yourself is heavily romanticised - it is incredibly rewarding and liberating in some ways, however, don’t underestimate how much work is involved and how comforting a steady pay cheque is. Running your own business means you have to be 15 different people at once and it can be pretty daunting at times. Be prepared to budget as not every month will be profitable and you still have to pay bills regardless. All that being said - if you are passionate about your idea, just go for it!

What’s your favourite Marla & Primrose pieces for Valentine's Day? 

I have a particular obsession for all M&P plates and have been eyeing up the Le Citron one for a while. The Confetti glass tumblers are so fun too.


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