The Meghan Markle effect! The ‘incredible’ impact of Meghan’s jewellery choices

Meghan has left Pippa Small, the founder of a label selling jewellery made by women in war-ravaged Kabul, Afghanistan, in awe at her influence. The Duchess has been heavily influencing the fashion world since her engagement to Prince Harry was announced – with her now iconic white coat by Line the Label selling out within minutes. And Meghan seems to have the same magic touch for accessories and jewellery, as revealed by Ms Small, who experienced a spike in sales after the Duchess walked out wearing her rings and earrings. 

Ms Small told Hello! magazine: “It’s incredible. After years of trying, she’s just blown the doors open.

“The impact on the workshop has been fantastic.”

Meghan first wore a Pippa Small handcrafted piece at the Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in October last year.

She was later spotted wearing creations from the same brand during other very public outings. 

As she was attending a special event at Nadi Airport in Fiji during their Down Under tour with Prince Harry, Meghan wore the Gold Peepal Leaf Earrings by Pippa Small.

Again in 2018, Meghan wore a set of gold bangles and stud earrings from the same brand at the very high-profile British Fashion Awards in December.

The Duchess of Sussex also stepped out wearing another piece of jewellery by the same ethical brand in July this year, when she attended with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Pippa Middleton the women’s singles final at Wimbledon.

Ms Small revealed her Afghan employees were also stunned by seeing their pieces of jewellery becoming very popular so quickly. 

She said: “It was absolutely incredible, it was suddenly like: ‘We need more of this.’

“It had such a direct impact on the workshop. They were absolutely thrilled.

“It couldn’t have been more rewarding.

“Ethical jewellery has become a conversation and I think the Duchess wearing it over the last year, without having to say anything, has brought that subject to a public who weren’t aware.

“It has opened that conversation up.”

According to the entrepreneur, Meghan has had an impact on her brand like no one else.

Ms Small worked with Tom Ford at Gucci, Nicole Farhi and Phoebe Philo’s Chloé and has been worn by actresses Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria and even Kate – but none of them helped her brand being noticed as much as Meghan.

And her silent promotion of the designer is also helping Ms Small feeding the mouths of her employees.

The designer said: “That’s why the Duchess wearing a piece made such a huge difference.

“You can get the design or the price wrong or you don’t have a successful season and that impacts on the artisans really quickly. 

“So with something like this, it’s given them the kind of growth that they really needed.”

Meghan’s support to Pippa Small also gives a nod of approval to Prince Charles.

The organisation training Ms Small’s employees, Turquoise Mountain Foundation, has been established by the Prince of Wales in 2006.

The work done by the organisation allows women to learn skills that will give them a job and make them independent in the country trying to go back to normalcy despite the war, started in 2001, still ongoing. 

Ms Small, who has been travelling for years back and forth to Kabul to meet these women and see their work, said: “You weren’t allowed to wear or make jewellery under the Taliban so it was a pretty dead industry.

“Now they have a job, they’re well paid, they’re safe.”

However, they still risk their lives, Ms Small said: “We’ve had instances where the workshop has been bombed three or four times and people have been shot outside.

“But it’s a partnership. It feels like part of the deal is: you show up.”       

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