A master of precious metals, his hand-crafted creations have wowed pop and screen elites from Keith Richards and Johnny Depp to Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
With hints of pagan, medieval Christian, Baroque and Gothic influences, Serra’s striking bespoke and off-the-shelf designs twin exotic art with flamboyant showbiz.
The unique styles such as skull rings and handcuff bracelets are ones that play well not just with A-listers, dandy heavy metal dudes and the festival crowd however.
Since trading online his Crazy Pigs Designs company, which has a team of seven, is now in the social media spotlight.
Orders have surged worldwide and Serra forecasting £1.5 million turnover next year.
Despite the growth demands ahead, there will be no change though to Crazy Pigs’ manufacturing methods, says the French-born innovator who opened a store in London’s Covent Garden in 1992 and has stayed there ever since.
“In a world where machines are the most common method of production, we go against the grain,” he explains.
“3-D printing and computer-generated design are tools that have become the norm, but for us they are not a substitute for hand drawing and hand carving skills.”
Unimpressed with external investment offers he has received so far, Serra is for payment technology however.
He has grown his business using Barclaycard’s payment gateway for online sales, its portable card reader for instant instore ones and his credit card for managing expenses when opening a second store in Tokyo a year ago.
Recent research from the payments solutions provider found even small improvements in external factors such as access to talent, finance and infrastructure play a crucial role in firms scaling up successfully.
Significantly better public transport was identified as being key in helping at least 1,400 more small firms grow over a year.
Passing trade is still vital for Serra who was already selling wholesale to Japan when a potential problem a couple of years ago prompted him to take a bold step.
A loyal customer there alerted him to supply delays.
“That decided me to go direct, open a store and streamline distribution. The customer is now my business partner there, we’ve saved on costs and sales are 25 per cent up this year,” he says now toying with further launch in New York.
A guitar player and collector too, it was the music making that helped form bonds when the stars got in touch, he explains. “I’m not dazzled by fame. When I met Mick (Jagger) it was his guitar that interested me.
“It is not so different for our customers: they cherish their jewellery because it has been handmade by an artist.”
Published at Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:28:00 +0000