“We’ve Not Stopped Since We Launched Our Travel-Inspired Jewellery Business Idea Ten Years Ago” 

Ten years ago, Candace Kellough and Tom Lane decided to cut their backpacking journey short when inspiration stopped them in their tracks. Whilst hiking the coastline between Barcelona and Monaco in 2013, they contemplated creating a bracelet that could record their travels, adventures and experiences. 

Returning home to the UK earlier than expected, the pair couldn’t get the idea out of their minds, and so decided to launch their business, El Camino Bracelets, on 27 December a decade ago. 

On returning to Tom’s parents’ home in Oxfordshire they began to handmake a few of the bracelets that they’d talked about, with beads engraved by a local craftsman to show the destinations and dates of adventures that the wearer had been on. The original batch of bracelets were given to close friends and family and they chose the name, El Camino, to pay homage to the Spanish roots of the project. 

Much time has passed since the first drawings of an El Camino bracelet were created in a tent near Sa Tuna. Today the beads, or ‘Steps’, are still engraved by the same man in Oxfordshire, but the company headquarters is on the north coast of Cornwall. Wearers can now choose from several different colours of bracelet or necklace, adding Steps from over 200 different countries, countless destinations, regions, seas, adventures and the five world oceans. 

That initial small idea has clearly resonated around the globe, as El Camino Bracelets have been bought by 78,000 customers in 89 countries, with the Cornwall-based business now boasting a multi-million pound turnover. 

Founders – Candace Kellough and Tom Lane

El Camino Bracelets founder Candace Kellough, 34, shares her thoughts on the success and popularity of the brand; “I’m so pleased Tom and I stuck to our guns all those years ago and turned our dream into a business – and what a journey it has been! An El Camino bracelet is ideal for travel lovers and those who wish to commemorate special moments, as each bracelet is bespoke, so can feature destinations explored or milestones reached. And this in turn makes an El Camino the most thoughtful and unique gift, which is why I think we have so many loyal wonderful El Camino customers of all ages all over the world. It really helps that no two El Camino’s are the same, as each El Camino is as unique as the wearer’s travel story. We’ve witnessed so many moments being commemorated – everything from climbing mountains to oceans sailed, to personal mottos. 

Launching this business has also meant that since 2013, Tom and I have been able to raise £20,000 for several charities close to our hearts, including the World Land Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, Cool Earth and NHS Charities. We’re also proud to say that since day one, El Camino bracelets and necklaces continue to be handmade in the UK.” 

Co-founder Tom Lane, 39, believes their approach to marketing El Camino Bracelets has been integral to their growth strategy; Almost all of El Camino Bracelets’ new customers are acquired through word of mouth or social media. We love it when we check our post sales survey and see so many of our customers found out about us through word of mouth as it means our established customers are happy enough with our products to recommend us to their friends or family. The fact that over 50% of new customers purchased from us as a result of recommendations from someone else that was enthusiastic enough to talk about our products give us a great feeling. Our returning customer rate is also exceptionally high, so we must be doing something right!“ 

El Camino Bracelets in Numbers 

78,000 customers have bought an El Camino Bracelet in the last ten years. 

El Camino Bracelets feature Steps that can commemorate places travelled, special anniversaries, and personal milestones. Over 500,000 Steps have been sold to date. 

The youngest El Camino wearer is four-month old Imogen Margot Newbold-Burman, from Sevenoaks in Kent. 

El Camino’s older fans include 81-year old Teresa Attias from Ontario, Canada, (pictured) 

Canine Community: Dogs are also gifted El Camino’s, including Australian Sheppard Dougal (picture) 

To find out more, visit www.elcaminobracelets.com. 


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