One of the reasons I started my own jewellery business is because I wanted to restore the personal touch in the jewellery buying process, providing a customer-centric journey so you can get the most value from the experience.
So I thought I'd share my own journey with jewellery, in the hopes of giving you an insight on who you're buying your jewellery from.
My earliest memory of my love affair with jewellery was asking my parents to bring back some abloro - my poor attempt at saying "abalorio" (beads/trinkets in Spanish), aged 3- from Divisoria Market in the Philippines. They came back with a small bag full of plastic beads that had a beautiful purple and green crackle finish, which I then proceeded to pop into a jar full of water, shaking it about and keeping myself fairly entertained and mesmerised by the way the beads floated around.
When we were children, I looped my cousins into the same obsession, and we would trade our little treasures whenever they came over to our home. I loved collecting beads and sorting them out in their little boxes with compartments; some days I'd sort them out by colour, other days by shape. There was something so cathartic about this process, and I found a lot of joy in it; or maybe there's just a touch of underlying OCD in there that I'm unaware of.
Eventually, this need to hoard beads and other trinkets died down, as new interests came to replace them. I was an active kid; I took up climbing and filled my days with training at indoor climbing facilities for hours on end. That said, my fascination with jewellery never really stopped. I had always spent more time picking out my jewellery over the clothes I'd wear, opting to shop for a new sparkly necklace over, say, replacing worn-out socks.
Enter my twenties; weary and driven up a wall from wrangling a degree and a full-time job at the same time, I returned to my reliable childhood comfort- collecting and sorting beads. Only this time, backed by a newfound buying power thanks to my monthly pay-check, I opted for the pricier sort: semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and mineral specimens.
Of course, minimum wage was no match for my re-discovered obsession, so I started exploring other ways to fund it. I figured I'd eventually run out of space in our little matchbox flat in Hong Kong, at which point making and selling jewellery appealed to me. I started teaching myself jewellery-making techniques, and in no time at all, I fell in love with the jewellery-making process. I felt like my interests have finally come full circle, and it all made sense somehow.
I'd say my favourite piece from this era is a stunning chalcedony nugget, deep purple amethyst and small freshwater pearl combo, which I designed to keep up with all the rage of long necklaces back then. I still have it, and occasionally wear it, though I must admit that it's a tad too heavy for comfort- user experience wasn't exactly my forte at the time.
Unfortunately, life took over once again, and my little operation came to a grinding halt when I moved to London. Though my obsessive eye turned its attention to running and travelling, there is no shortage of photos of jewellery in my trip albums. I also learned about Hatton Garden, which planted the seed of silver-smithing in my head.
And now we come to 2020; early on in the year, I started building up a small collection of tools for basic silver smithing, after having taken it up again while on holiday. My plan was to work on simple pieces, selling my creations to close friends and family, until that plan took a life on its own, opportunity after opportunity, revealing a potential future that I had only dreamt of once upon a time.
I still can't believe this is my now, creating and selling my work in my own little corner of the web, even as I write this. I know that in many ways, it's all thanks to wonderful friends and strangers who support the passion of someone who was once a little girl that was just a little too obsessed with beads.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.