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Designer Spotlight: Amarilo

Designer Spotlight: Amarilo


We fired off some quick questions to Amarilo co-founder, Ali Heiss this month as part of our Designer Spotlight series. As a female business owner, I've always loved the dynamic she has with her business partner, Stella Simona - women empowering women and achieving amazing, creative brands. Below she talks about the inspiration she draws from the women around her in creating the Amarilo aesthetic. You can read a gorgeous full-length interview with Ali over on her blog here, too.

Q: If you could design for someone in the public eye, it would be:
Ruth Ginsburg, the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in the US. Designing jewelry with anybody is a very intimate experience. You'd be surprised how much you can learn about someone by their taste in jewelry and I would love to sit down with Ruth.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?: 
The women around me, from all generations. I recently spoke to my mom about the hardships she endured in the 50s and 60s. The pressure to have a "kept home", raise three children, work full time, and cater to her ex-husband - that's what was expected. Nearly 70 years later, women have linked arms and come a long way to push back this oppressive societal pressure. It's one of the reasons that my business partner Stella and I understand the importance of collaboration because women bring each other up. Since we started our partnership over 5 years ago, we have tackled so much more together.  This is why I create and design jewelry for women, because they deserve every beautiful token to remind them how hard they have worked, just for being a woman. 

Ruth Bader [image credit Sebastian Kim for TIME]
Q: Who is on your current playlist?:
Sofi Tukker & Podcasts (Masters of Scale).

Q: Tell us about some Apps you can’t live without:
Pandora, Instagram, Slack and Dropbox.

Q: What is your most treasured piece of jewellery: 
It would have to be an Amarilo Lock Pendant. 

Amarilo jewelry


 Shop the Amarilo collection here

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Summer jewellery inspiration

Summer jewellery inspiration

Just like fashion, jewellery has its seasons. From the sparkly statement necklaces and chandelier earrings of Christmas to the gorgeous, beaded friendship bracelets and stackable bangles of summer.

Whilst we love the heirloom, demi-fine jewellery that we wear all-year long - having a 'jewellery wardrobe' that you can dip in and out of to embellish an outfit is just the magic of jewellery that we love - here are three looks we love.

A long-chain pendant necklace is a great summer option for over floaty kaftans and tanned skin. We love this mixed metal bar design from ethical jewellery brand, Kimsu.

Sidai Tanzania beaded jewellery

We have just recieved a new drop of our perennial summer bestsellers from Sidai (above). Sidai Designs is a non-profit organisation, located in Arusha, Tanzania. The centre supports Maasai women by working with them to produce beautiful beaded jewellery based on traditional techniques and modern aesthetics. Choose from fine, beaded hoop and drop earrings - or delicate, stackable friendship bracelets with leather and metallic detailing.

spike hoop earrings Maria Francesca Pepe

These Spike hoop earrings are brilliant for toughening up summer maxi dresses and florals. The neat hoop cuffs the ear lobe - available in steel and gold.

Explore our designer collections here

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Sustainable jewellery - what makes an ethical brand?

Sustainable jewellery - what makes an ethical brand?

First it was food, then fashion. Now sustainable jewellery is having its moment.

Perhaps less of a 'moment' and more of a movement; a movement towards more conscious buying and a curiosity into where and how the jewellery we invest in and wear next to our skin everyday, is made.

What makes a jewellery brand 'ethical'?

'Ethical Jewellery' as a term can cover a whole host of criteria - using Fairtrade or recycled materials, how and by whom pieces are actually made, a charity initiative, carbon neutral manufacture... it can be a bit of a minefield and a lot of companies are jumping on the 'green marketing' bandwagon without clear, traceable credentials.

'Fairtrade mining' is a good place to start - defined by factors such as, gems and metals that have been sourced without the use of chemicals such as cyanide or mercury in its extraction, paying workers fairly and meeting strict environment criteria. It's about transparency and tracebility and more and more consumers are requesting this information before they buy.

Using recycled materials is another angle that a number of designer makers prefer to opt for, as even if materials have been mined responsibly, there is always the environment impact any mining will have that recycling eschews.

So how do you seek out responsibly sourced jewellers and designers? Firstly, ask the questions - before choosing pieces ask about their provenance and how materials have been sourced. Buying from small, independent designers will also give you that direct link to the creator and a more transparent idea of how their collections are made, versus mass-market, high-street jewellers with a long and sometimes vague supply chain.

Here are three ethical designers we work with:

New to The Collective Boutique for 2018, is FERA (main picture), a sustainable collection of handmade jewellery created by British designer maker Jo Gordon. Jo uses recycled silver, precious stones and carved bone and is a registered Fair Trade Goldsmith. Fera also gives a percentage of each sale to environmental charities.

KIMSU (below) is a sustainable jewellery brand based in Berlin. They use recycled metal and semi-precious stones in their architecturally influenced designs.  

sustainable ethical jewellery brand KIMSU

We introduced our newest designer Amarilo's demi-fine jewellery last week and this 3rd generation of LA jewellers responsibly source conflict-free materials for their designs, too.

We'd love to hear from you, are there any ethical or sustainable jewellery brands we should know about? Let us know!



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New Designer: LA jewellery brand, Amarilo

New Designer: LA jewellery brand, Amarilo

This summer we are welcoming LA-based fine and demi-fine jewellery brand, Amarilo to The Collective as their first UK stockist. Minimalist lovers, or those simply looking for beautifully understated everyday pieces that they're not going to tire of, will love this 3rd generation of Californian jewellers. 

The Collective is all about representing exciting, emerging jewellers in the UK and on a personal note, I am super excited to bring Amarilo to our shores. I've been in touch with and following one of Amarilo's founders Stella Simona since I launched my business in 2013 and they've been on my designer wish list ever since. 

I love the modern simplicity of their collections, the way the pieces can be layered together and the fact they are solid 9/14ct gold which makes them affordable and lovely pieces to gradually add to, as the whole collection sits together so well. This is jewellery for the modern day woman, designed by women who understand what a real woman wants from her jewellery!

From the gorgeous MAMA necklace that sits perfectly at the collarbone, to the iridescent Mini Opal Hoops and simple Gold Ball Studs.

Discover the collection here 

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Designer Spotlight: Jennifer Loiselle

Designer Spotlight: Jennifer Loiselle

Designer spotlight Q&A with statement jewellery designer Jennifer LoiselleWe are big fans of Jennifer's statement pieces using unexpected combinations of materials and techniques. laser cut perspex and quirky motifs.

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