May is Focus on Africa’s Women Jewellery Designers Month
Every month at Lionesses of Africa, we shine a spotlight on a particular industry sector where Africa’s women entrepreneurs are making a real impact, through their businesses, their innovation, their products, services and craftsmanship, and their passion for what they do. This month (May), we are turning our attention to the incredibly creative women jewellery designers of Africa, who are turning the precious metals, gems and semi-precious stones found here on the continent into beautiful decorative pieces for the world to wear. These African women jewellery designers are putting the continent on the global map through their uniquely African-inspired designs and technical brilliance.
All this month at Lionesses of Africa, we are featuring and paying tribute to some of these amazing African Women Jewellery Designers whose unique sense of style and creativity we love. They are both inspirational and practically making such a difference to the jewellery design landscape on the African continent. Some are names you may already know and their creations you may be wearing right now - others may be new to you, but their work speaks volumes and is really exciting - these are the new African Women Jewellery Designers to watch for the future.
Here are just some of the African Women Jewellery Designers who are inspiring us this month, not simply for the work they produce, but in many instances because of the difference they are making on the African continent to the lives of others makers and crafters:
Take for example, the inspirational South African grande-dame of jewellery design, Jenna Clifford, whose beautiful creations are worn by the some of the world’s most beautiful and influential women. And then there are the women jewellery designers who are taking traditional African jewellery and beading craftsmanship to a whole new level, such as Katherine-Mary Pichulik with her increasingly globally renowned brand of the same name; or Abimbola Baolgun of Nigeria’s Bimbeads Concept who is elevating the art of beading and creating the most spectacular pieces inspired by nature; or Rwanda’s trend-setting Teta Isibo of Inzuki Designs who creates jewellery pieces that are integral to her seasonal accessory collections. At the other end of the jewellery spectrum come Africa’s innovators and eco-designers, led by the most inspirational Ashley Heather, who is creating fabulous contemporary jewellery made from the precious metals reclaimed from computer and cellphone circuit boards. Each of these African Women Jewellery Designers are to be celebrated for their incredible passion for what they do, their incredible craftsmanship, their unique eye for design, and their support for indigenous African jewellery crafting skills - we are so inspired by what they are doing.
“I knew I had to be different from every other beaded jewellery designer so I went online… My designs are different because they are customised… They are designs that are uniquely and individually crafted”
- Abimbola Balogun, Founder and CEO of Bimbeads Concept, Nigeria
“All ‘ashley heather’ jewellery is handcrafted in our Woodstock workshop using precious metals reclaimed from circuit boards by a small refinery right here in South Africa. We care about every aspect of the craft and are constantly striving for the most sustainable studio practices from the manufacturing processes right through to the packaging. We craft every piece using age old silversmithing techniques combined with contemporary designs pared down to their essential qualities. The simplicity of the designs allows the material, craftsmanship and the wearer to shine.”
- Ashley Heather, Founder of the ashley heather brand
"The whole ethos of the Pichulik brand is alchemy of transforming everyday materials, and through touch and craft and design, elevating them into something precious and covetable."
- Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Founder of Pichulik
“Throughout our history, our company has remained true to its original vision: To create jewellery that touches the soul and warms the heart as much as it delights the eye, to create iconic, mastercrafted jewellery in accordance with the highest quality standards, to support local manufacturers in our production and sourcing methods.”
- Jenna Clifford, Founder, Designer and Director of Jenna Clifford Pty Ltd
At Lionesses of Africa, we also encourage everyone visiting our website and social media platforms to nominate those African Women Jewellery Designers from around the continent that inspire them, and we will happily profile them during the coming weeks. Click here to make your nomination. Our month-long Focus on African Women Jewellery Designers is all about showcasing the best and most inspirational women working and building businesses and brands in the field of jewellery design, so be part of the process and make a difference to a woman jewellery designer that inspires you.