Updated: Oct 19
At Iris Lifestyle, when we launched, it was with homewares to compliment the art of eating well - that’s what running a deli for 24 years gives you …after a while though, we quickly realised that a lot of people came instore looking for special or unique gifts - things for people they cared about, that were unusual, and not available anywhere else, ideally with a good story to tell….
So when we next went our annual pilgrimage to Paris’ Maison Objet design show, we went with the purpose of finding ethical/sustainable gifts. There were many producers there with all sorts of wild and wonderful products… but not many ethical at all… we were about to leave empty-handed when we collided head on with Cathelijne at the A Beautiful Story stand. It looked glorious, lots of beautiful designs all handmade, lots of different gemstones – each one unique - reflecting moods, emotions and meanings. The jewellery itself looked really special, worked so well in layers and so of course, we were instantly intrigued… we duly started asking some probing questions about makers and ethics, fully expecting the run of the mill answers (such as, oh it’s mostly made in China / we send our designs over and they send this back etc.) … but as it turned out… not only was their jewellery gorgeous, but it was all handmade and had a beautiful story! They nutured their makers, collaborated face to face as a team, paid well above living wage and helped with schooling for children… it was stunning Jewellery that motivated communities to aspire to great things - this part sat so perfectly with our brand it was a no-brainer… Maggie and I walked away from that stand, looking and grinning at each other. We were so excited that we found something so special both in ethos and design. We both knew it was perfect.
And a year on, it’s still so perfect, it’s also been a real hit instore… and now when I’m choosing which colour gemstone to wear, I always feel good about wearing it, and I often think of the person who actually made my jewellery, I keep my little tags that come with each piece so I can see the face of the person who made it – and this connection is something to be cherished – wouldn’t you agree? Last week, I was genuinely delighted to be told by Gaby at ABS that our Autumn/Winter collection order had provided a month’s worth of salaries to the artisan collective – I had such a warm feeling and it totally made my day, I felt quite proud… and if you buy a piece - you should too. It’s so great to be part of this story.
Hope to see you soon,
Iris Lifestyle is hosting an event evening to welcome the new range of A/W jewellery.
Colours of the Season - Jewellery Evening - Thurs 19th Oct, 7 – 9pm. Come join us if you live nearby and to get to know more! See our socials for more info on upcoming events.