The Story of Water Jewels, Shared by Barbara

Coming from a family of jewellers established in London in the 1860’s, there was a lot to spark a child’s imagination. I remember all of the rare and semi-precious gems that so captivated me. Some of my fondest and earliest memories include jewellery.

 A love of coloured stones, lustrous pearls and quality craftsmanship has remained and shaped my point of view. I am inspired by nature, drawn to all things water and fascinated by architectural details.

My home for seven years, Hong Kong also played a significant part in sculpting my artistic style. In 1997, I left my position as the Design Director for Elle and my love of gemstones brought me back to designing pieces for myself - a skill I gained whilst studying at Parson's School of Design in New York.

During this time, I travelled the region discovering mines and meeting local gem dealers. I immersed myself in the world of jewellery, learning as much as I could about gems and lapidary, as well as training with a master carver. My parents also worked with me, my father providing a wealth of knowledge about gems and my mother, a love of beading and design.

The invaluable connections I made during this period, along with those inherited across four generations of Jewellers, are the foundations of my business. Above all, I value these relationships and the loyalty and quality that comes with them.

A true family enterprise, my Mother also crafted her own jewellery, as well as helping to sell my designs all over Asia for twenty years. I feel privileged to have been able to work so closely with my family, it has been one of my happiest achievements.

I moved back to London in 1999 with my first collection, a small series of rings. I was thrilled when these were photographed by Vogue and then selected by leading retailers such as Browns and The Cross. Spurred by the success of my first collection, I created my signature Cloud necklace, which was picked up by Harvey Nichols, Liberty’s and Fortnum & Masons.

Whilst my wholesale network was expanding quickly, I decided I wanted a space where I could personally engage with my clients. In 2007, on a sunny corner in Kensington, I opened my first retail gallery and expanded my design studio. Here we make most of our jewellery and produce all of our bespoke orders. We have a vast selection of gemstones and pearls and welcome you to visit.

In 2010 I opened a Summer outpost on Nantucket and have been there every summer since, in our gallery at 14 Centre Street. I welcome you there from May to October, until then you can catch a glimpse of the gallery here.

I am amazed at how quickly time has passed and how we have grown from my first collection laid out on my kitchen table over twenty years ago. I still have so much more that I want to do creatively with gems and pearls and look forward to incorporating more philanthropy in my business; I invite you to host a trunk show to benefit your favourite charities or to contact me with fundraising partnerships. I love the idea of my life’s work helping to benefit our planet, our oceans, our health and animal welfare. That would truly be a life well spent.

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