To celebrate international women’s day, we at Weir & Sons have put together some of our favourite and inspiring women in the Jewellery and design industry. All of whom started their brand with a passion for something different that hadn’t been done before and are an inspiration for women.
Irish fashion designer turned jeweller, Chupi Sweetman-Pell, set up a jewellery design business of her own in Ireland in 2013. Irresistibly drawn to wild and natural things from a young age, Chupi began designing jewellery by casting pieces she found in Ireland herself such as real swan feathers, tiny twigs, leaves and acorns. Chupi collects from the wild until she finds the perfect piece to cast using an ancient Egyptian technique. Her sterling silver and gold plated creations are much loved for their natural simplicity and deep connection to the wild.
She began her career in the fashion industry at the age of 21 and was recruited by Topshop in her first year of university to become their youngest ever designer. Today her jewellery is sold all over Ireland and in many locations across the world including Macy’s of New York.
As the founder of Astrid & Miyu Connie Nam has brought her brand from strength to strength since being launched in 2012. After starting to work in a financial background, she found herself looking to wear more expressive jewellery pieces in order to enhance her personal style alongside her mostly black suits. However, not watching her bank account to suffer, she struggled to find jewellery pieces to suit both her style and budget. Combining her passion for jewellery and the lack of options to suit her needs sparked the creation of Astrid & Miyu. Today Astrid & Miyu can be seen on girls all over London, and since it’s arrival at Weir & Sons also around Dublin. Connie now has a dedicated team working in London and a cult following of customers who love the trendy, and statement products.
Best friends and ex-fashion buyers Jemma and Lesa met on their first day at the London College of Fashion. The two bonded over their mutual interests in fashion and a passion to start their own business. Unable to find watches they truly loved to wear, the pair decided to create a collection of watches of their own. They named the brand “Olivia Burton” after Lesa’s great aunt who was a huge inspiration to the two. Today their brand is sold internationally, with a flagship store located in Covent Garden, London. This gorgeous brand has stretched its wings and now features a beautiful jewellery collection which takes inspiration from the beauty of nature too. They encourage customers to switch up their watches and jewellery pieces to match new trends and seasons.
Carolyn Rafaelian is the founder and CEO of Alex & Ani. Having opened her first store in Newport in the US in 2009, Rafaelian has made the Forbes rich list of self-made women. Her bangles are now sold worldwide and have become much-loved by their wearers. The inspiration behind the brand came from her want to design a bracelet she would enjoy wearing, she then named the brand after her two daughters. Carolyn still owns a majority share in the company and is much involved in running the business. Alex and Ani is not simply a bangle featuring positive charm images, but rather it is believed that each bangle is made with positive vibes and energy.
These inspirational women are just a handful of the many incredible designers we have the pleasure of working with across the globe. We hope everyone has a Happy International Women’s Day and that you enjoyed reading this post on some of the women who inspire us everyday.