Louise founder of Lumoi sustainable jewellery provides an eclectic mix of handmade sustainable jewellery. SITCUK caught up with the lovely Louise and had a chat to get a insight of behind the scenes of their jewellery business and to find out who is this lady on a mission to enhance people’s lives by making beautiful jewellery from sustainable materials. Here’s what Louise revealed:
Where did the idea of starting your sustainable jewellery business originate?
It all happened quite naturally. I started making jewellery as a hobby and after leaving my job in Hatton Garden, I found myself completely absorbed in creating. After a couple of years of developing my techniques, my hobby became a full time passion. I wanted to make a difference in the world in a creative and resourceful way and having worked in the jewellery industry for so long it was a very natural progression to join my passion for the well being of our planet and continue with jewellery. In January 2008, Lumoi was born.
What makes your jewellery repair service different to a regular jeweler?
We focus mainly on repairing fashion jewellery, pieces that are considered of low value and would otherwise be left in the jewellery box never to be worn again or worse still, end up in the bin. We’re trying to highlight the true value of all materials, whether plastic, glass or otherwise.
For you, which fashion items are always in style?
For us, style comes from the way you feel when you wear something whether it’s a little black dress, your favorite pair of skinny jeans, ballet pumps or a snug jumper.
Who are some of the jewellery designers who inspire you?
What’s the most unusual item a customer has brought to you to be redesigned?
This wasn’t a redesign as such, more of a preservation. I was given 2 seahorses that a customer had found on her travels. They were very fragile and deteriorating fast so I covered them in recycled fine silver by hand, layering up the silver delicately to avoid damage and to avoid losing any detail. The customer asked for the seahorses to be turned into earrings, they really were unique!
Tell us about the most popular service you provide.
Our jewellery upcycling service is by far our most popular service. Members of the public send us their old or broken jewellery in exchange for a voucher. The voucher can be redeemed across our entire range at lumoi.com so customers can treat themselves to a sustainable piece of handmade jewellery, for their good (upcycling) deed!
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start a jewellery business?
Start small but think big! Do your market research and find (if possible!) a gap in the market or at the very least understand your place in the market. Know you target audience and equally know your competition. But above all, stay true to yourself and to your work.
What’s one of your favourite items you’ve made to date?
I have 2 that I just cannot choose between… The first is our recycled fine silver ‘Sienna’ ring a beautiful thick band that is deeply textured and oxidized to enhance the detail. The second is one of our upcycled pieces made from materials, the piece is named ‘Heavy Metal’ and consists of multiple styles of chain with a chunky focal piece at the center of the bracelet.
What tips can you recommend for looking after jewellery?
Most importantly, all jewellery should be checked regularly for damage, any loose parts or fraying cord. Anything that is looking tired due to wear and tare should be repaired immediately. Loosing precious beads or stones can be incredibly frustrating as they aren’t always replaceable.
Invest in a jewellery polishing cloth! We use Towntalk polishing products that are available for gold and silver jewellery. Wipe your pieces gently after each use, this will instantly slow down the tarnishing process of silver by removing build up of perfume and dead skin cells. For non precious jewellery a simple soft cloth is sufficient. Never use gold or silver polishing cloths on plated jewellery as you run the risk of removing the plating and discolouring your piece.
Never expose your pieces to harsh chemicals this includes perfume, moisturiser, cleaning products etc. When getting dressed jewellery should be the last thing to go on!
Store all of your jewellery separately to avoid tangling and scratching.
Finish the sentence………sustainable fashion isn’t just another trend, being resourceful IS our future.
www.lumoi.com: Lumoi Jewellery
You can find Lumoi at Swap In The City UK on 25th August. Come and say hi to Louise and if you have any broken jewellery bring it along you never know she may be able to do a redesign, bringing it back to life!