Today we speak to the person behind Anonyma, a jeweller with no equal.
So what’s the history of Anonyma?
Before Anonyma, I was part of the working class exploring different areas of marketing and did beading on the side as a hobby and for some extra money. My life changed for the better when a friend came to visit and we discussed a course he was on, Jewellery Manufacturing. He told me about how he was learning to melt, pour and shape metal into beautiful pieces of jewellery – well that was me, my true passion sneaked into my life and took over. After much planning and discussion with my man, we decided that I would stop working, start studying and then ply my trade in the marketplace. That was September 2014 and the rest, as they say, is history. I left my job, started and continue to study at Elemental Studio in Linden and I continue to make jewellery, both sterling silver and costume for commission. it’s a crazy and bumpy road starting your own business; while I love what I do, and being creative, formalising the technical aspects such as Business Plan, Business Model and planning Digital Marketing strategies are still forming part of my learning curve. Still, determination and passion will help make my business a success as I love what I do and I love using my skills to make people happy… In the legal way…
What makes your brand unique?
Anonyma is unique because aside from doing run of the mill bands and pendants, I’m quite the geek and am part of the alternative crowd; this is evident in my designs. My pieces are handmade, not mass-produced and so are more personal and carry more meaning for the client than a piece purchased at jewellery retailer. I also experiment with many forms of jewellery design including beading, modelling clay, resin and will be looking into silver clay soon. My pieces are about the person buying it, that’s why there’ll never be a face of Anonyma.
How does Anonyma differ from other jewellers?
As mentioned previously, my product offerings vary across different types of jewellery, fine and costume, and are custom-made to suit the client’s preferences. If I’ve previously made a piece and someone wants to make significant changes to it, within reason, I’ll endeavour to satisfy those wants and needs as they make the piece all the more personal and meaningful.
What sort of items do you produce?
I make, in fine and costume categories: earrings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces, pendants, lockets, rings chunky chains, cuff links and badges. I make up a few of my own designs and the rest are commissions. When referring to fine jewellery in the context of Anonyma, I work in sterling silver, gold, white gold and rose gold.
What inspires your style of item?
My style is quite varied as I consider myself open to many spices and flavours of life. For the most part, I’d term my style alternative, Gothic, funky and elegant. I follow trends as needed but for the most part, I tend to stick in these categories as they make my pieces unique.
Do we have a regional jewellery style in S.A?
What sort of materials dominate the local market?
For the most part, white gold, rose gold and platinum are some of the more popular materials used for making fine jewellery. Platinum is a very expensive and hard metal to work with so I choose to not make pieces in it as I don’t have the specialised equipment to work with it. In terms of my costume jewellery.
What’s the most unique product you’ve ever designed?
A piece that stands out the most for me was an Anatomical heart locket that was requested in sterling silver. I’ve attached a piece for you to see. In order to make the idea come to life, I first had to design a heart in 3D design software, get in printed using a 3D printer (my glorious man and partner has one of these and so kindly assisted in making it come to life), then send it through for casting. Once back, there came the tidying up, hinges and finishing touches. In total, it took about 3 weeks but it was worth every hour!
Do you use any specialist items or techniques in your work?
When making fine jewellery, I prefer to not cut corners like using a lead solder to join pieces, I source solder that is nickel and lead free as I know them to be behind skin allergies many suffer from which otherwise prevent them from wearing certain jewellery. I also apply the same philosophy, as far as I can, with my costume jewellery. In terms of specialist techniques, I consider 3D design work up there as not many can do it and even if you can, you need to be aware of jeweller constraints when designing such as rings size, weight of the final piece in the particular metal and of course whether the piece will cast well.
So what makes the perfect piece?
For many, a perfect piece is a flawless diamond and a finish that’s so polished you can see yourself in it. For me though, the perfect piece carries that special moment, occasion, sentiment or memory drove you to either purchasing it or having it made. It could be an anatomical heart locket for your partner who is a biology teacher, a Celtic knot pendant for your sister or wedding bouquet locket that has birthstones of your loved ones set in it; whatever the piece, if it brings a smile to your face, it is perfect.
So what sort of pricing range would the average person be looking at?
My costume jewellery starts in the more affordable range from R30 and reach around R300 depending on the complexity of the piece. My fine jewellery would probably start around the R300 mark. One must remember when it comes to handmade fine jewellery, the following are major contributors to price:
The price/gram of the metal requested,
The price of the stone (if any) requested,
The designer’s rate for making the piece.
Where do you see Anonyma in five years?
I see Anonyma as a thriving online store with a few pop-up stores appearing in malls and making a buzz in the jewellery world. I’d like to have reached the point where I can employ ladies who are otherwise unemployed, teach them the skills of beading and branch out across South Africa.
Any last words?
I hope they aren’t really my last words. In conclusion, I love what I do, I love sharing my skills and passion with others, and I hope to make a place for Anonyma in the hearts of many people.