Chavin jewellery fuses the mythology and craftsmanship of Peruvian culture with elegant interpretations by modern, freethinking designers. The result is quality crafted, powerfully feminine and long-lasting jewellery. A combination that House of Coco loves the sound of so we spent some time finding out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
On a visit to Peru I saw brightly coloured trinkets worn by the Peruvian women and was inspired to start a business to bring vibrant Peruvian Culture to the world.
The Ancient Peruvian Chavín culture are not as well-known as the Inca, and in fact, not a great deal is known about the Chavín people. The reason is that their culture was very mystic: only the sacred priests could interpret and understand the art. This is a big factor as to why it inspired us. Our goal is to bring this mystic beauty to every one of our customers.
Further to this we wanted to give back to the communities from which we draw our inspiration from. I envisioned women, men and children helping to break the poverty cycles, not only for themselves but also for their communities, their countries and ultimately, our world. We formed a partnership with charity, SOS Children’s Villages who work in Peru. We donate a percentage from every piece of jewellery sold to the Luz Y Vida jewellery making project in Lima, Peru. We are enormously proud that we can extend this charity to all our customers.
What’s your background?
I was born in Canada to British parents who travelled the world extensively with my five siblings and it was a natural evolution that my love of travelling would inspire my entrepreneurial spirit. Having followed the conventional route of attending university and embarking on a successful financial career at an Investment Bank in the City of London, I realised that the banking culture did not suit my altruistic and creative nature. After much consideration I decided to quit the City for good and fulfil my childhood dream of running my own company. Thus Chavín was born!
How many people are involved in the label and what’s the process behind launching a new piece?
It is myself, my brother Jeremy and my mother Sheila. We all work as a team. Before launching a new piece of jewellery we consider what will be fashionable over the next year and tie this in with inspiration from the Ancient Peruvian Chavín Culture. We produce designs that are different, unique and able to lead the fashion world.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
It is very hard to know whether we could have done anything differently as much of it is trial and error so some things that haven’t worked have lead us onto bigger things. The best piece of advice I would give to anyone starting out is to believe in what you are doing and be passionate about it. It is tough in today’s climate so it is essential to stay positive and focus on where you want to be and do not allow others to distract you. It is also all about creating great designs as well as good quality pieces of jewellery.
If we were to buy just ONE product from you for Christmas, which one would it be?
My favourite piece is the Jaguar Head Filigree Bracelet. This was one of our first pieces and is a symbol of our hard work. Not only is it a well-designed piece, it is also chic, dainty and fashionable. It captures the spirit of the Chavín culture. The Jaguar was revered as a god: a majestic beast that was always held in the highest regard. This piece, like all our collections, is not just beautiful, and stylish but also carries a story – a meaning.
What do you tend to do for Christmas?
As I said I was born in Canada and my parents live in Toronto so I usually travel back for a nice 10 day break at Christmas. Hopefully, it will be a white Christmas this year (but not too cold and icey).
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I was one of the top scorers on my university ice hockey team.
2015 is just around the corner, where do you plan on taking the brand?
This is a really exciting time for Chavín as we will be launching our Feline Spirit Bracelets at an event at the Embassy of Peru on Sloane Street in January. Since the first settlers inhabited the Andes, they revered the Jaguar as it was a powerful, elegant and dangerous beast. They believed that the Jaguar have seven spirits: Fertility, Earth, Water, Rain, Fire, Celestial and Sun. Each bracelet is inspired by one of the seven spirits of the Jaguar God! They are fun, colourful and collectable! At £33.50 and £37.00, they will be the next big thing in fashion this summer!
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
I recently returned from Lima where, I visited the SOS Children’s Villages Luz Y Vida Jewellery project which we support. Since our innovative partnership with SOS Children Villages began three years ago, the number of mothers in the Luz y Vida project has increased from 22 to 52 – we are very proud of this achievement but strive to grow this further.
What inspires each collection?
We are currently working on our Feline Spirit Collections inspired by the Ancient Jaguar God and have launched two of them so far: the Leaf Collection representing Fertility and Growth, and the Triangle Collection representing Earth and Water. These collections are an important part of our Brand and each piece evokes meaning to the wearer. The Leaf Collection representing fertility works in mystic ways to bring growth to its wearer and the Triangle Collection brings health and balance in the wearer’s life. Coming out soon, each of our seven Feline Spirit bracelets is inspired by one of the Spirits!
Where can people find out more?