We spend a huge percentage of our time at House of Coco HQ talking about, looking at and buying jewellery and we recently came across Elaine Helmig who is the heart of Jinja Jewelry.
Founding the company with the mission to assist the beautiful people of Bali, Elaine stays on top of current fashion trends and keeps her team in the loop with her valuable insight on current jewellery and fashion trends, designs & ideas. Elaine loves traveling the world with her husband and co-founder, Don. Here, she tells us more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason for it?
Jinja Jewelry promotes beautiful coral and silver jewelry carefully crafted in loving fashion by members of the Jinja Family in Bali. Jinja Jewelry came into being following the tragic bombings in 2002 as a way to help the Balinese people make a living. It has evolved over time into a world-wide eclectic collection of westernized jewelry with a Balinese flair.
What is your background?
My first love is, and has always been, creating something out of nothing, trying new things, and always with an artistic flair. I suppose I learned this first hand from my mother who spent her entire life creating art that pleased other people. Our ultimate reward is seeing the expressions of joy, wonder, and amazement when a new Jinja design is unveiled. Our goal has always been to bring happiness to as many people as possible.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
I have been told that I represent the soul of Jinja. If that is the case, then a lovely Australian Joy Daniels, represents the heart of Jinja. Joy handles production and oversees the Balinese families that assemble our many beautiful designs. We are an integral Team that, along with our dedicated Balinese silversmiths, produce the myriad works of art that are favored by an international clientele we like to call the Women of Jinja.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Absolutely, we would have started it earlier! Jinja Jewelry has brought us immense pleasure and allowed us to give back to Humanity. Hence, the company motto is “People Helping People.” Along with investing in the Balinese People, including disadvantaged children, Jinja has helped build a preschool in Durban, South Africa for 58 children. We have also recently taken on a project of supporting a young missionary working with orphaned children in ironically a city with the name of Jinja, Uganda. We met a noble young lady named Heather, who upon graduation from college, has chosen to give her life to Christ by supporting a mission in Uganda. Her website is www.hisheartforafrica.com where one may learn all about who she is and why she does what she does.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Realising that attention to detail is everything. It is the first thing I think about upon waking and the last thing on my mind in the evening.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
My background is actually aviation and engineering but making things that others enjoy has always been my first love and gives me the greatest pleasure.
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
We are in the process of revitalizing our virtual footprint by completely redesigning our website and expanding our social media presence.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Meeting so many wonderful people who have enthusiastically supported and encouraged us. Because of them we have grown beyond what we could have ever envisioned. And now, we have the privilege of reaching out and making a difference in a child’s life.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Our number one priority is building Brand Awareness. Second, is to continue the high quality of our beautiful creations so that Quality is always synonymous with Jinja Jewelry. And third, is to continue our rich tradition of “People Helping People.”
Which country do you feel most at home in?
Actually there are three. Obviously the first is Bali, the second is Switzerland, and the third is England. We always feel like we have come home when we arrive in either of these. London is particularly beautiful and occupies a special place in our hearts because of its rich cultural and historical influence. Plus, we are always excited to see our many friends we have made over the years.
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Grindelwald, Switzerland, without a doubt. The Swiss Alps are truly magnificent at any time of the year
Best place for a coffee?
Somewhere quiet and peaceful, curled up with a good book. Nothing like a good cup of coffee and some quiet time to recharge one’s batteries.
Style to me is a woman making a personal statement of who you are.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
Without a doubt, it would be a Scala tank top because it can be as long or as short as you want and it is great for layering.
Most memorable piece of advice?
Without a doubt ; Live each day to the fullest and Be Happy!
Find out more….
Our website is www.jinjajewelry.net. We are also on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and adding Instagram. Jinja will also have a regular blog and newsletter. This is all part of meeting one of our key priorities in expanding Jinja Awareness.