1883 Magazine
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After a life full of travel, experiences in countries with azure seas, sandy beaches and whimsical dreams, designer Veronique Henry found herself back in the United Kingdom, where she now lives.

Her jewellery brand, Mirabelle takes inspiration from the experiences cultivated during her travels, fusing ethnic and contemporary aesthetics in vibrant colourways. She doesn’t stop there; using ethically sourced material and fairtrade, Veronique manages to create a brand with a conscious and mindful outlook on production and manufacturing. Her pieces are something to cherish and one cannot help but feel a certain level of poignancy when wearing them. Its perhaps for this reason her brand Mirabelle has garnered fans such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Ellie Goulding and Pixie Lotte.

For her AW17 collection, Veronique stays true to her previous few seasons of incorporating crystals and jewels on simple gold chains, however adding quirky and playful details by adding woodland creatures for the perfect combo of day-to-night looks.

1883 sat down with Veronique to learn a bit more about jewellery making, the design process and her personal philosophy.

Where did you learn jewellery making?

I didn’t learn traditional jewellery making in an academic sense, I was very much self taught. I now design the jewellery and have it made for me using my ethical and fair trade suppliers across the world. 

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?

I grew up in Paris with my mother working as a silver smith so I was always surrounded by stones and in that environment which is where my love for jewellery really began. 

Take us through your life journey thus far?

I have always travelled a lot as found these really helps my creative process and allows me to draw on other cultures when creating new collections especially. I spent a lot of time in Asia having lived in Bali for 10 years, I feel like these really influences my designs and their aesthetic. I also lived in Australia for several years before returning to the UK to concentrate of the brand and family!

You have travelled extensively - what country or continent has felt most like home?

Bali is still my home in my heart, it will always be!

How much of your own personal story informs your designs?

My own personal story and life experiences really resonate in each of my designs, which I believe are really personal to my own life experiences and journey.  

Your designs are influenced by South East Asia - what’s the draw here?  

For one thing its just so vast and beautiful. Even in my ten years in Bali there was still huge areas of Indonesia that I felt I didn’t experience, you could spend a life style there and not see everything there is so much! There is so much natural beauty there and the warmness of the Indonesian people will stay with me forever. It is also a deeply spiritual place that allows you to get back to a sense of who you really are and what your purpose is on this earth, its truly magical! I really recommend everyone to visit it at least once!

You practice Fair Trade as part of your company “brand”. Tell us a bit more about this and why it’s important to you?

Using ethically sourced and fairtrade materials, is something really important to the brand and me. Ensuring I do my part of contributing to the protection of workers and our planet is something that is really important to me, simple as that really! 

In your company profile on your website, it mentions that you are a strong believer in jewellery uplifting the spirits - is this something you have grown to appreciate more as you have grown up?

Yes absolutely, the power of crystals and gemstones is evident for me and they can be used for healing. Hence the importance of looking for quality crystals.

Tell us a bit more about your design perspective?

Firstly all the materials I use need to ethically sourced then I build the design around those elements. I think I have quite a clear aesthetic for the brand it appeals to a certain type of woman I think who likes to take care of herself and is into holistic approaches to life as well as a great eye for detail.

What changes/remains the same each seasonal collection?

Although my designs will change slightly each season to adapt to how I am feeling at that period in my life the ethos reminds the same. I love beautiful simple designs that I know will appeal to my customers who are looking for something a little bit more that a simple piece of jewellery that is churned out in mass, quality over quantity. 

What is the starting point when it comes to designing a new collection?

Usually this starts from drawing on my inspirations around me during my initial design period, what am I excited by what has been influencing me. That could be an artist, a piece of music or a poem etc and then the designs stem from that initial brainstorming session.  

What inspires you the most?

I find that I can be influenced by a range of things, as mentioned in my previous answer. However I feel like the biggest influence on my work is nature and some of the stunningly beautiful settings I have found myself surrounded by throughout my years.

What drives you in your life?

Life and all it has to offer, my family, my friends, my work and all the unknown aspects of it. it is exciting to be here and i am so grateful for that. I count myself very lucky which can not be said for everyone.

Any personal philosophy you live by?

Yes you have live your life with no regrets, no mistakes, just experiences, be positive always, as I do believe this is what draws the good experiences to us.

Any pearls of wisdom for someone starting out in jewellery making?

No matter how many people say you might fail or don’t believe in you always follow your passion and believe in yourself and what you are doing and the rest will follow. You have to also learn to trust the right people and surround yourself with a positive environment, which is key when creating your own brand. This means orchestrating the best team around you to ensure the longevity and success of your brand; you can’t be a one-man band if you want to grow. Just follow your heart.

 

Mirabelle is stocked in Anthropologie, Whistles, Jigsaw and the Victoria & Albert shop, and also on her online shop at www.mirabellejewellery.co.uk

Interview and words by Sofia Khan

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