Sparkling talents: women in jewellery

Meet the young female entrepreneurs pursuing their passion for precious stones

Earrings by Tessa Packard

A new breed of female entrepreneurs are making their mark in the jewellery sector, attracting a loyal and diverse client base – from affluent young shoppers to discerning international collectors – with their original designs. Here are a few of the names to know…

Pendant by Tessa Packard

Tessa Packard’s childhood passion for accessories, combined with her experience of working in the commercial art world, inspired her to start designing seasonal themed jewellery collections that have subsequently led to bespoke personal and corporate commissions. ‘I thrive on the challenge of producing a body of work each season that is not only beautiful and desirable, but also challenges the status quo of fine jewellery design from an aesthetic point of view,’ Packard explains. Entirely self-taught, she creates pieces that are exclusive, evocative and unique in the contemporary luxury market. Earlier this year, she was selected as one of the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow and is a passionate supporter of children’s charities.

Tansy Aspinall and Victoria van Holthe

Early influences can leave a lasting impression; the idea behind Tada and Toy originated when Tansy Aspinall and Victoria van Holthe met on the first day of secondary school and realised they shared a dream of starting a jewellery brand. Aspinall’s love of Indian colour and embellishment, fused with van Holthe’s simplified Scandinavian style, filters into an everyday, wearable brand that embraces carefree beauty and nods to the stacking trend. A portion of profits goes to the Aspinall Foundation, launched by Aspinall’s grandfather to support conservation, and echoes of Africa can be found across the collections.

The creation of Vania Leles’ jewellery  

Philanthropy is also key for Vania Leles, whose recent Sahara collection raises money for the Women for Women charity, supporting survivors of war in Africa. Leles’ first-hand knowledge of the gemstone trade from her West African childhood has given her an ethical commitment to using conflict-free diamonds in the high jewellery and bespoke pieces she creates. Her experience as an international high-jewellery model for some of the world’s most prestigious brands developed her interest in the craftsmanship of the industry. Following study at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), she undertook roles in London with Graff, De Beers and Sotheby’s Jewellery, before founding Van Leles. Today, her New Bond Street boutique sits alongside these established houses.

Vania Leles

Kinvara Law also studied at the GIA in London and first put her skills into practice working for the jeweller Stephen Webster, before launching her own company in Hatten Garden. Clients can select from her ready-to-wear collections, as well as requesting bespoke pieces, in whose design they can have as much freedom or guidance as they wish. Recent high-profile commissions include the creation of an engagement ring for Rosanna Falconer, the business director of Matthew Williamson.

Clockwise from top left: earrings by Tada and Toy, ring by Van Leles, earrings by Tada and Toy, ring by Kinvara Law, ring by Van Leles

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