We first came across EMBR Jewellery when hunting for local designers that make beautiful ethical jewellery that aligns with our brands for photoshoots.
When we met Emily and saw her product, we knew she would be part of the Mane Project. Her passion for her work and desire to be ultimately timeless, aligns perfectly with our values, not to mention the appeal in her thoughtfulness in minimizing waste.
Emily took time to answer some questions for us about her brand and her values, enjoy!
When did you start EMBR Jewellery?
What materials do you use for your jewellery and why?
I mostly work with sterling or fine silver, also some brass and I add 18k gold vermeil to some pieces. The jewellery industry is a bit far behind the clothing industry in terms of fair trade and sustainability mostly because of the processes used in mining gems and refining metals. One of the really special things about working with a material like metal is that it is infinitely recyclable so I aim to use as much recycled metal as possible. I melt down all the off-cuts and even collect the metal dust from sawing and filing for use in new designs and I mostly hand-make to order, so there is little to no wastage.
The Substrate Earrings used in our Bare Bones Handwoven shoot, these are our personal favourite! Clever design and versatile.
Where did you learn to make Jewellery?
I’ve taken a variety of night classes and short courses at both the Peter Minturn Jewellery school I Kingsland and Whau studio in Pt Chev. When I decided that 2016 was going to be the year I would leave my job and pursue making a living from jewellery I set up a studio at home and started experimenting with designs.
What does fair trade and organic mean to you?
Something that is made using natural materials, and where the maker is compensated fairly for the skill and time that is put into designing and making.
Can you tell us about some up and coming things you’re working on?
I like to work on a series and when I feel like I have the right selection of pieces that work together I release them. I am working on a new series of pieces at the moment that is really pared back and more minimal than my previous work. I am really into layering pieces in my own wardrobe at the moment so the new pieces im creating work in this vein.
What does it mean to you for people to buy local?
This is something that has become so important to me. Over the past 3 years I have really shifted the way that I consume. Rather than just passively purchasing things that I see that are cheap or look good I am much more of an active purchaser taking time to think about every purchase I make. I would say I spend more on each purchase but I buy much less overall and value what I buy a lot more as well. The long term benefits to our communities and to ourselves from buying local and keeping more in our local economy makes so much sense and I think a lot of people are moving towards that way of thinking.
What inspires you?
I am really inspired by my environment and the different shapes and textures around me. I design pieces that I would like to wear, so rather than observing trends I try to create pieces that speak to me as the wearer. I try to be relevant in the eyes of women or men that have similar values and interests as me. By approaching it in this way, I hope that my pieces are lasting, valued items in peoples collections.
What’s your favourite EMBR piece and why?
It changes all the time but at the moment I would say the third quarter earrings. I wear a lot of black and neutral colours so I feel like these add a lot without being over the top. I get compliments whenever i wear them as well which always makes you feel good about wearing something.
Check out the full collection of EMBR Jewellery stock on Mane Project here