Rachel has been a friend of Georgie’s for a long time; but as is the way when people start moving about and kids happen, they lost touch, using Facebook as a catch up. Finally, they’ve managed to get together in person and social media provided the catalyst when Rachel announced the launch of her jewellery line, Rachel Balfour Jewellery. Georgie is intrigued by the process of designing and creating jewellery (her Dad used to makes pieces for her Mum) so asked if she could visit Rachel in her studio and see her at work. Rachel looked the same after 10 years of “meaning to meet up” (lucky thing) and has the same warm-heartedness Georgie felt so at ease with those many years ago.
Rachel Balfour Jewellery has been the outcome of almost a decade of Rachel being interested in making jewellery. She has trained as a Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer at Kensington & Chelsea College in London and completed courses at Central St. Martins and Studio E174 and now, she has felt it to be the right time (as a busy mum of two!!) to bring her ideas and designs to life which she creates from her idyllic countryside studio (see below) and buzzing London base.
The designs have come from a long interest in a spiritual side of being part of this world and the meaning and reassurance people can gain from having their own personal talisman. When we wear a specific piece of jewellery which means something to us, more often than not, it is reached out for and held in times of nervousness, uncertainty and emotion. Rachel’s own talisman is the Dala horse on a long gold chain which she finds comforting and is there to remind her that she is a strong mother who is a positive role model in her daughters’ lives.
The ethos behind Rachel Balfour Jewellery is, “a celebration of women; their strength, beauty and intelligence. The jewellery we create tells a story and will last a lifetime”. Chatting over a welcoming cup of tea, both Rachel and Georgie loved the idea that the pieces to come out of the collections will last the test of time, both in design and material. Rachel uses solid gold and sterling silver so no matter how often a piece is worn, the colour will never come away, unlike plating. They can be passed on through generations, becoming modern day heirloom pieces.
Rachel’s collections are all beautifully made and although delicate, truly make statements in their own way. The unique vision behind each piece and craftsmanship means they go beyond trends and are an item which will be worn everyday yet feel special to the wearer. Georgie felt this was especially the case with the Animal collection which consists of five animals, each with their own meaning which Rachel researched through Native American culture. The stand-out piece from this collection for Georgie was definitely the unicorn necklace set with 15 diamonds down the back (although it can be set with other stones or without). We all have a little bit of doubt creep in from time to time and the unicorn’s “Believe in You” is a little reminder we are more capable than we give ourselves credit for.
Whilst at the studio, Georgie was lucky enough to see Rachel at work. It was amazing to see her designs come to life. She created a silver beaded ear cuff for Georgie which has opened up a whole new world of bling to her (Georgie has never had her ears pierced…she’s not sure why she’s never got round to it, but she has fallen for Rachel’s solid gold “Kiss” studs so maybe it’s time…). Rachel also demonstrated her amazing eye for creating bespoke pieces as a ring was made up using elements Rachel finds have become integral parts of her collection.
The end result? A very happy Georgie for one along with delicate pieces which are simple yet have a unique quality to them.
What’s next for Rachel Balfour Jewellery? Since Rachel launched (only in May 2016!) she has been asked to have her collection featured at Wolf & Badger. An amazing achievement for such a fledgling brand. She also has a very exciting collaboration coming up with the illustrator Bonnie Doman which we cannot cay more about…but trust us, you’ll want to get involved…so watch this space!