Today on the blog, we speak with Natalie about Mineraleir’s origin, the power of pairing uniform dressing with “maximalist” jewellery, and our shared commitment to championing sustainable change in business.
Where did your love of jewellery come from? When did you first dream up the idea to launch Mineraleir?
The business of jewellery has been in my family for over 40 years but I wasn’t naturally drawn to it. I completed a degree in Economics & Social Science which was oddly enough followed by a string of creative based jobs.
Eventually I moved to Denmark and spent nearly two years working between Copenhagen and London for a jewellery company. Upon moving home I set about developing my own business - the arrival of two baby girls slowed the process considerably but eventually Mineraleir was born. The dream had always been to work for myself and build my own brand, jewellery became a magical vehicle for me to pursue that desire.
One of the reasons we loved working with Mineraleir on this intimate collection of jewellery is because our businesses share a commitment to championing sustainable change and building a healthier and more equitable future for our people and our planet. Talk to us a little about Mineraleir’s core values?
Our core values start at home; Mineraleir was created so that I could be a working mother who is present with her children and in control of my output. Running a business that had the literal future of my flesh and blood at the forefront of my mind.
I work on an incredibly small scale and the end goal is not world domination vis-a-vis enormous wholesale orders or a major global presence. A little anonymity is nice. I’m not in a race to grow the business or out-do competitors. It’s slow. I just completely missed selling FW21, but so be it.
There were more important things happening in our world - in the world. On a broader scale, there are a myriad of ways we operate within a relatively conscious manner - the compostable (all internal, storage and shipping packaging), the recyclable (our packaging through to our precious metals) and the minimal output- plus there are further community based environmental endeavours on the horizon.
Before launching Mineraleir, what challenges or red flags did you see in the jewellery industry that concerned you?
Like most industries, it was the eye-watering amount being produced and near constantly discounted prices. There is also an expectation around jewellery packaging that has become rather disposable, no matter how beautifully designed. This is still one of our greatest challenges: balancing our own values with the customer’s optical desires.
The marketing language around jewellery was also grating on me. Anything that glimmered was declared an ‘heirloom’, giving way to an over saturation of this same emotional rhetoric. Buy, buy, buy - but make it ‘forever’. Of course our items are crafted with such care that we assume the owner will have an enduring love for them, but I still like to think our customer stops and thinks: Do I need this? Will I care for it? I’m careful not to adopt the conventional ‘jewellery-speak’ and instead let the customer guide themselves on what they believe to be a true object of legacy.
Where are you drawing inspiration from at the moment? Who or what is inspiring you?
Always family, food and form! I love, love history. It’s so integral to my escapism. Peculiarities like centuries old wrought iron work, sculpture of course, old family recipes, portraits and still life, stone fruit, candle lit dinners, English gardens, grandmothers, my kids art.
And lastly, what are your favourite Maggie Marilyn pieces at the moment?