We spoke to Simon Ogilvie-Harris about designer jewellery brand Chavin and why his Peruvian jewellery line is all about 'STYLE WITH A CONSCIENCE'...
Many challenges exist around the world to help improve the lives of others but it was during a visit to Peru a couple of years ago that I decided I wanted to do something different. I wanted to launch a brand of Jewellery that was, not only beautiful and fashionable but also made a real difference to women’s lives. My aim was to help the impoverished Andean women and children in this area. I began noticing the beauty of the adornments that the Andean ladies wore. I thought 'what if we took these designs, made them in precious metals, developed a Peruvian packaging theme and offered them to the global Jewellery retail world. How would and could these Peruvian women benefit from such an enterprise?'……
In April 2011, through our official innovative partnership with SOS Children's Charity UK- we've been able to support Peruvian families, torn apart by poverty. This very active organisation ensures that the donations find their (undiluted) way directly to the needy causes which are close to my heart. We know that when women are empowered, it benefits their families and their communities. In this respect, for every item of Chavin Jewellery sold, the SOS Children's Charity will receive a royalty - hence: 'STYLE WITH A CONSCIENCE' We give women the chance to empower other women. Our aim, in time, is to donate annual royalties of a figure involving 6 noughts
At Chavin our design team draw their inspiration from the icons of Peru and the vibrancy of the Chavínian culture who believed the Jaguar was a sacred animal, the God of the supernatural . Our delicately elegant Jaguar Filigree bracelets in Oxidised Sterling Silver and Rose Gold Vermeil are infused with the femininity and mystery of the jaguar, the Icon of the brand.
Having considered this very carefully, I have come to the conclusion, it would to be Kate Middleton. Kate wears elegant and chic jewellery, simple yet striking like the Chavin range. She has a great sense of style and we would love to see her wear our pieces!
Our vibrantly coloured Caring Bracelets are the perfect accessory for the summer coming in 8 different fashionable colours, each one named after a mother, whom we support in Peru. Our donations allow them to acquire the skills to earn a living and hence, a better life for themselves and their families. One design of these colourful bracelets is fastened with the unique Jaguar Flower design, the silhouette jaguar head logo of the brand, fashioned into a delicately feminine flower shape. These can be teamed with a matching pendant and earrings to complete the look.
Ours are fun, versatile pieces of jewellery to be worn with many different outfits - great for all occasions, formal or casual. I LOVE the current trend of stacking bracelets and necklaces together. At Chavín, we have worked hard to encourage our customers to enjoy the buying experience, creating bracelets that are stylish and fun, making it entertaining to mix and match our exquisite oxidised silver and rose gold vermeil bracelets with the vibrantly coloured Caring Bracelets. Buying Jewellery should be fun!
What is your favourite piece from the collection and why?
I love the Jaguar Filigree Tassel Necklace in Rose Gold Vermeil, inspired by the Icon of Chavin. Tassels are one of the hottest spring jewellery trends. This feminine and flirty, tassel necklace’s mesmerizing movements will grab attention and get you noticed – a stylish on trend piece which makes a statement!. I love the intricate filigree pattern which incorporates the jaguar head.
What is it about Chavin that you think is fabulous?
The fabulous thing about Chavin is the colour and brightness of the brand. Drawing INSPIRATION from the rich vibrant heritage of the Chavin culture we created a colourful kaleidoscopic brand whose contemporary designs offer something different. Everything about our brand is vibrant, from our multi coloured packaging to our Caring Bracelet Range and the bold marketing imagery you can see in store at Fabulous.
I visited the SOS Children’s project we are supporting, “Luz Y Vida” ( Light and Life) , a housing project for mothers and children in Northern Lima. It is a very humbling experience as it is situated in one of the poorest areas of Lima where many migrants from the Andean Highlands come looking for work. The housing is on the hills, overlooking the city and by our standards, not very well built.
Our donations help buy metal beads and plastic filaments so that women at the “Luz Y Vida” project can learn to make jewellery to sell in the local markets. We are committed to working with SOS Children UK, to set up long term skills transfer programmes, to develop their jewellery making class which teaches mothers to make commercial jewellery from the metal filaments and plastic pearls. This helps them secure small additional income to improve the quality of life for them and their families.