Chakraas worked with an artist in Instanbul to design this beautiful rose quartz set
This is so exciting!
For those of you who have experienced watching your vision come to life, you can relate to what an amazing experience it is. In some ways, it is almost surreal.
We have been working hard on re-launching the Chakraas website as a fully functioning e-commerce site. I didn’t just want an e-store, I wanted to create the Chakraas experience. From the moment you click into our site, I wanted the passion we have for fine jewellery to shine through.
Up until now, all of our online sales have been through social media contacts and word of mouth. For the most part, our marketing was through small, private parties and by special appointment. However, more and more, I was getting requests from customers who had heard about us through friends and family, or had seen one of our bespoke pieces on a customer at a party, to sell online so that they too could have access to Chakraas. At this point, we started doing a lot more sales through e-mail exchanges and Facebook and Instagram contacts.
As great as social media is, it is not always the most efficient method of conducting business. However, I didn’t just want to set up a shop on the Internet, I wanted my shop to reflect Chakraas’ philosophy and showcase the way in which each one of our jewels is handpicked with careful attention to detail. From the quality craftsmanship to the cut and clarity of the stones, nothing is overlooked.
I love stones! Many times I will see a magnificent stone and then work with the artist to create a piece of jewellery that will highlight that stone. On a recent trip to Istanbul, I saw these beautiful rose quartz stones. They were perfectly fauceted in a teardrop shape…large and magnificent! And the colour was this deep, rich pink. I worked with the artist and together we designed a beautiful set (above). Still one of my favourite designs.
Besides Istanbul, a city I just love to visit, I travel all over the world meeting with local artists and jewellery makers. I love meeting artists who create with passion. That passion shines through in the items they create and I sincerely enjoy supporting local artists. This also means, we rarely carry more than one or two pieces of any item. Chakraas jewels are truly bespoke.
So get out your favourite teacup and saucer, brew a pot of chai, sit back and enjoy the Chakraas experience.
As I become more and more experienced in life, I realize just how powerful words can be. Whether as a weapon to bring down an adversary, or as an ointment to heal the wounded, our words have the power to create change. I was recently reminded of this by a young woman who I will probably never see again but will always remember.
I was brought up to believe that in helping others we actually help ourselves and to this end, on the third Sunday of every month, my cousins and I with families in tow, get together in the Downtown Eastside and hand out homemade brown bag lunches. It may not be much, and invariably the food is gone in minutes, but it serves to open the eyes of the younger members of the group whilst providing some respite, however brief, from the harsh realities of life on the streets for people who in the end are just like us.
Handing out lunches during a recent trip, and a little distracted by the youngest and more rambunctious members of my tribe, I turned to hand a young woman – perhaps in her early twenties – a lunch, and in doing so I looked up and said, “God bless you.” In that moment everything seemed to stop as the she locked her eyes with mine. The smallest of tears welled up and rather hesitantly she said “Me?” She was incredulous, somewhere in life she had stopped believing that she was worthy of such sentiments.
I will never forget that moment for as long as I live. It reminded me how powerful words can be. When I responded to this young woman with a smile and “yes, God bless you” her weary face broke into a beautiful smile and her piercing green eyes sparkled. In that moment I knew this discarded soul felt she mattered. She replied with a very sincere “Thank you” and she was gone.
How could a few simple words be so powerful?
As we head into the summer wedding season, I always field questions on what the hottest trends and the freshest looks are. While fashion constantly changes and we get to benefit from the brilliant creativity of fashion artists, the one thing that never goes out of style is quality. A quality piece of jewellery will always set you apart from the crowd. Whether precious, semi-precious, or costume jewellery – always buy the best quality available within your budget. Remember, less is more, especially when you buy a quality piece, it will stand on its own merit.
Speaking of parties, surely no city celebrated more last year than London with the Olympics, the Queen’s Jubilee and of course the Royal Wedding! Kate Middleton impressed with her sense of style before, during and after the wedding. The Duchess of Cambridge, as she is now, continues to catch the eye of the fashion elite with her understated yet sophisticated style. Her clothes are always simple, but with an eye for quality fabrics and accessories. She has a timeless style and even her choice of bridesmaid’s outfit for Pippa, a simple Alexander McQueen gown in soft-white with the perfect pair of delicate pearl-drop earrings, reflected this.
Jewels should enhance your appearance and make you feel good. Many have likened jewels to being “the icing on the cake,” or “your crowning glory,” or the thing that adds that “va-va-voom” and sets you apart from the crowd. While I agree with all these sentiments, for me personally jewellery is the one item that gives me that extra bit of confidence in my appearance. Every time I look at that ring on my finger, or feel the brush of those earrings against my hair, I feel so good inside. I stand a little taller and smile just a little bit more. It’s what comes from knowing you are wearing something that speaks of your style implicitly.
How does jewellery make you feel and what does it say about you?