Jewellery is the Nicely Made in China product of the week. Ariel Welby-Everard, ex-insurer from London and Wang Lei, ex-dancer from Wuhan are a team in life as well as in business and have now created their company Everard+Wang. In a two-voice interview they tell NMiC all about making jewellery in Beijing.
Can you please tell Nicely Made in China readers how and when you started your company?
« We started Everard+ Wang in 2008 with Wang Lei as designer and myself as company director. » says Ariel Welby-Everard. Wang Lei carries on: »I trained as a dancer but making jewellery has been my passion for as long as I can remember. In 2003 I opened a shop in Houhai where I was selling my production. It was one of the first shop in that area at that time. I closed it in 2006. » » After closing the shop Wang Lei took jewellery-making classes for a few months says Ariel and started to sell her creations at the Vineyard cafe. »
Wang Lei, how do you work? What process do you follow to create your pieces?
« I usually give myself a central idea, the seasons for instance. I play around with the concept. I can find inspiration collecting things I find in a park like tree leaves but obviously also that I discover on markets: pearls, clasps, buckles, pins wires and beads. I also like to go to Panjiayuan to find antique bits. Then I start a creativity board with all these things which ultimately will be part of the collection. The shapes of the pieces will evolve depending on the metals I will use.
So what type of metals and what type of stones do you use?
« We use sterling silver 925 which is sometime gold plated explains Ariel, then the crimps are usually made of copper or steel where resistance is needed. The stones we use are amazonite from Russia, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, onyx, pyrite, and citrine.
How often do you introduce new models?
Once a month a new design comes out with an initial run of a handful.
What was your most popular collection?
Definitely the Montains and water series!
Where can NMiC readers buy your jewellery?
Our jewellery can bought on our website. We have a fulfillment facility in the UK so we can ship anywhere in the world. In Beijing clients who are interested can find our creations at The Orchard, at the UCCA shop in 798 [中文] [Eng] where we display our more avant-garde pieces and at Dongliang design in Wudaoying Hutong near the lama temple.
Are-you seeing the market evolve?
What we see nowadays is that Chinese women born in the 80′s are coming into their own money and as they are exposed to magazines like Vogue and ELLE they are moving away from buying something only because it is valuable. They attach more and more importance to the design and the concept.
Can you tell NMiC readers how much cost the cuff bracelet with the agate in the photograph?
It sells for about 2750 RMB ( approx: US$400 – € 325 – £ 270 – AU$463 on June 18th 2010). The other bracelet represented in the pictures is around 360 RMB (US$ 52 – € 42 – £ 35 – AU$ 60)