by lovísa: Iceland’s hidden jewels
By Karin Blak | Photos: Aldís Pálsdóttir
Dreams do come true, and Lovísa Halldórsdóttir Olesen, founder of -by lovísa- of Iceland, is a shining example of this. Her elegant and inspired jewellery label started in a garage and is today available in shops throughout Iceland. Blending quality and art, it’s easy to see why her intricate silver, gold and precious-stone creations are so well received.
In a hidden corner of Iceland, Lovísa and her husband, Þorsteinn Eyfjörð, are building a steady and successful business making exceptional jewellery. With Þorsteinn helming the business side, Lovísa is free to focus on creating designs inspired by the wonders of everyday life.
Colours, textures and shapes inform Lovísa’s creative process in developing jewellery for both everyday wear or for one-off commissions. The names of the ranges, such as Waterfall Lichen, Frost and Fairy Tale, capture the nature she is inspired by. Lovísa describes her approach as a search for the point “where classic design and the latest trends intertwine.”
From gaining experience to going it alone
The world of creativity and art has captivated Lovísa from when she was a little girl. It became clear early on that this would be the essence of her life as an adult.
Fast forward to 2002, this prediction proved accurate when she graduated with a Master’s degree in art and fashion design. With this background, the path was paved for Lovísa to achieve further qualifications to fulfil her dreams. Like pearls on a string, she collected another Master’s qualification in 2007, this time in gold and silversmithing.
When talking about her work, she says: “This is where my heart is,” while holding her hand to her chest. That her designs are heartfelt is crystal clear in her work, which is displayed on the website and in the boutique in Iceland.
Although Lovísa recognises the value of her skills, she, like so many artists, is also modest. When asked to describe her success, she responds: “I find it hard to talk about myself.” Þorsteinn offers himself as the spokesperson for Lovísa’s abilities. He is clearly proud of her achievements and comments that: “It is Lovísa’s talent, skills and ingenuity that has formed the brand -by lovísa- .”
The success story
After years of acquiring experience working on other people’s designs, Lovísa had a longing to focus on her own projects and decided it was time to set up a business. In 2013, Lovísa opened up her first boutique in the garage at their home, the success of which spurred her on to expand the business.
In 2021, Lovísa and Þorsteinn started working together, moving the business to its own premises which today combines a welcoming, beautiful store with a well-equipped workshop where the jewellery is manufactured and repaired.
From this point on, Þorsteinn took over the business side, allowing Lovísa to pour her energy into designing and crafting the most exquisite ranges of jewellery. With this came an increase in their success.
As demand grew, Lovísa and Þorsteinn enlisted a little help from other workshops, while holding on tightly to the intricate details that are the hallmark of -by lovísa-.
The vision of -by lovísa-
The brand -by lovísa- is now known for its exquisite and elegant designs and is available through small retailers in Iceland, online shops, as well as Lovísa’s flagship boutique on Vinastræt in Urriðaholt in Garðabær. But there is more to come.
Aiming for the mid-range market where quality and affordability go hand in hand, -by lovísa- is spreading its wings and looking at opportunities outside Iceland, with the aim of collaborating in Scandinavia.
Going from a garage in a corner of Iceland to supplying retailers throughout the whole country, is no small achievement – though a natural step for jewellery with beauty of such wide appeal. Gifting a -by lovísa- piece to yourself or to a loved one can bring a little luxury into everyday life.
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