PHOTO © LOTTA JEWELLERY
PHOTO © LOTTA JEWELLERY
PHOTO © LOTTA JEWELLERY
PHOTO © LOTTA JEWELLERY

A jewellery journey

TEXT: LINNEA DUNNE | PHOTO © LOTTA JEWELLERY

She is just back from Spain. After Christmas, Thailand and Cambodia await. Lotta may be based in the south of Sweden, but her jewellery brand, Lotta Jewellery, still comes with an internationally cosmopolitan lifestyle. “No two days are ever the same,” she says. “I love it – I love contrasts and I love the freedom.”

It was during her travels that the adventure first began, 20 years ago, resulting in jewellery made from aluminium and glass in Bali, sold at the Shibuya crossing in the streets of Tokyo. Lotta had zero qualifications to her name, yet managed to get distributors all over the world after opening up shop in Paris – and back in Sweden, years later, she was counting numerous awards, brand ambassadors and loyal customers, in addition to a very healthy business indeed. “But then, a couple of years ago, I realised that I’d lost that core, that real reason why I’m doing all this,” she says. “There are plenty of people who want to fight to have the most shops and the best collections – but I’ve been there, done that. I’d ticked the box of 30 international fairs and fashion shows a year and agents and distributors in 26 countries. But what’s the point in being the best if that’s not what I want?”

Back to basics

You could say that Lotta’s turning point was very of its time, a not too rare realisation at a time when more and more people are looking to slow down and aim for quality over quantity. “I felt like things had started spinning too quickly, and I wanted to get back to the core, back to the human being and the people who I make all this jewellery for,” she reflects. “Back in Paris, I’d been designing wedding bands for couples and worked quite closely with them, and I missed that. I missed the relationships.”

Lotta decided to leave the business to do its thing, with existing distributors selling to their hearts’ desires but without her actively trying to reach more people or sell more. Instead, she set about designing a new wedding collection, Misty Forest, and took her best-sellers from 15 years ago and reinterpreted them using frosted silver and sapphires for the new Renaissance Collection. “I’ve always been inspired by nature, and that element is still there: I’ve kept the acorns and swallows, and my loyal customers will recognise the designs. It’s been a very positive experience,” she explains.

Designing people’s dreams

In addition, the designer has found the perfect balance between her two favourite things: people and travel. She now regularly welcomes customers from all over the world into her workshop to brainstorm new, unique designs for them, or takes them out to dinner to help them find the custom-made wedding bands that express their individual personalities and relationship. “With customers from abroad, we can start the process via email or phone. I’ll listen to them, come up with a proposal and create the parts in wax before they decide what metal they want. Some might want to take inspiration from Misty Forest but change diamond for emerald or similar,” Lotta explains. “Sometimes, I personally deliver the rings to the customers. I was in South Africa and Dubai delivering diamond rings recently, and soon I’m off to London! It’s an amazing way to work.”

The beauty of a slower pace is that the designer can spend even more time working on her designs in her favourite locations around the world. Often, she will take pieces of Swedish nature with her – like acorns, which are dried and used to create wax moulds, or oak leaves for the popular Mighty Oak bracelet. “I can spend three days just making sure that the outcome is exactly what I want it to be. There’s something lovely about being able to give creativity the time it takes,” says Lotta, stressing that it is her way of working that has changed – but her fans and ambassadors are still there, all over the world. “I’ve returned to that core of putting the person and their dreams first. That’s what it’s all about: creating something from scratch, giving them something made of love, something unique that lasts. A moment, a memory and a piece of jewellery that will last for an eternity.”

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