Last week, I popped over to Notting Hill to meet anthropologist turned jewellery designer Pippa Small. For those who don't know of Pippa's eclectic and bohemian collections, her socially conscious pieces are more than just pretty jewellery. Each piece tells a story and as they are inspired by different cultures, they make for an unique form of self-expression. Scratch beneath the surface though, and you will see what makes her so inspirational. Her jewellery business evolved as she began to work on craft initiatives with indigenous communities, researching and preserving their traditional designs to create unique pieces to cherish whilst working with the communities to provide income and self-sufficiency.
Pippa has recently collaborated with Turquoise Mountain, an organisation which aims to regenerate the artisan and historical areas within Afghanistan to "create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of national identity". The work of Turquoise Mountain has transformed an area where both heroin addiction and unemployment are rife, by employing and training 400 local men, they have worked together to change their lives, and those of future generations, forever. Pippa has set up a workshop for eight men to create her stunning collection, which draws upon traditional Afghan design and materials as it's inspiration. The collection uses gems and precious materials such as Lapis Lazuli which is mined from nearby Badakshan and Kunzite from Azajib alongside natural dyed woven silks. The collection is inspired by the beauty of Afghanistan and has an underlying theme of love, my favourite piece is a pendant necklace with a love poem inscribed on it. The collection also features tribal pendants, smooth, eye-catching lapis pebbles, delicate rings, emerald chunks and dangling chains.
The collection is available to buy at Pippa Small's online boutique and in her Notting Hill boutique.