Every piece of jewelry tells a story…and behind that beautiful piece of art is the story of the designer. We recently sat down with the designer of one of our newest collections, Adel Chefridi, where we had the chance to learn about his inspirations and the future of the collection.
Q. Your heritage has influenced your design ethics, how has your heritage also influenced the business you have built?
A. The fascinating thing about Carthage, where I grew up, is that it had the most influential port in the Mediterranean at the time. To this day, you might find artifacts from many other places around that sea. Traders while exchanging goods, they also connected cultures and traded stories and experiences. I love the idea that people can feel the subtle difference in culture and aesthetics in my work. It feels like I’m taking them in a little dive into a different time and space.
Q. Your signature design is centered around simple symbols, etching and engraving. How does this technique speak to you and what do you want it to say to those who see your special jewelry pieces?
A. Lines and dots are some of the oldest and most simple expressive vocabulary human beings used anywhere in the world. Somehow the most mysterious hides in the most simple. We gravitate (at least some of us) toward symbols and signs that speak to our capacity to feel more than to our capacity to understand. There is great wisdom in subtlety.
Q. You speak to beauty and how it impacts your designs, explain why this is important to you in your work?
A. I strongly believe that we are Heart centered beings. Our capacity to love is what makes us most whole and at ease with ourselves and with the world around us. Beauty is the language the heart understands, and wherever there is beauty, the heart follows naturally without effort.
Q. You have two studios, one in Rhinebeck, NY and a sister studio in Tunis, and your family is fully involved in your jewelry business. How does that make you feel and what kind of positive influence does this have on building your brand?
A. It feels like a complete circle, a balanced relationship. The “Atelier” in Tunis is as important to me as the studio here. Being able to connect the two and create a cooperation and a flow between the two places is the most rewarding experience.
Q. Where will you go next for inspiration? What design influences would you like to explore next?
A. I’d like to know myself! I usually approach this from a place of feelings rather than thoughts. Some shapes or lines start coming out usually in a very clumsy way and I try to stay with them until they start making some Aesthetic sense. I can’t do it on my own, I try to work with the studio to fully explore any new direction.
I seem to bounce between two places, primitive, earthy very simple basic expressions and a very refined, almost angelic images. It’s usually the place in between that wins.
Q. Your pieces have a romance to them, is that an important to you and why?
A. I think that romance is part of who we are as human beings, not an acquired quality. If we relax enough to let our guards down we’ll see that everything around us is in a way flirting with us and asking us to fall in love.
Q. Describe the consumer you design for?
An irrational worshipper of beauty with constant thirst for meaningfulness beyond words.
Q. You are a responsible company, supporting mercury-free mining initiatives, as a member of the Advisory Board of Ethical Metalsmiths and you are committed to working only with ethical suppliers, sourcing all-natural gemstones. What does this mean to you as a business owner?
A. I can’t believe that I’m fortunate enough to have a job where I can play with the most amazingly beautiful objects on earth, assembling them for people to adorn themselves and see their own beauty through them. Anything we can do to stay as close to the natural beauty as possible will only feel great.I hope we can eliminate any possibility of harming people or the environment while doing what we love most.