Interview with Ahalife

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Name: Marielle Byworth
Location: Hong Kong
Products: Elema bracelet and Matreck earrings

Marielle Byworth makes good use of her downtime. The Swiss-educated, Hong Kong-based designer came up with the idea for her Marijoli jewelry line while diving in the Maldives and Palau a few years ago. Fans of her nature-inspired pieces include Kate Moss and Madonna.

What inspired you to create this jewelry?
I had spent a lot of time diving in some beautiful spots like the Maldives and Palau and I became mesmerized by the beauty of nature. At the same time I was working with a jewelry maker to come up with some fresh designs and I really wanted to be able to replicate the beauty of the underwater world and have it with me at all times. A piece of jewelry was the perfect solution.

How were the pieces made?
The initial process started with the inspiration and working relationship above, from there I went to my Tokyo studio and started to draw designs. Once I was happy with the designs I made models in wax so I could play with the shapes. The next phase was to start talking with manufacturers. I then made a mold using the prototype that I had created. So many of my friends liked the model that I thought I would make some for gifts. Once I started to produce, more and more people started to buy and that’s how I went into production.

What was the big aha! you had while creating this product?
The moment I found the perfect shape and curve—it took a while.

Can you describe your creative process?
It’s kind of like a meditation process. I spend a lot of time focusing on a magical moment and focus on it the whole time when producing a piece.

What do you love about what you do?
That I can help people express themselves. I love seeing what people come up with. I worked with the Miss Universe Japan girls and they were very creative with how they wore the Elema piece—around a boot, covering a watch, around their necks. All extremely cool and saying something different. I particularly love seeing how proud people look when they are wearing my pieces.

How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
Abstract minimalism with elegance and beauty that you can relate to.

What are you working on next?
I am working on a line for older people, children and parents using the power of healing stones

What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
I would like to broaden what I design to include a range of bags, belts and accessories.

Curated by Kimmie Smith for Ahalife