Introducing Zambian jewellery brand Eleora Gems renowned for their premium custom-made gemstone designs. Eleora Gems prides themselves on using ethically sourced coloured gemstones from Zambia and other neighbouring countries. Learn more about them in today's interview as founder Mukosha Mulenga tells us about his core brand values and much more!
How did your brand begin?
I have been a gemstone lover for pretty much all my life. I encountered my first gemstone at age 7 and fell in love with the mesmerizing colours and reflections.
I became a gem collector, till one day someone came across a beautiful stone in my collection. She was willing to buy it, but only if it was set into a pendant. Not being one to shy away from a task, I made a design and worked with a silversmith to bring it to life. She loved it, friends and family got to see it and from there the brand was born.
Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
We believe firstly in providing only the best quality gemstones to our clients.
We also believe in fair trade practices through ethically sourcing all our raw materials.
People before profits.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
Most of my designs are inspired by nature and the rich African culture.
How do you ensure your designs are ethical and sustainable?
We took time to travel around Zambia and forge relationships with small-scale miners. Eleora Gems is part of a unique provenance-proof blockchain. We give information to customers, telling them the journey their gem took to get to them.
How are your products made?
The vast majority of our products are handmade.
The gemstones are cut and polished in-house, straight from mine to lapidary. We do not enhance or treat our stones in any way. Each stone is a pure representation of nature's beauty.
Our silversmiths and goldsmiths then craft them into wonderful pieces of jewellery.
How do you source your materials?
We source the materials directly from small-scale miners. We would travel to the mines in the past but, as the business has grown, the miners now bring their products to our offices. We carefully select the stones and offer a fair price for them.
Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.
A few years ago I had a client with a very short brief. All she said is that she wanted an emerald and wanted to look different. Not much to go with.
However, I took time to get to know her, what she likes, her sense of style and her wishes. I came up with a ring she didn't expect. It was 18K white gold, encrusted in diamonds and a beautiful Investment-grade, 1-carat emerald.
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
Barack and Michelle Obama, Prince Harry. Rodger Federer and Beyoncé Knowles Carter. These are some of the notable celebrities I would love to see wearing my designs and I hope it will be a reality one day!
How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?
My designs are all about expressing one's uniqueness. We believe everyone is special, and what better way is there to show the world how special you are than through rare gems?
Do you work with any charities?
We have set up our own foundation that's an offshoot of our business called the Takosha Foundation. We want to use this platform to give back to the small-scale mining communities that work so hard to bring beautiful gemstones to the retail market.
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
We do have plans to expand our reach all over the world. we want as many people as possible to experience the beautiful gems that Zambia has to offer. We are also looking at the possibility of having a retail store in Dubai.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Integrity will get you places that money cannot.
What music inspires you to create new designs?
I love to listen to epic and classical music. the emotions that sort of music invokes makes me want to transfer that feeling to the pieces I design. Jewellery should make the wearer feel all the wonderful emotions.
What drew you to JewelStreet?
The platform is well organised and gives a chance to less well-known brands like ourselves to be noticed.
How do your brand values align with those of JewelStreet?
Not only will it expose our brand to a wider audience but, it's a platform that subscribes to similar values as Eleora Gems. We are all about ethical sourcing and providing world-class pieces to the consumer; pieces that can be family heirlooms or wonderful memorabilia. JewelStreet is the perfect partner for us.
Thank you for talking with us today Mukosha!
Discover premium gemstone jewellery with Eleora Gems on JewelStreet today!