Founder and lead designer of Elindesign Jewellery, Elin Zoenso followed her passion for jewellery design and started her company in 2003. She studied contemporary jewellery design in Sweden and Italy, before opening her own shop in Gothenburg. Elin is inspired by the world around her, but has a particular interest in forms, whether it’s the shape of architectural buildings, rock textures or the cast of a shadow.
Elin is best known for her work with raw metal surfaces and her use of ethical materials. Elin uses recycled gold and silver to create her contemporary pieces, and only sources diamonds from ethical sources that have been certified by the Kimberley process. Elin Zoenso chats to JewelStreet about her brand beginnings, the rewarding process of making bespoke wedding rings and how she found the perfect work/life balance.
How did your brand begin?
I started my company in 2003, in the basement of our country house in Sweden. After a couple of years, I moved to Italy to study contemporary jewellery and I ran my business from a Tuscan balcony with a stunning view of the mountain and vineyards below. 4 years later, I opened my shop in Gothenburg.
When did you first fall in love with jewellery and knew you wanted to become a designer?
I studied fine art but took a break and ended up with a goldsmith. She taught me the basics and I was hooked. I loved the raw and hard process that reached a precious final result, so I studied to become a jewellery designer!
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I love forms. Architecture, a shadow on the floor or the surface of a rock... Inspiration is everywhere!
How do you ensure your jewellery is ethical and sustainable?
I work with recycled gold and silver. I hope soon I will be able to offer fairtrade gold as well. The diamonds I use are certified by the Kimberly process or are ethically sourced.
Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.
I meet a lot of couples that are looking for wedding rings. I just love to see through their eyes, what attracts them and how a life long piece of jewellery should reflect and strengthen their personality. I love the challenge of the process and the best is to see their joy as they put the rings on.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
I hope that my clients can feel the quality of my work and that they really appreciate the work that lies behind. I want them to feel proud and precious!
What has been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
I think the highest and lowest points of my career are closely connected. I have loved to struggle hard to reach my goal and to be able to live my dream. Without the hard work the joy wouldn't be there! I dare everyone to leave their comfort zone!
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
I would have become an architect! Okay that is closely related... I’m also interested in psychology and mental processes, how our minds work and how we can transform our self. I love to create so I guess that is a way to make beauty as well.
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
I start my mornings with exercise. I take my bike for about 10km ride to my studio/shop and stop by at the gym. I love to feel the wind in my hair and listen to the birds as I sweat in the morning. Before I go to bed I meditate and read books.
Winding down after a day in the studio is sometimes difficult for a designer, what do you do to help this process?
I worked way too hard the first 10 years as a self-employed person. I have learned to slow down thanks to meditation and self hypnosis. I also studied to become a mental coach so I have learned many useful methods. My life today is very balanced.