Jeweller in Focus: Issue. 15
4th Week, April 2023
By Neij Handmade Jewellery
A Melbourne Based ethical and sustainable jeweller, Filippa Neij has sprouted into the world of jewellery design through the tumultuous period of COVID Era, and has flourished her business into one which is thriving. This is the story of Filippa, and her business: By Neij.
All Natural Jewellery From Start to Finish
By Neij has been a completely natural business from start to finish. Filippa first started making Jewellery in 2020 during Covid Years, as a drawing into her sense of creativity. She has ” Always been creative, but for a few years, it kind of went away. But When she started making jeweller – that creativity came back.” It was a true calling as she was first captivated by the crystals her mother placed in her suitcase when arriving from Sweden in 2015. And ever since By Neij has been formed, her captivation about the beautiful jewels which surround our world has only grown.
“It’s the way crystals can assist you in your everyday life & energy healing that captivated me!”
From being in the middle of Melbourne’s first lockdown, she decided that she “wanted to make crystal jewellery for herself” to help with the anxiety & stress that came with the lockdown. And this sense of enrichment allowed her to feel like “a warm hug had wrapped around her”.
The Qualities of the Maker – By Neij
Filippa displays multitudinous qualities through her persona, but there are exceptional qualities which she believes make her who she is, and have allowed her to be successful so far in her jewellery making endeavours.
“Without the drive of creating my dream life, I think I would have given up on jewellery within a few months. Starting a business was extremely hard and stressful, and some days I just wanted to call it quits, I still have those bad days! But that strong drive is there, and with a new day, I know that I will keep overcoming obstacles, and I know how amazing the reward is going to be in the end.”
Creativity is vital when being in a field which utilises creative and critical thinking every single day. When dealing with customer’s ideas, to recognising the variety of stones which are out there – Filippa’s creative mind is put to work no matter what. “I need grounding to find my creativity, I cannot create in a stressful state. The more at peace I feel, the more creative I am.”
“Working from a state of authenticity has allowed me to stop comparing myself to other jewellers, and to connect with my customers on a completely different level. I need to stay authentic in order to connect with my ideal client, if I’m not authentic, I will attract the wrong clients. Staying true to my business values and also to my own is definitely key to running a successful business.
Unique and Special for Every Customer
By Neij is a business which creates. Every single customer is treated specially, with unique designs and considerations made for every individual. “The jewellery I make is made to last a lifetime”. Each piece of artisanally crafted jewellery is handmade which gives a sense of uniqueness to the piece. In addition to this, the choice of gemstones is individually chosen for the customer based on the energy which they emulate. Filippa works with incredible materials which gives her “a sense of fulfilment knowing I’ve created something unique for someone else that they will carry for many years to come”.
By Neij has created a variety of gorgeous designs, but her most compelling design thus far is “Definitely the wave ring!”. It is a blue tourmaline. Set in a sleek and elegant band, which creates a movement-like appearance of fluid metal and fluidity. “The inspiration for this ring is as you can probably guess by the name, waves & the ocean. A reminder to flow with the highs and lows of life, just like the waves flow in the ocean.
Filippa utilises a combination of wax carving and silver smithing techniques in order to make her jewellery. Being “highly motivated by the sun and the ocean” – her signature style is equally unique. Perfection found in the imperfect! “I feel that my signature style is definitely imperfect gemstone pieces with sun rays engraved on the outside. This style of jewellery especially draws me in. And it gives off some vibes of ancient jewellery designs, which I love!”
The Thirst for Knowledge
One of the greatest challenges which Filippa faced when learning how to run her business was the process of upskilling and learning about jewellery. In her words, she needed skills! “When I started I had absolutely no experience in making jewellery. ” However, the more she persisted, the stronger her motivation was to learn new skills. This was all with the goal to create the designs which she envisioned. In order to achieve this, she took “courses in jewellery making” to overcome many obstacles with the newly acquired knowledge. “After 2 years of making jewellery, I realise it’s just part of the process and learning takes lots of time and many mistakes!”
Within her journey of learning more and more about the jewellery trade,and becoming a master of her craft – By Neij has “recently started working with wax carving” and is finding the process to be extremely rewarding! “It allows you to be more creative” especially when finding out the styles which she wants to continue elaborating on and exploring.
Undergoing this journey is a testament to the dedication of Filippa, especially as she faces challenges along the way. By utilising patience, and establishing good and sustainable routines, Filippa is slowly but surely advancing in the jewellery industry.
A MESSAGE TO FUTURE JEWELLERS
“Honestly, just take your time, slow and steady wins the race.” Making jewellery, and learning can be a taxing process, so surround yourself with things that can help you grow and develop. My designs come to me when I am grounded and take time to reflect & self-care. When I’m rushing or have a million things on my to-do list, everything is hard. When I get to create in a state of flow and calm, everything feels easy.
Don’t forget to use things like nature! I spend a lot of time in nature because it keeps me grounded and centred. When I’m in nature, my design ideas come to me without me even thinking about them, because there my mind is not busy thinking about my long to-do list or what I should eat for dinner. I am home in my body, instead of my mind. Growing up in Sweden having the forest as my backyard; being near nature is very important for me to feel at home and connected to the universe, wherever I might be.
I believe that living a life that you love is the key to success in any business, and focus on what feels good for you, not other people’s expectations of you!”
Chathula L. Kiripitige