Comfortable clothes continue to rule, and it’s hard to imagine what could come along to convince us otherwise, but that doesn’t come at the sacrifice of decoration.
Speaking to friends, jewellery has been the mood lifter, and yes an opportunity to shine on conference calls, but particularly if you have gone a while without wearing it, the deliberate act of adding jewellery can positively impact your day. Tori Shay, the founder of Wolf & Gypsy reflects on her journey and creating a brand that gives back to the environment rather than taking away.
I love the expression ‘life can turn on a sixpence’ and often share one of my life’s turning points as an example of how quickly life can change. In short, on the first night of a six day trip to San Francisco, at a restaurant reservation that me and my friend almost cancelled, I met the man that three months and three dates later became my fiancé. Wolf & Gypsy’s Sixpence pendant pictured below was designed using an original sixpence coin, dated 1914, and there’s me with my latest stroke of luck as I salvaged this rattan peacock chair. Entwined with an old Christmas tree, it needs a little repair, but it was worth the rescue.
One of Tori’s sixpence turns came when she started her brand…
“It was so very important that Wolf & Gypsy was a responsible brand. When finding a manufacturer, I travelled to India to see the workshops so that I could make sure that they had the same values”
Anyone can speak of sustainability, and at the moment it feels like anyone is! But Wolf & Gypsy’s commitment as a member of 1% For The Planet not only talks, it walks the walk with a minimum of 1% of annual sales to support environmental non-profit organisations. Wolf & Gypsy jewellery is realised in recycled silver and gold with ethically sourced conflict-free gemstones.
“I think it’s really important in this day and age to be very aware of the choices you make and how that impacts our world… Be aware, thoughtful and deliberate. I try to stay positive and upbeat in every situation, which has been especially important this year”
Whilst raising her young family, Tori retrained under a talented goldsmith, whose designs were snapped-up by Liberty and Harvey Nichols in the seventies. Swapping a career in event design, she began to create jewellery and practise the art of ear curation, adding professional ear piercing to her new skills before launching Wolf & Gypsy in 2018.
Tori’s journey into jewellery gives the Wolf & Gypsy collection artful earrings designed for different piercings. Rediscovered vintage pieces come re-furbished ‘as-new’ and compliment the rest of the range, which is also designed to last. Necklaces, rings, bracelets and bangles are made for experimenting, layering, mixing and matching. It feels like she’s sharing her personal treasure trove of pieces collected over time.
I ask Tori the impossible, to name her favourite piece. Failing a single favourite, today she is wearing the Pear Rainbow Moonstone ring with diamond halo, the Snake bangle and a personalised necklace with her name on it.
For many, this moment and stagnant lockdown life feels ripe for a sixpence turn and a change of luck. The brand’s name was inspired by her young son Rafe, whose name means ‘wolf,’ and ‘gypsy’ is derived from Tori’s love of travel and adventure. So how does she soothe her adventurous spirit in these unique circumstances?
“I’m finding happiness from the little things in life and enjoying the beautiful countryside that we have to offer in this country with my children.”
It may seem self centred to think about self-adornment in the middle of a pandemic, but sometimes simply putting on a piece of deliberate design can help you get up in the morning. And jewellery particularly can connect us to people that we may not have the privilege of seeing at the moment.
One of Tori’s memories of jewellery impacting her day was the first day she went through her Grandmother’s jewellery box: “It was then that I fell in love with jewellery.”
I think most of us would enjoy reliving childhood moments, where dress up wasn’t about going anywhere, it was simply for the fun of play.
© Photographs Reclaimed Woman and most courtesy of Wolf & Gypsy