When Jewelry is a Family Affair

In jewelry, the bond between family and partners can be the strongest and most precious element of their business. Through a balance of intuition, communication and encouragement, these families are writing the next chapter in their brand’s story

Between the generations, there is a rhythm that endures: parents pass on their knowledge and their children strive to make them proud


Siblings, ZOE & MORGAN

What’s the secret to a successful family brand? For the siblings behind Zoe & Morgan, it’s the dizzying combination of a globetrotting childhood, a fascinating master goldsmith father, far-flung locations and an unfaltering work ethic. The result is a family dedicated to jewelry. Living and working between New Zealand, Bali and the UK, Zoe, Morgan and Ruth have established a brand renowned for ne jewelry with a bohemian twist. From humble beginnings crafting jewelry, pliers in hand, poolside in Bali, to showing collections at Paris Fashion Week and opening two boutiques, they are proof that families and brands can grow stronger together — especially, they admit, with the help of their smartphones. «Love and support each other no matter what,» says Ruth. «Be honest, open and remember to have fun. It's a very unique and special bond that family have, and it’s one to be proud of.»

Wife and husband, SARDO GIOIELLI

Problem solving is the favourite challenge of Elena and Fabio, who merge their complementary backgrounds to bring Sardo’s angular ne jewellery to life. In this partnership, Elena is the creative, drawing on her background in architecture and fashion, while Fabio, an engineer, transforms her sleek designs into modern jewels. «I surely wouldn’t love my work so much, if Elena was not so creative», he remarks. Trust and mutual respect is natural to Elena and Fabio. Their first major project together was the renovation of the Sardo Gioielli shop in Turin, followed by the treasured moment of having their collections sold through the eminent Dover Street Market. «It was a special time, because I have admired the work of Rei Kawakubo - DSM founder and Commes des Garçons designer - since I was young», Elena says. «Now, we look forward to making more memories.»

Husband and wife, ANNOUSHKA

It has been 23 years since Annoushka Ducas and John Ayton first started working together – a newlywed married couple embarking on their first business, Links of London. «We asked ourselves, is this the most sensible thing to do? The answer is, it was the most fantastic decision we ever made,» Annoushka says. Fast forward to 2009, and with John as chairman, the couple launched Annoushka, a ne jewelry brand with a unique rhythm to its collections – each feminine yet powerful, and inspired by stories from Annoushka’s life. With John’s background in law and shrewd strategic vision, their partnership is one of respect and understanding. «One of our first decisions was that we must always vehemently agree on something for it to happen, and luckily we always have,» she adds. Therefore, it was only natural that their most cherished moment took place together. In 2012, John and Annoushka each received an MBE from Queen Elizabeth for services to British jewelry. «We took our children and parents to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony, and it was a very special day indeed,» says Annoushka.

Joining forces in both love and business, these designers are crafting their

Father and daughter, MESSIKA

Diamonds that demand to be played with has become a signature of Messika jewelry, and one surely in uenced by Valérie’s first experience of working with André, her renowned diamond trader father. They fondly recall a visit to the diamond bourse in Mumbai, whereValérie was able to touch and explore stones of myriad shapes and colours. This influence remains woven through her work, and informed a piece of great importance to them both: the Victoria Choker. André presented Valérie with an exquisite 60 carat yellow diamond in need of an equally impressive setting. «It was a long process involving 30 sketches, as I wanted my father to be proud of me,» she recalls. André, in return, describes it as one of the most incredible pieces Valérie has designed. The strength of their relationship is built upon shared ideas, honest advice and clear communication. «The key to success is to share our thoughts out loud,» André says, «but we also listen to one other without judgement.»

Brothers, MARIANI 1878

«We were born into the business, forever around diamonds and jewelry workshops as little kids,» says Carlo Mariani, who, together with his brother Federico, are steering a dynamic new era in Mariani’s rich Italian heritage. In fact, their history is inspiring their future. During a recent family trip to Japan, the brothers asked their father, Nino, to share his working memories, cherishing the opportunity to learn and understand the past chapters of Mariani’s story, as they look to write new ones. With Carlo’s creativity and Federico’s pragmatism, they share an intuition known only to siblings growing and learning together. «This is the reason for our family success,» Carlo states. «We know our points of strength and have learned how to get the best out of them.» Indeed, they are already paving their own sparkling path: Mariani won its first accolade in 2017, the People’s Choice Award, at the Couture Design Awards in Las Vegas.

STEPHEN and ASSIA WEBSTER Husband and wife,

Having worked together for more than 20 years, Stephen and Assia Webster have propelled their brand to international status through a combination of Stephen’s inimitable style and Assia’s astute business mind. In fact, it was Assia that encouraged Stephen to take part in his first Las Vegas show, back in 1999. While he was writing orders for major US retailers, Assia was giving birth to their daughter back home in London. Whether they are on business overseas or working on new collaboration, there is never a dull moment with Stephen and Assia. Both driven and opinionated, they admit that sparks can y, if only due to their dedication. Their secret? To have separate offces where they can focus. «I always say, I’m the communicator and organiser — once you give me something, I will make it work,» Assia states. «But together we have revealed Stephen’s true potential to be even more daring and bold.»

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