India Mahon - Jewellery with a colourful story
- Credit: Archant
India Mahon creates stunning jewellery with a colourful story. Now her designs have been snapped up by a major store
Since she was a child living in Harrogate, India Mahon has been energised by multi-coloured gemstones. Her passion came from her flamboyant, amateur dramatic-driven grandmother Maebelle and her father, a bohemian artist who painted in vibrant watercolours.
'Maebelle, who probably changed her name from Mabel to sound more glamorous, was my inspiration,' laughs India.
'I would spend hours sifting through her eclectic mix of Indian hand embroidered silks and sparkly theatrical costumes. I would adorn myself with my grandmother's pearls, wander the Yorkshire Dales with my grandfather loaded with jewellery and at least one handbag!' she recalls.
While visiting Registan in the 1980s, it was a specialist jeweller and family friend who taught India the art of jewellery making. She started by making simple silver earrings and it wasn't long before she realised this skill was her passion but at that time not her profession.
She went on to work in Paris and London and in 2013 she had her light bulb moment to live the dream and set up her own studio and workshop selling handmade, ethical contemporary jewellery in the tiny quaint village of Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds.
Being a Yorkshire lass at heart, India was eventually drawn back to her Harrogate roots and in 2018 opened the doors to her luxury boutique in the very fashionable Montpellier Quarter of the town. 'Every day I am invigorated and inspired to grow my business and my brand. I LOVE my job!'
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Her entire philosophy is focused on the exceptional quality of her ethical precious and semi-precious gemstone jewellery. All her jewellery is made by hand at her studio bench. The sourcing and authenticity of the gemstones as well as the re-cycled gold to make her bespoke collection are all Fairtrade. 'I hand pick my suppliers who I know are 100% genuinely fanatical about the provenance of the ethically mined gemstones.'
India offers a custom jewellery design service working with her clients to create a truly special and personal piece of exquisite jewellery. She also works collaboratively with them to remodel family heirlooms into contemporary everyday jewellery, breathing new life and repurposing precious vintage pieces.
'It's not just about the quality and integrity of my design, it's the step-by-step journey I take with my clients. Once the jewellery is sculpted, it's the mutual satisfaction of producing that unique 'forever favourite' piece which is so important', she adds.
'I love the romance, the colour and above all the graceful gesture of these wonderful classic fabrics, my earrings and necklaces offer that same silk-like movement to all who wear them.'
Fast forward to 2019 and India's work has caught the eye of the leading department store Fenwick who have commissioned her to create an exclusive Boutique collection for both their Bond Street store in London and the York store.
The range is an edit of what is on sale in the Harrogate boutique including her hand-made earrings, necklaces and rings in silver, vermeil and gold. Many of the pieces are embellished with small delicately hammered sequins and coloured gemstones. The one-of-a-kind selection includes dangle earrings of delicate pink sapphire slices set into 18ct Fair trade gold, long gold sequin and chandelier earrings filled with tourmaline briolettes as well as a necklace of seven vintage Indian Polki diamond slices set into 22ct gold.
Showstoppers include a series of emerald and tourmaline rings set into 18ct Fairtrade gold, earrings of mesmerising rainbow moonstone from Myanmar set into 18ct gold embellished with tiny gold sequins. There's also a range of gold chain necklaces with vibrantly coloured natural sapphires, emeralds, tourmaline and opals set in recycled gold specially designed with India's signature safety clasps. u
Prices range from £175-£3995.
The collections are in Fenwick stores now.