JUJU Jewellery is a modern jewellery boutique which stands out in the Helsinki Design District for its classy designs–or should we say pieces of Art?
We always felt that there was something magical about their store that might be lost in translation, and so The Hieno Shops invited them for an interview today! Indeed, the creations of JUJU Jewellery could be seen as physical manifestations of the Finnish heritage– of “say what you mean, and mean what you say”.
IG: Hello Heta, Mari and Sanna! Thank you for your time today!”JUJU Jewellery” is such a cute name– but just to make sure I get the pronunciation correct–how do you pronounce it?
JJ: Thank you for having us!
It is pronounced as ‘juju’–the Finnish way, just as you would pronounce the first two letters of “Yuletide” in English.
IG: Tell us why the jewellery boutique is named “JUJU”?
JJ: It is really hard to find a good name for a boutique. It should be a word that easily sticks into peoples’ minds. We were considering numerous names for a long time and in some point we started to panic a little because we just didn’t like any of the options.
We ended up reading an English – Finnish arts& crafts vocabulary dictionary and from there we discovered word ‘juju’ with the description; west-African amulet. The word juju also has a meaning in Finnish. There is no direct translation, but it means roughly gist, as the gist of it. Point of an idea. We liked this play of words and the shop was then called JUJUJewellery.
IG: I’d seen your various collections in store. Your styles are so different from each other! Tell us more about what inspires each designer.
Aallokko Braclet, by Heta.
Blossom Rings, by Mari.
No Diamond Ring, by Sanna.
Mari: Lot of things inspired me. Of course nature because it is all around me (I live in the countryside) but also urban environment inspires me a lot. Peoples’ behaviour has always been a huge source of inspiration and starting point for my art pieces of jewellery.
Heta: Nature and my everyday surrounding provide an infinite source of inspiration. I’m also intrigued by the natural forms to be discovered in architecture. Such influences often appear in my jewellery and silverware designs. At times when working with a client, inspiration may come from the conversation that we have had regarding the piece of jewellery they wish to have.
Sanna: often I get inspired by letters, words and sentencies. Silver pieces are messages. Jewellery can ask questions, pieces can shout or whisper.
IG: In your respective opinions, what makes jewellery designed in Helsinki different from the rest of the world?
Mari: Every place and country has their own style and cultural differences. I think our design is quite honest and pure.
Heta: I believe there is a unique style to each place in the world. This in infused with all the different experiences that every designer collects over the years. I have noticed that my jewellery designs have differences between styles when I lived abroad and now that I live in Helsinki. My designs are simple with one or two details, whereby it then became more elaborate and decorative. Of course one’s style develops of the years for other reasons too, but for me there was a noticeable difference when I moved back home. Helsinki design is classic and timeless.
Sanna: We are between the east and the west. Contemporary design is a kind of a mixture of different times, places and styles.
IG: Mari told me that JUJU Jewellery offers custom-made designs as well. Care to elaborate more about this? For instance, tell us a story about a customer who ordered a piece of custom-made jewellery before?
Mari: I had a customer who came to me with an old golden ring which was her grandmother’s mother’s wedding ring. She wanted me to add a ruby stone on it and make it smaller so that she could wear it. Then I had a customer who came to me with stones she have had from abroad and she wanted to have a ring and earrings. So I designed and made them for her.
Heta: Sometimes it means making changes to an existing piece of jewellery therefore we customize the jewellery. Other times it is a client with an idea and a wish. One time I had a client with old pieces of gold jewellery that she wanted to be reused as the jewellery were gifts from over the years, confirmation, birthdays etc. She wanted them to be into a ring with the original engraved dates engraved again to the new ring. For the engraving she selected a special old font style from an old document that she studied at work. With all these small details and wishes from favorite colour, special font and then the design of the ring was made into a unique ring for her to combine the memories of the old jewellery she once were given.
Sanna: I´ve have made customized silver words with different languages; french, portuquese, english, swedish, russian, sami language etc. The size of the pendants are very different: from tiny, tiny words to huge, 30 cm long words. Every customer has his unique personal words– the most important and significant ones– he wants to have in silver.
IG: We are curious as to why you ladies chose to become jewellery designers. Has it always been your childhood dream? Tell us more!
Mari: When I was a young person I dreamed to become more like an artist than a designer. I gratuated from high school and then I applied in an art school but didn’t get in. Then I was thinking, what I would like to do? I was working for a while. Then one day I saw an announcement on the wall of the employment office which said that it is time to apply the education of goldsmithing. I was thinking that it would be interesting even though I didn’t know much about goldsmithing or jewellery design. I applied and got in and here I am 🙂
Heta: I have always been interested in arts & crafts and the jewellery became an interest during my final year in high school. I then applied to the Lahti Design Institute Jewellery Department and was accepted to study there in mid-90’s. It was later during my studies that I developed an interest to silversmithing and making larger scale pieces. This has also influenced my designs, combining silversmithing techniques to jewellery.
Sanna: Perhaps, indeed, my childhood dream was to study design and art. The dream was also to make something with hands. Somehow I ended up in the goldsmithing department and I noticed how interesting the world of jewellery design and art is.
IG: Have you ever thought of holding jewellery design classes in store? I’m sure with great designs like yours, it would be a popular course! What do you think?
JJ: We have had some jewellery evenings where clients can make their own jewellery. Because in our boutique there´s a limited amount of tools and space we have wanted to keep it simple and easy. It has been fun and people have enjoyed when they have had a possibility to make something by themselves. Probably we are holding small workshops in our boutique in the future as well. We inform about workshops in our facebook sites.
IG: On a parting note, what is one thing you would like to tell to the readers of The Hieno Shops? It can be a quote, an insight on life, something random, or anything!
Let´s keep the downtown of Helsinki lively! Let´s visit the tiny boutiques and small design shops. Make your dreams come true like we are doing it right now via JUJU Jewellery.
We really enjoyed interviewing these incredibly talented designers.
Like JUJU Jewellery facebook page here !
Want to check the individual designers out? Here you go:
Heta Anderson :: Mari Kallionpää :: Sanna Nuutinen