BEJEWELLED IN CORALS December 28, 2020 – Posted in: fashion, Showcase – Tags: coral, fashion, jewelry, Nigerian jeweller
I lived most of my childhood with my grandmother in Edo. She had some beads (corals) which were quite different from the beads that I saw at that time. I became curious and asked some questions about them. Of course, human beings are naturally curious but a child’s curiosity is way higher than normal. She said they were special beads which were sourced from the river. They were corals developed deep in the ocean and originated from living organisms called coral polyps. The beauty and quality of those precious stones was distinct.
My grandmother never sold corals. They were her belongings or should I say her assets. After my grandmother passed on, I travelled to Lagos and found a beautiful neck piece in my niece’s wardrobe. It was such a beauty. I was surprised the jewellery were made by the house help who later taught me the process of bead making.
By the time I began coral making professionally, I had also become a lawyer. This new career path didn’t go down well with my mother. She was more interested in me towing the legal path after I left Law school in 2018. For me to succeed, I knew paying attention to people’s opinion may not be the right thing for me. It wasn’t something that was of interest to me. Interestingly, that has been my push.
As a jeweler, I was engulfed in paying close attention to details and be willing to learn every day. The more reason special attention is paid to jewelry making is because I believe it expresses our culture and tradition a lot. A coral neckpiece can take days to make, hours to make or minutes to make depending on the pattern and the type of coral. Notwithstanding, I am laden with the challenge of sourcing for the best material quality in bead making. I don’t know why but I am particular about using local materials. Then, the height of it all is the fluctuating exchange rate of Naira that is not predictable.
So, one day, my mother introduced me to some of her friends who were interested in my jewellery. I was quite surprised at that considering it was not something she really wanted for me. It was the most beautiful experience for me. Another beautiful experience for me was when one of the daughters of a woman I respect so much in the legal profession in Nigeria got jewellery from me last year. Truth be told, they may look small but for me, these beautiful moments have been like a pat on the back for me in this journey.