(Lonam is no longer sold on Jewel Street)
I'm really pleased to announce that we're now live on Jewel Street. Check out our boutique here and read more of our backstory below.
1. What are the main inspirations behind your jewellery? How have they changed and evolved over time?
My aim is always to create jewellery that has deep meaning to the wearer and projects some aspect of their beliefs, desires and aspirations to the outside world. Love and faith are, and have always been, the guiding principles of all we do and as such the jewellery is relatable and accessible to everyone, everywhere.
All the pieces in the current collection are inspired by Adinkra Symbols from Ghana, West Africa. The symbols serve as decoration, but also represent; thought-provoking messages, aspects of day-to-day life, simple truths and traditional wisdom.
2. If you are launching (or have just launched) a new collection – please tell us specifically about its theme and inspiration behind it, and the design process you have been through.
The current collection is an introduction to the Ghanaian Adinkra symbols which have unique meanings. The designs are clean and modern and use one (Solo) or two (Duet) symbols.
The Solo collection takes quite a literal interpretation of the Adinkra symbol meaning, standing independently and communicating one clear message from the wearer to the observer. I love to wear the Hero stud earrings to tell the world “I am STRONG”, or “Today I need to be COURAGEOUS”.
The Duet collection uses two different symbols which sit harmoniously together to form one new meaning. Life and love is complicated and sometimes a message needs to be delivered with balanced layers. For example, the Balance ring uses the Akofena (swords of war) symbol and the Nyansapo (wisdom knot) symbol. The meaning conveyed is strength and courage but with consideration and intelligence. With some careful negotiation, the two can, and do co-exist in harmony.
There are so many beautiful Adinkra symbols, but it was important that I took the time to select symbols which weren’t just pretty or in line with this season’s trends, but really had meaning that resonated with the wearer. For this collection, I painstakingly studied and reviewed the meanings and alternative interpretations of the symbols, their history, their use, construction and design principles. I then edited down my favourite symbols and chose the most impactful for the Solo collection. For the Duet collection, the editing process involved some match-making of sorts in order to find perfect pairs of meanings that complement each other.
All the pieces in the Solo and Duet collections are available in sterling silver and can be made in 18ct gold, rose gold or platinum by special order.
3.Tell us about your journey to getting to where you are today. What have been the critical moments and ‘rites of passage’ along the way through your jewellery journey?
I would say my journey has been long and winding, in fact most of the time I didn’t know where on earth I was headed. I can’t say I’ve always wanted to design jewellery but I have always loved shiny, sparkly things so maybe it was destiny that I ended up doing this. I have part Ghanaian heritage and have lived and spent lots of time in Ghana, especially the capital city of Accra. There is a beautiful entrepreneurial spirit and warm vibrancy about the Ghanaian people. We are expressive with every part of our being and are natural story-tellers so I think this is my way of telling stories, it’s also why every piece I make has to have meaning and make a statement, however quiet.
I always had jewellery custom made when I visited family in Ghana because I never connected with the stock styles available and always wanted something more “me”. It was always a matter of, please will you adjust this, or change that symbol, or make this shape a little curvier and only on very rare occasions did I get what I envisioned. In short, the journey started right there with me wanting to create something pretty and meaningful for myself. It just so happened that people observing my pieces liked them too!
4. Aside from your jewellery, what are you most passionate about and driven by?
I’ve always been a keen dancer, and actually used to dance semi-professionally for the Laurence Olivier award winning hip hop dance company, Boy Blue. Apart from dance, I simply love people and culture. I have an ever-expanding wish list of countries and cities I’d love to visit. Travel is so important to me for opening the mind and heart and I always come back home with new inspiration and energy. I could not answer this question fully without including my ever expanding collection of high heels! I’m not quite Imelda Marcos but I do have an unnecessarily large collection. If I could collaborate with a shoe designer that would be a dream come true!
5. What makes your jewellery unique?
Me! I have Ghanaian, St Lucian and Bajan heritage but I’m a Londoner through and through. I’m an ex hip hop dancer and a serious corporate woman. I bring all of my knowledge and culture and family history and beliefs and education into the designs.
6. Tell us about the provenance of your jewellery.
I’m naturally artistic and I think it’s part of my purpose to create an expression for the inevitable link between love, life, beauty, design, adornments, culture and art forms.
Lonam jewellery exemplifies the spirit of love which is probably the most powerful energy we know. It traverses the times of our origin, initiation in life and eventual transition into the unknown. The design concept originates from the deep energy force which surrounds and encapsulates the very essence of our being. Simply put, Traditional, ancestral symbols for the modern world.
7.What is your favourite piece of jewellery (personally) and what is the story behind it?
I love all of the pieces, of course, but my very favourite is the Lonam Signature ring! It uses the Akoma Ntoso (linked hearts) and the Nsaa (a special woven cloth) Adinkra symbols. The ring represents excellence, genuineness, understanding and love. It’s the piece that best represents all I stand for and the principles of the Lonam brand.
It’s symbols sit in a wide band, and as such it’s suitable for Women and Men. I love the alternating symbols because every time I put it on I get a slightly different angle of shapes. I also love the Lonam Signature ring because it’s one of the first pieces I made, and really I made it for myself but it’s the most well-loved design in my family (along with the Heart Stud earrings) and is quickly becoming our family ring…I’m happy to share.