A smith is defined as someone who works with metal - but the lovely Anna from SMITH Jewellery does so much more than that. With Hello Pretty since its inception, she makes pieces that strike a balance between whimsy and elegance - much like the vintage orange MG we’ve seen her zipping around town in!
- Hello Anna! Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and bred in Cape Town. I was fortunate to have a very creative mother, and an environmentalist for a father. This meant that I led a very varied life, from ballet performances to walks in the bush, from lace making to Namibian diamond fields. As you can imagine, I was allowed to explore my creative side through art, music and dance, as well as develop a love for nature. I suppose this background meant that there was no way I could not continue to do something creative when I grew up.
- That sounds way more interesting than most of our afterschool activities! How did you end up starting your own jewellery range?
After doing art at school, I studied jewellery design at Stellenbosch University - a 4 year honours degree. Then, I won a scholarship to do a Masters in Design at the Richemont’s school of design, The Creative Academy, in Milan. I spent a year learning about luxury design, and even got a 3 month internship in Chloé's leather department. Feeling the need to travel a bit, I worked and lived in London and Sydney for the next two years. In 2010 I came back to Cape Town to set up SMITH Jewellery.
- Wow - after ricocheting around the globe, you must have experienced so many different things. Where do you get your inspiration from?
At the risk of sounding corny, I really am influenced by anything around me. As I mentioned before, I grew up with a wide range of interests - this has led to me producing many different collections for both my male and female ranges. Having said this, I inevitably find inspiration in any jewellery, fashion, architecture from 3000BC to the 1900s - basically any old cultures.
- We can actually see that a lot in your ranges at the moment - you have some very tribal influences, as well as more delicate pieces. Tell us a little more about the things SMITH makes?
I design jewellery for both men and women. I specialise in silver jewellery, but lately have been using more brass and copper (which I then gold or rose gold plate) as well. I try to create easy-to-wear, conversational jewellery. My women’s ranges are bold, beautiful and lightweight, while my men’s ranges harp back to the Victorian gentleman with a more humorous tilt. Everything I design is then hand made - this ensure that no two pieces are the same.
- Variety being the spice of life. Speaking of which - Will Smith, Maggie Smith, or Patti Smith?
Definitely Maggie Smith - wise, humorous and feisty!