Show #211 – The Jewelry Industry with Pyrrha Jewelry Founder Danielle Wilmore

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And on this week’s show!

I’m thrilled to continue an “Under the hood” fashion series, this week looking at jewelry after last week’s denim show. Pyrrha Jewelry is one of the few jewelry brands with full transparency and commitment to ethics in the supply chain. 

In 1993, Wade and Danielle Papin met, fell in love, and began handcrafting jewelry at their kitchen table in Vancouver. Two years later—following myriad conversations about their shared appreciation for good design and old things—they founded Pyrrha with a commitment to letting their materials inspire their work. 

The resulting jewelry is Pyrrha’s now-iconic line of talisman necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, and rings made from reclaimed silver, bronze, and gold. Each piece is handcrafted in Pyrrha’s Vancouver studio—a striking contrast to the glut of overseas, factory-made, mass-produced jewelry that is so common in their industry. “Everything seems to be cranked out at a staggering pace and then left for dead,” says Wade. “Because we live in such a throwaway society, it’s necessary—and joyful—to create some things that can be kept.”

While Pyrrha remains a local treasure in its native Vancouver, the talismans have captured international attention. The line has been embraced by celebrities and style icons the world over and retails at such global boutiques as Liberty of London, Le Bon Marche Paris, and United Arrows of Japan. In 2010 Wade and Danielle took what felt like their natural next step, opening their extraordinary flagship store in L.A. The Pyrrha store allows fans to experience the Pyrrha world, as well as to see the extensive talisman collection in its entirety.

I hope you enjoy learning about the jewelry trade more intimately.

The questions I asked Danielle:

  1. What is the story of Pyrrha’s beginnings? 
  2. Was it about sustainability from the beginning or the craft of jewelry making at first? 
  3. What were some of the things you uncovered as you started to research the jewellery industry, metals, stones, mining and manufacture that made you think: Hold on, this is horrible!?
  4. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced to creating a profitable, ethical brand in this space? 
  5. Do you recycle the materials yourselves, or is this something jewellery makers can now buy, recycled metals/stones? 
  6. What made you want to take the formal step of being  BCorp certified? 
  7. What do you hope for in the jewelry industry in the coming decade? How can we change the industry on a large scale? 
  8. What questions should people be asking when they consider a jewelry brand? 
  9. How do sustainability and ethics play out for you guys in other areas of life outside of your business? 

Other helpful links:

Know more about Pyrrha, handcrafted & sustainable jewelry with a meaning: https://pyrrha.com/

Follow them on Instagram @pyrrhajewelry and Facebook

This week’s Show Sponsor

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