How and why Amphi was born
The world doesn’t need another jewellery brand”
I heard it, I thought it, I believed it… until I didn’t anymore!
Let’s take it back and I’ll explain why.
"I’ve always had a little nagging voice inside of me saying, “why not you"?”.
When the first lockdown came into place it afforded me some much-needed time and space for reflection and perspective. The morning commute was replaced with walks in the countryside and space to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I was 29, I had started a new job three months prior, nevertheless, I could still hear the voice and feel the itch.
Around the same time I came across two female business owners on Instagram, both incredible women who had changed careers in their 40’s from the advertising and fashion industry into the accessories and interiors space @anemone_interiors and @svpjewellery. Both women were really open and agreed that starting their businesses had been the best thing they had ever done. I reached out and one of the owners Sarah offered to have a cuppa and a chat with me on Zoom one day.
As I work full time I pencilled it in for one lunchtime that week and brought my Mum, Jo into the conversation as she too had always dreamed of building a family business.
Sarah’s advice around timing resonated with me - “there will never be the perfect time to start a new business so just go for it now, don’t wait”.
That day Amphi was born.
I began by putting pen to paper to remind myself what my passions in life were, what is really important to me, what did I want my days to look like and what would I bring to the table that wasn’t already there?
I have always loved fashion and accessories. I will never forget the feeling I had when I was given a necklace which belonged to my late grandmother Laura, she used to wear it on special occasions. It’s a very old heavy gold T-bar chain that has an oval bloodstone pendant.
It has always felt too precious for me to wear so I keep it in Mum’s jewellery box. To me, it is far more than just a piece of jewellery. It symbolises her and everything that was her. It’s her laughing in the living room telling me a story from when she was a little girl. It’s us getting the bus together on one of my trips to see her during the school holidays and watching her in the hairdressers make everyone laugh. It’s her snoozing in the afternoon and me watching her with pure adoration as the sun shone through the blinds onto her lovely, happy face.
She taught me so much, so it’s priceless to me. I could never risk losing that necklace.
My aim with Amphi is to create more than just a piece of jewellery, with each piece inspired by a piece of wisdom, a nostalgic notion or an empowered feeling under the umbrella of “Lessons from.....”.
During the last 18 months of planning, designing and developing Amphi it has become more and more apparent to me how difficult it will be to reach true transparency and circularity when it comes to product. Because whilst the fashion industry is rightly coming under immense pressure to reduce its environmental footprint, the big players in the jewellery space who are not transparent about their heavy reliance on polluting mines and carbon-intensive manufacturing don’t seem to be facing this same level of scrutiny. And its scrutiny which leads to change.
The jewellery industry in many ways is outdated and too reliant on old technology, processes and suppliers who haven’t caught up to what the modern conscious customer wants or needs.
It took 12 months and hundreds of emails and Zoom calls to actually find a manufacturer who had the certificates, licenses and accreditations to prove their word to be true. I needed my questions to be clearly answered, for example, do they employ fairly with women representation at every level? Did they pay their staff well and provide good working conditions? Could they be transparent about where and how materials are ethically sourced? And what evidence could they produce to back it all up?
I am proud to say we have found a supply chain we are happy with, however, there are some imperfections. For example, each piece of the debut collection ‘Lessons from Lockdown’ is available in 100% recycled silver OR recycled sterling silver with a 2.5-micron layer of 18ct Fairmined gold vermeil. You would think that this was GOOD right? To plate another metal in gold involves several chemicals including acid cleaners, alkaline cleaners, abrasives, solvents and cyanaurate, and it's these chemicals that are not good for the environment.
So, here’s where we stand. We are launching a new small business, we know we’ll have obstacles, challenges and hiccups to overcome. So, until we get this small business thing right, managing supply and demand and learning what products sell well and which ones don’t, we can’t afford to make mistakes that involve solid gold.
However, our goal is to eliminate gold plating entirely and offer only 100% Fair-mined gold by 2025.
Our mission with Amphi is to be the change we want to see in the jewellery industry. To shape a kind, balanced and transparent industry that gives back what it takes and more.
We believe if we pursue our passions and work hard, the word will spread and others will follow.
Our hope is that you join us for the ride.
Love Emily & Jo xo