This week, we meet an inspiring man, Eberth Lobo of Olinda Jewellery. Originally from Brazil and now living in the UK, Eberth shares his passion for designing and making jewellery.
Please tell us who you are and what you do.
My name’s Eberth Lobo and I’m originally from Brazil. I live in Loughborough with my wife Ruth and our 12 year old son, Tiago, who is a tennis player. I design and make unique pieces of jewellery, made with natural stones and gemstones (including onyx, lapis, coral, amethyst, turquoise, rose/green quartz, gold tiger eye, jade, agate and crystal), Murano glass and shell, on chain, wire, leather and cotton, with silver and gold-plated findings and clasps.
How did you come up with the name of your business?
My wife Ruth came up with the name of the business. Olinda is a small town in Brazil, just outside Recife, in the North-East of Brazil. It was a Portuguese colony and, like Lisbon, it’s hilly and its cobbled streets are lined with colourful houses. It’s famous for its annual Carnival, called Frevo. It’s an arty town with lots of quaint little cafes and shops. Also, ‘linda’ means ‘beautiful’ in Portuguese, so ‘O linda’ means ‘Oh, how beautiful you are.’ So the idea is that if you wear a unique piece of colourful Olinda jewellery, you will be a beautiful woman!
Who or what inspires you most in your work?
Who? People who have seen my work and appreciate it. Their feedback inspires me to keep creating more.
What? The stones themselves. They choose me – when they are ready to be turned into that unique piece of jewellery, made for that special person.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do, and what is the most frustrating?
The most rewarding is when each piece of jewellery finds its owner. Sometimes a piece lies there for a long time, sometimes it’s found straight away – but there’s always a person the piece is waiting for. Some designers wouldn’t wait as long as me – they dissemble and recreate another piece. I don’t – I know the piece will be found, however long it takes. Because of this I feel I’m performing a service for people by giving them something special and unique that will make them feel special.
What are your long term goals?
To devote more time to designing and creating jewellery – I am currently a teacher of English, creating jewellery in my spare time. In the future, I know I will be able to make Olinda a successful business in the sense that I will be able to devote all my time to the gift I have.
How do you promote your business?
I show my jewellery at craft fairs around the country, at jewellery parties, through my website (www.olindajewellery.com), which was launched last month, through distributing flyers, email networking, word of mouth, etc. … you name it.
What makes you stand out from the other jewellery businesses out there?
Firstly, every piece I make is unique – even if asked, I won’t make a copy of one of my pieces – this gives people the satisfaction of knowing that no one else has a piece the same as them.
Secondly, each piece of Olinda jewellery, has something of myself within it, which goes with the person who buys it.
Thirdly, as I mentioned before, each piece is destined for one particular person, which makes me a mediator between the stones and the people – it’s the stones that call me to turn them into a piece of jewellery for a specific purpose or person – it’s not me that chooses the stones or their destiny.
What advice would you give someone trying to start their own creative business?
Whatever you believe in, go for it fully. Believe in yourself and your creativity. Your self belief will make it happen, however long it might take. Focus on your goal and it will happen – what you sow, you will reap. I only discovered my gift for making jewellery 2 years ago, but since this discovery I have been 100% sure that this is the right path for me and have fully believed in what I’m doing. And now I’m here already. Also, make sure your presentation shows who and what you are, from your business card to your display or your website. I’ve spent the last year improving and perfecting my presentation – this was a big investment but well worth it.
Is 'handmade' a lifestyle choice for you? And if so, why?
It is now. From the experience of creating handmade jewellery, I have come to realize how little value people place on handmade goods. Realising now the energy that goes into my own creations, has obviously made me much more aware of this value. I now only use handmade soaps, look for handmade items for gifts, buy handmade greeting cards, etc.
If you had time to learn a new skill what would it be?
I’m already planning to do a course on working with silver clay, to enrich my own creations. I’ve always wanted to work with silver and this will broaden the range of my jewellery collection.
See more of Eberth's work at http://www.olindajewellery.com/