Inspired by her gemologist mother and engineer father, the love for creative designs and a technical eye comes naturally to Sophie. After a corporate career, she realised that successful women tend to have their own signature style when it comes to fashion and Jewellery. Taking the idea of creating empowered and confident women through style, she set up her jewellery practice with the mission to be creative and curious, to explore beautiful designs, motivated by her love of vintage and antiques, drawing and watercolour painting.
Essemgé stands for ‘SMG,’ Sophie’s initials in her native language, French. Her aim? “To create jewellery that makes your heart sing whenever you are wearing it. To forget fashion and embrace style.” With pieces that are versatile and practical, eye-catching, and inspiring, it is all about using jewellery to express yourself and to celebrate your own personal achievements.
Today Essemgé is an award-winning business with a UK and international following showcasing rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Sophie’s hands-on approach means she personally ensures each piece reflects her dedication and passion, handcrafting each design to order from her South East London studio using sustainably sourced metals and gemstones.
Running a small business has its challenges, what do you enjoy the most about running your business?
Navigating the complexities of running a small business presents its unique challenges, yet the rewards are immeasurable. Nothing beats the joy, gratitude, and fulfillment that I feel with every happy customer.
The decision when a client collaborates with Essemgé is a humbling moment. It means a shared belief in the brand’s ethos. This trust is key to having an open communication ensuring that the client’s vision is met.
The journey of bringing an idea to life is unique with every design. I enjoy immersing myself in every step of the process, from the in-depth research to sketching, submitting designs to the client, guiding them so that they can make an informed decision, to the actual making of the piece with all its technical challenges, and the finished article. It can be a rollercoaster of emotions.
The magical moment is when the client first glimpses their finished piece. Witnessing the delight in the client’s eyes and having the confirmation that you have created a piece of jewellery that resonates with them on a deep personal level is hugely gratifying. Testimony to that trust is the very loyal customer base and long-standing relationships that I have been fortunate to build with my clients over time.
How do you approach sustainability?
I am passionate about responsible jewellery making and am an advocate of ‘slow jewellery’ or ‘artisan jewellery.’
Sustainability is at the core of the brand’s values. It starts from the design stage. Every aspect is important, including the measurements, the scale, the overall balance, the volume, the movement and the fit. Each step ensures there is no waste of precious resources, with a minimum carbon footprint.
Another important aspect is that I only work to order from sample pieces, which again reduces the overall carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.
I use recycled precious metals and natural gemstones that have been sustainably sourced from established reputable dealers. The piece is then packed in quality eco-friendly gift boxes which you will be able to reuse to keep your jewellery safe and looking beautiful.
The signature style that I have developed is based on designs that are timeless, versatile, and transformable. You get more wear out of your jewellery, which, again, is a very sustainable choice and sits opposite to the concept fast fashion.
I take pride in consistently delivering great attention to detail and high quality of work using only the finest materials sourced in the UK, so that you have peace of mind that you have invested in a piece of jewellery which not only will bring you joy but will last for years to come and which you will be able to pass on.
I have taken the Fair Luxury Pledge since it launched in 2021. It is an industry initiative to encourage jewellery businesses to think about ways of working that are more responsible, transparent, and accountable, whilst creating a community for industry peers who wish to inspire one another and share knowledge.
I regularly launch new designs as part of my ready-to-wear range as well as One-Of-A-Kind collector pieces.
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See Essemgé’s profile on the Little Green Book here
Essemgé Designer Jeweller