The Genesis of Iris Jewellery

Vietnames Tassel

Silver with rhinestone cross with antique silver knotted chic chain

The classics are back
Three strand necklace made with Swarovski Pearls

Go Native but elegant
Colourful Yo-Yo Ankara and Button choker

For weeks now, I have toiled with the best way to start this blog. What possible way can I begin the story of my journey to Iris By Hazel. This blog will be more pictures than stories after all we are talking about precious pieces of items you had rather see than hear them described to you but first, you will also get to know IRIS JEWELLERY. So, let’s get to it.

“AH! Thank God! Cos you done dey talk too much grammar. We know you go school but abeg talk sharp-sharp, na the photo we come see. ”

I have always loved accessories especially as I needed to find a way to express myself. It started with designing my own dresses which by the way my sister believes belong on the runway and not the streets of Nigeria.

“Ah! Wahala dey o!”

Anyway, designing my dresses didn’t do it for me so my search continued until 2003 in my 3rd year in school when I discovered that I could actually make my own jewellery and that was the beginning of my love for beads.

“Ggan-gban!”

So, one weekend we weren’t doing any rehearsals (I studied Theatre Arts) I went to the market and bought all kinds of beads, tiger-tail (a type of stringing material) and my tools which consisted of scissors and razor blade. Came home and started stringing. I had no basic training, no books or magazine to copy from, I just knew what I wanted to make and I sat down and started making it. The result?

“A couple of idiotic designs wey even you sef no fit wear. Pssseuw! Rubbish! Who you be! Na magic? If na so e bi, all of we go done dey make bead sinnnnnnce before them born you sef, next thing now she go tell us say she was born to make bead, Commot fo road jo!”

Some really simple necklaces and earrings! I had made really long illusion and spike necklaces (at that time I didn’t even know that was what they were called). Yes, the finishing was horrible! It wasn’t as posh as I had imagined. Yes, I didn’t get that warm feeling in my stomach that I had created a wonderful piece of art but I was very happy that I had made it myself. My first handcrafted jewellery. I was pumped, thrilled and overly excited so I wore them with all the pride in the world!

“ROTFWL! LMAO! LWKMD! #Laughingandpointingatyouandyourhillariousjewellery#”

I made a few more pieces and all of them had the same issue, horrible finishing. Say what you may, think what you may but even Tiffinay, Cartier, Harry Winston, Buccellati etc all had bad days when they started out, when they tried to figure out where they belonged. 2003 was mine.

“Hmmmm”

I think I was brave enough to wear them for a couple of months and then I abandoned both making and wearing. I didn’t make another piece of jewellery again till 2011. Between 2003 and 2011, Iris By Hazel was gearing up for an entrance! I have always been a believer in ‘if you don’t like something, don’t moan about it, get off your butt and do something about it. This is my bus-stop for now, will see you all next week, until then…

My name is Patricia Ihidero, jewellery designer, jewellery maker, CEO of Iris Jewellery (Iris By Hazel & Iris Jewellery Institute), lover of beads, fashion/costume jewellery and all things precious (metals and stones). I believe that Nigeria should be THE jewellery hub of Africa and one of the jewellery capitals of the world. Take my hand and we can do it together.

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