Portuguese Heart are a jewellery company that sell beautiful unique filigree jewellery. Here I speak to the owner of the company Catarina Araújo about her passion for beautiful Portuguese jewellery.
When did you start Portuguese Heart?
The website for Portuguese Heart went live in December 2012, but the ideas and preparation work for it began long before that.
What is the idea behind the company?
I wanted to really promote this beautiful and unique art form, which isn't well-known outside of Portugal. I had bought filigree jewellery for friends in the past as gifts; they were always so well-received that it made me want to give others the chance to buy original gifts for their own family and friends. I hope that people will not only love the jewellery they see, but find some inspiration to go to Portugal and discover the myriad other things we have to offer.
What are the price points?
I wanted to have a price range that would be affordable to everyone. Prices range from £14 to £250. These correspond to what you'll find in the jewellery streets in downtown Lisbon.
What makes the jewellery special?
There's so much that makes it special. Firstly, I make sure to only buy very low numbers of each piece (usually 2 or 3) to guarantee that you won't meet someone wearing the same thing at a party (what woman doesn't hate that?). Another way it's special is that it's hand-made by artisans whose families have been in the business for generations. It's a dying art form - and one that I hope we can preserve by introducing others to it. Finally, the versatility of the jewellery is unrivalled: you can wear it with denim shorts on the beach sipping a caipirinha, or to a ball at Buckingham Palace... and everything in between. It's traditional to wear filigree at weddings in Portugal, but I've seen it at Indian weddings and it looks amazing!
What are your favourite pieces of jewellery that you own?
For me, my favourites are always the ones that have sentimental value to you. Some of my favourites include pieces that belonged to my great-grandmother (I'm fairly sure I inherited my passion for jewellery from her), a ring my grandparents gave me on my graduation, and earrings that my boyfriend got me on our first Christmas living together.
How do you see the company progressing in the future?
The next step, which is due to take place in the next couple of months, is to start selling solid gold jewellery. And whilst I'd be happy to continue focussing on the filigree jewellery, it would be really exciting to expand to other traditional products - anything from luxury soaps to quality hats.
What do you think of the jewellery above? I love the beautiful gold plated heart necklace. The filigree looks so delicate and intricate and you know that it would be extremely unlikely for anyone else to have something similar to this unique necklace.