Keeping traditional craftmanship alive
5 May 2021
Since 1980, Hirsh London has been making handcrafted luxury jewellery in the heart of London. In this feature, we will talk to half-Swedish Sophia Hirsh, who today runs the family company along with her husband Jason-Paul Hirsh, about their vision, where they find inspiration for their pieces, and how the pandemic inspired them to start their own taxi service.
Passion for gems runs in the family
Sophia Hirsh has always been drawn to gemstones and minerals - a passion that runs in the family. Both her father and grandfather were gemmologists. Having grown up in Sweden and Switzerland, her interest in fashion and design took her to London in 2000, where she worked for luxury brands such as Burberry and Hermes. However, the desire to combine her love of gems and design with the ability to create timeless pieces, that will forever be part of someone’s life, eventually made her go into the jewellery making business. After marrying Jason in 2008, she decided to join the Hirsh family business. “As I had a background in management and organisation, managing our family business seemed like the perfect fit for me and it is a role I truly enjoy. It also allows my husband to focus more on the gem buying and creative side of the business which he loves most,” Sophia says.
Timelessness over trends
Hirsh was founded in London in 1980 and remains an independent, family-owned business that specialises in creating handmade unique pieces of jewellery and luxury goods. “We are proud to offer the widest range of one-of-a-kind jewels in a variety of natural colour gemstones and diamonds in the UK,” Sophia explains. Common to all Hirsh creations is the commitment to the finest craftsmanship and the aim to create timeless pieces of beauty. Trends are thus not part of Hirsh’s inspiration or design process as they feel that a beautifully made, carefully crafted piece should stand the test of time and not just a season. “We always seem to get ideas when out and about. It might be architectural details, from a trip back to Sweden or further afield to Japan. With the standstill of this last year, a lot of our inspiration seems to be linked to nature and the English countryside,” Sophia says.
Hirsh’s vision is to be the leading destination for rare and unique gemstone and diamond jewellery handmade in the UK using traditional craftsmanship skills. “Our customers choose Hirsh jewellery because of the individuality, quality and fine craftsmanship of our pieces. To them, our jewellery symbolises celebration, commemoration and love,” Sophia says. The jewellery is handmade right on the premises and is made using repurposed gold, which makes the pieces more sustainable than mass-produced jewellery. “Jason and I are personally involved in every step of the process. We source all of our gems ourselves and Jason even travels to gem mines once a year to make sure we are using gems from places that ethically look after their miners and the environment.”
Safe deliveries in pandemic times
The willingness to look after the miners applies also to their customers, which became evident early into the Covid-pandemic. "We knew many customers had special anniversaries and birthdays coming up, a few customers that wanted to propose and some that were just in need of something joyful to treat themselves with. As we were not able to welcome them into our boutique, we wanted to find a special way of bringing our personal service to them. We, therefore, acquired a taxi and hired a driver to safely and complimentarily deliver to our customers. It’s been a joy for us to be able to turn up outside someone’s home on their birthday with jewels in tow and put a smile on their face during such a difficult year."
Born out of a wish to stay connected with their customers during the lockdown, the Taxi became a success and allowed Hirsh to safely pick up and drop off customers also when the lockdown was lifted. Hirsh has once again started to take bookings from customers wishing to visit their Mayfair townhouse from 12 April onwards.