Today we’re shining the WFIL spotlight on Scotland-based fine jewellery brand, Lelya.
Founded by Radek and Rebecca – a couple of adventure-loving folks – the brand specialises in delicate diamond engagement and wedding rings, inspired by nature and made using sustainable and ethical materials. Lelya’s mission is to make beautiful jewellery in a responsible way – while delicate, it will last generations.
And just wait until you hear the story of how it all began. So much to love!
Tell us more about you. How did you get into fine jewellery?
We are Radek and Rebecca – a couple of adventure-loving, board game geeks. I am an elopement photographer and a construction claims consultant while Rebecca is a fashion designer turned psychologist. The combination of our analytical and creative minds pushed us in the wonderful direction of jewellery making. There is a story behind that though so keep reading!
I always planned to propose to Rebecca with a ring that is unique, handcrafted, and made of sustainable materials. My creative mind wanted to make a contribution to the design process, while my analytical mind dove into the ins and outs of goldsmithing to understand the process that needs to be followed to turn the design into reality. The more I learned about the topic, the more fascinated I became.
Okay, we’re hooked. What happened next?
Fascination turned into a spark that eventually pushed me to try my theoretical skills in practice. By the time I proposed to Rebecca, I had 10 engagement ring designs ready to be made. I chose five that I thought she would love most and I made them. It took longer than it does now, that’s for sure!
The next step was to find out which one would be convincing enough for her to say “yes” when the time comes. It was the Diamond Aurora Ice Ring, my favourite 18k gold setting with a delicate 1.2mm round band featuring a .5ct cultivated, oval focal diamond and eight round diamonds set delicately around the band.
Since then we’ve joined our forces and the collection of designs has grown and the crafting process is much more refined than it was at the beginning. Hopefully, in a few years, we will be able to finish this little story with “and the rest is history”!
Tell us about Lelya today…
We are a Scotland-based, fine jewellery brand specialising in delicate diamond engagement and wedding rings made using sustainable and ethical materials. We are primarily an e-commerce business, and we don’t have a traditional storefront. Our workshop is based in Alva, right by the Silver Glen, which takes its name from the silver that was mined here in the early 18th century. The deposit was the richest deposit of native silver ever found in the British Isles!
Our mission is to make beautiful jewellery in a responsible way, that while delicate will last generations. While doing so, we aim to show our clients that mass-produced jewellery can never match the beauty of a thoughtfully and responsibly made heirloom.
Quality and ethics are the values we treasure most. While we are perfectionists and each piece is handcrafted to the highest standards, our quality control starts right at the source, with our materials. We are very strict on sourcing our materials from ethical sources only.
All our 18k gold and other noble metals are recycled. They come from numerous sources, including post-consumer products, waste, unused metal, and other products which people may sell to gold melting companies when they no longer want them.
We only work with suppliers who abide by the Kimberley Process (a standard of ethical sourcing). We only use recycled (reclaimed) and lab-grown diamonds. Products that contain reclaimed diamonds are mostly used for one-off pieces. Most of our regular designs feature cultivated diamonds.
What do you love most about your work?
It’s an incredible creative outlet that allows us to combine our creative passions while staying true to the values we hold dear.
We have forged our inspiration to be eco-friendly into a commitment and then some. We wish to take our attitude and inspire our customers to be mindful when planning their wedding. We only work with environmentally responsible vendors and treat minimising material waste as a priority. Our products are made of the highest quality conflict-free, recycled noble metals and ethically sourced diamonds and precious gems.
Most of our jewellery is made to order which is the single most important characteristic that allows us to minimise waste. It does come with some downsides such as a slightly longer lead time as opposed to buying a ring off the shelf but hey, isn’t it worth waiting a bit longer if the outcome is a beautiful, handcrafted heirloom that will last generations and will not be stained by unethical manufacturing practices or negative environmental impact? Besides, the wait makes the moment you open the box with the ring of your dreams that little bit more special!
Who, or what inspires you?
We take inspiration mostly from the nature that surrounds us. We do so by observing the most delicate fauna and flora elements that coexist in our local areas. Generally, we don’t try to copy nature’s designs (with some exceptions) but instead draw our inspiration from the natural patterns and geometry around us, such as dewdrops forming on fern leaves during early morning walks in the Ochil Hills.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I’ve been fortunate to have a very rewarding career in management consulting, one in photography, and now as a jewellery designer at Lelya. My work has allowed me to see a large part of the beautiful planet that we live on. Now it’s time to get hitched (in just under a year!), start a family, and give back to the community.
Tell us a secret…
I (Radek) come from the Polish island of Wolin. One of two in the country. It has deep-rooted Slavic and Viking traditions, having been home to a mythical city of Vineta at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. The myth evolved around the tradition of the medieval emporium called Jomsborg. Growing up I was surrounded and fascinated by those myths and the relics of the days past.
On a day off, we’ll find you where?
Probably out walking in the hills, tending to our greenhouse or sitting by the firepit with a book. It’s hard to say as days off are a scarce resource in our diary!
Obsessed with Lelya’s artisan jewellery masterpieces? Yep, us too! To see more of their work head on over to their website.
This is a sponsored post written by We Fell In Love. And it was very easy to create, because we are thrilled to have Lelya in our handpicked wedding collection.