Island gems by Jouells

María José, born in Barcelona and now living in Mallorca, is the designer behind this special project

Jouells is only a year old and the result of a talented woman – cultivated by travel, infinite visits to museums, and a father who instilled in her the beauty of handmade goods. These circumstances make it quite likely that one will develop an unusual ability for creativity, a keen sensibility, and a visionary capacity. “I can’t escape the influence of my father, who is fond of antiques, art, and decoration. My designs are a testimony of my education, the same that I try to pass on to my children,” María José Castellví explains.

Four years ago, María José and her family decided to close their art gallery and leave their hometown Barcelona to settle in a beautiful house in the old town of Palma. “We’ve always been here in the summer. I love the city, being able to walk everywhere, the buildings with their large patios – it’s much more romantic and easier than living in a big city,” she explains.

Persuaded by a friend, who convinced her to spend two intense years of learning craftsmanship techniques at a jewellery school near her home, she realised she wanted to do something of her own. “Every Monday I came with millions of drawings, unique creations inspired by this island. My teacher introduced me to some skilled artisans and I began to materialise them.

“The crucial moment was a trip to London with my family. My daughter was wearing pearl earrings inspired by some my grandmother had worn but with a ‘piercing’ look to them, and the stewardess insisted on buying them. The same happened with everything I was wearing myself when I visited Portobello and other stores. When we returned to Mallorca my family was already pushing me to market my products,” she says.

Influenced by Cartier’s iconic jewellery pieces or Chanel’s everlasting pearl necklaces, Maria José is moving within a creative territory that combines the new with the old. The results are avant-garde designs from antique pieces of her collection found in flea markets and antique shops. The difference that makes her creations exceptional and unique lies in the inclusion of the ‘botón de oro’ (gold button), a typical Mallorcan jewellery piece worn by the wealthy women on the sleeves of their traditional costumes. In Maria José’s bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces, and cufflinks, she likes to mix precious metals such as gold and silver with natural stones such as sapphires, turquoises, aquamarines, pearls, corals, diamonds, or tourmalines – as each transmits different energies.

Soon it will be possible to purchase her creations on the website www.jouells.com, and during the summer you could find a small collection in Clapés stores on Ibiza and in Relojería Alemana in Mallorca. In order to see her complete collection, you can request an appointment in her showroom.

For now, there will be two collections: ‘New Antique’, a limited edition line made from old pieces but with a current design, and the ‘Jouells’ collection, which will be buttons designed by Maria José and made by artisans. The objective is to cater to the international demand as the brand will open up markets in London and, this November, will be taken to Paris by Luxury Spain, the association of luxury products in Spain. “I don’t think it will be difficult to position my brand in the market, as it has already been warmly welcomed for being a totally different and artisan product. It’s original and easy to wear, has no age limits and is for both women and the modern man. International, dynamic, and focused on good finishes.

Kate Moss could show them off perfectly; I love her chameleonic capacity. It’s just like my jewels, which transform according to the occasion and the type of woman who wears them,” reflects the designer.

Thanks to María José Castellví’s creative freedom, her jewellery is timeless and can be worn easily with other pieces. Her pieces are unusual, transcendental, eternal, and created to become inherited by generations to come.

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