Jewelry Designer Héloïse Schapiro and the Heirloom Ring That Started It All
The founder of Héloïse and Abélard Jewelry built her brand around recycled diamonds.By Anna McFillin |
Héloïse Schapiro, the founder of the French jewelry brand, Héloïse and Abélard Jewelry, has always had a love for accessories, specifically jewelry. Working in major luxury houses such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel for over 10 years, Héloïse worked closely on the production of shoes, handbags, watches, and jewelry. “I was one of three people on the Louis Vuitton Jewelry team, we created the very first fine jewelry collection,” she told Only Natural Diamonds. After learning the ins and outs of mass production in the industry, Héloïse was looking to slow down the process of jewelry making–recycling diamonds and gold–taking old pieces and making them new.
When her mother passed, she began converting her diamonds into unique pieces. She realized how much she loved taking something old and making it new again, without disrupting the planet. Showing her friends her creations, they had lined up to have their own diamond jewelry custom-made. The demand for Héloïse’s jewelry grew, so in 2019, Héloïse and Abélard Jewelry was born. The name comes from the story of Héloïse and Abélard, two lovers forbidden to be together; her pieces are inspired by the beauty in disorder.
Her mother is a big part of Héloïse’s inspiration. Not only did Héloïse convert her mother’s diamonds into new jewelry that essentially started the brand, but Héloïse’s mother was also doing that to her mother’s (Héloïse’s grandmother) jewelry. “My mother and grandmother were both very eccentric,” Héloïse said. “My first memory of a diamond is the diamond ring my mother wore that she made with my grandmother.” She continued, “My grandmother had given my mom some of her diamonds, and my mom turned that into a beautiful ring with a pearl. I still have the ring.”
Sustainability is a driving force of Héloïse and Abélard Jewelry. The brand utilizes high-quality materials from pre-existing jewelry, rather than extracting or manufacturing new diamonds or gold. “The brand is 100 percent circular”, she tells OND. “We use and reuse to create “new” collections.” All of the pieces are made individually and by hand in Paris. When ordering from Héloïse and Abélard Jewelry, customers are willing to wait for their beloved diamond pieces since the brand doesn’t keep stock.
When working with natural diamonds, Héloïse finds them powerful, saying, “It is so important to work with natural diamonds. It’s amazing what our planet is giving to us. We should take care of that and not give in to overconsumption.”
“I love vintage,” Héloïse said. “I am also very inspired by vintage and architecture.” She continued, “I like to play with different shapes and dimensions. I love asymmetry. I like things that are not perfect. Jewelry should represent who you are and your personality.” Adding, “On the other hand, diamonds are expensive. They should be timeless, but they can still be different and interesting for you to pass down to your daughter.”