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Trunk show at Atelerie is local designer’s Bermuda debut

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Fine jewellery designer Emily Collins (Photograph supplied)

At a trade show in Miami, Florida, Emily Collins was thrilled to see a familiar face – Cici Araujo, the assistant buyer at Atelerie.

The pair had attended BHS at the same time but hadn’t spoken in a while; Emily had been meaning to reach out about the possibility of selling her jewellery line at the high-end retail store on Reid Street.

The chance meeting led to the Emily Weld Collins Holiday Trunk Show. Visit Atelerie today between 11am and 5pm and meet the designer and see “a curated selection” of her jewellery.

“I've been doing this for a couple years now and I'm in a few retail stores, a couple in New York and Palm Beach, but I always wanted to be in Atelerie. I was just waiting until a point where I felt ready to reach out to them,” Emily said.

“I thought it was so funny that [it was arranged] at a trade event versus me just reaching out to them, which would have made more sense.”

Jewellery designed by Emily Collins (Photograph supplied)

The designs of Emily Weld Collins are delicately crafted “talismans and amulets, modern historical jewellery styles and long-forgotten ancient coins”.

As a teenager she would regularly visit the stores that surrounded Pomfret, the boarding school she attended, and fell in love with the antique jewellery they sold.

“I started collecting. It was so fun, lots of big ‘80s earrings and that type of stuff,” Emily said.

Despite the attraction she joined an advertising firm in New York after college.

“I really didn't like what I was doing and so I started doing metalsmithing classes on the side, kind of as a hobby. And from there, people heard that I was interested in jewellery and I ended up getting a job at a small fine jewellery company and worked at another one part-time.”

Jewellery designed by Emily Collins (Photograph supplied)

The experience taught her a lot about “high quality jewellery, fine jewellery craftsmanship and gemstones”. Eager to take it further, she went back to school and earned a graduate gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America.

In 2020 Emily designed her first collection. Emily Weld Collins launched a year later.

She loves that ancient coins are a record of the past with stories of their own. Especially appealing to her are those with mythical creatures on them.

“Bermuda’s history is a subject of western folklore. It’s definitely encouraged my interests [as have] mythical tales and ocean-related themes and all that kind of stuff,” she said.

“My core collection, my modern artefact collection, essentially everything is based off ancient coins, ancient amulets from all different areas – ancient Rome, ancient Greece, areas in southern Italy. That was one of my first collections.

“I also had a collection called the Bezel Set Series, which is a bunch of really colourful domed gemstones. I definitely have gotten more into bigger one-of-a-kind pieces with big gemstones, but as we move forward I’m trying to focus on the modern artefact collection and doing more coin-related jewellery. I would love to do a Bermuda piece or collection at some point.”

Jewellery designed by Emily Collins (Photograph supplied)

She is mindful that there are a number of designers who, like her, are trying to establish themselves in a very competitive industry.

Having her designs at Atelerie is part of a long-term plan to sell jewellery through “specific, high-end stores”.

“The jewellery market in general is saturated and fine jewellery is even harder and more competitive because it's a very specific client. You can have someone who's interested in jewellery, but it doesn't necessarily mean they will spend money on it. But you buy fine jewellery and you’ll have it for ever. That's why it's expensive – it'll last [and it’s made of] really amazing materials. But it is something that's a big purchase.

“I've spent the last couple of years reaching out to retail stores, trying to do events with them. In the past few months, I've hired a salesperson whose full-time job is getting designers into retail stores, helping them with sales and that kind of stuff. So what I'm really focused on is growing my retail presence.”

In addition to the designs available through her website, emilyweldcollins.com, and at Atelerie, the designer also makes custom jewellery.

Bermudians have been “very supportive” and she is proud that “a couple of people” have asked her to design their engagement rings.

“People from Bermuda actually have probably been the most supportive. Bermuda’s been really great. It's been awesome.”

Jewellery designed by Emily Collins (Photograph by Chad Johnson and The Commercial Art Lab)

The turnaround for her custom designs is about four to six weeks.

“It really depends. If I’m doing an engagement ring for someone and they know exactly what they want and it’s something simple, it's both less expensive and quicker. But something with more design work will obviously take more time. So it just depends. You want to make sure that’s exactly what the client wants before starting on production, but that's actually a pretty quick turnaround in jewellery.”

Emily Collins will display her designs atAtelerietoday between 11am and 5pm. For more information, visitemilyweldcollins.com

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Published December 15, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated December 16, 2023 at 8:05 am)

Trunk show at Atelerie is local designer’s Bermuda debut

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