Joachim (left) and Tracy (right) van Oostrum from LOVE IN A JEWEL. Image supplied.
Joachim and Tracy van Oostrum are the founders of Christchurch based jewellery brand LOVE IN A JEWEL which they launched in early 2016. Master Jeweller Joachim brings his European experience in jewellery design, goldsmithing and gem setting to the label which began when Tracy asked him to create a special pendant in memory of her late mother. The signature LOVE IN A JEWEL collection of bespoke pendants and cufflinks offer a truly special and romantic gift with each piece designed with a compartment that can hold a love note or keepsake forever.
We caught up with Joachim and Tracy to find out more about their brand, what inspires them and what you would never catch them wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Our latest pieces in The Keepsake Collection are The Full Love Drop Keepsake Pendant that consist of 18 diamonds all carefully handset by Joachim. This pendant is truly special as the entire face of the love drop pendant is set with diamonds. Our other latest piece in the Keepsake Collection is The Cross Keepsake Pendant. We have also just introduced Keepsake Charms to the collection, which are proving to be very popular with people who already have a charm bracelet and want a charm added which can hold a hand penned note or sentimental keepsake sealed inside forever. The best thing about the hand penned notes are that only you have to know what is inside the charm.
What made you become a designer?
Joachim: I realised as a goldsmith, no matter how good you are, if you make something that is not beautiful, then you have wasted your time! Striving to create something beautiful is what made me want to become a designer.
What inspires you?
Tracy: We are surrounded by world-class talent in New Zealand from artists to designers, photographers to innovators, there is an abundance of inspiration in our country!
Since we started LOVE IN A JEWEL, we have been inspired by so many incredible people who are out there doing it; making their own rules, following their own path and being brave enough to do it. We’ve also been inspired by the experience we have had of Kiwis helping other Kiwis.
One particular designer who has gone out of her way to help us is couture designer, Katie Yeung. Our wedding photographer Sarah Clements went out of her way to help us capture beautiful shots and videos to showcase our collection when we were just starting out.
These are the people who inspire us; busy people who don’t really have the time but are motivated by a desire to see a new business succeed. These kind gestures are something we will always be grateful for and will pay forward.
My Mother will always be the person who inspired me the most in life, she was and always will be an amazing and beautiful person who is the inspiration behind our Keepsake Collection.
Jewellery by LOVE IN A JEWEL.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
Joachim: My style could be described as a modern take of the good old days. I like clothes that are made well, with quality fabrics and made to last. Every day I wear one of my Harris Tweed waistcoats to LOVE IN A JEWEL, worn with my favourite Cactus Jeans that are industrial in design.
I admire the old artisan techniques of goldsmithing and the way jewellery used to be made, not so much about being made to sell; but made to wear.
My designs are the opposite of fast fashion. It’s about personal jewellery which is made with care and attention that will stand the test of time. Not only in quality, but also in design. I like making jewellery which has special meaning to people. There is a lot of thousand-year-old goldsmithing techniques being used in my workshop, old fashioned values of quality and pride in your work are important to me.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Joachim: My matt black Ducati that I used to ride through the streets of Amsterdam and my Harris Tweed jacket I bought from an op shop in Oamaru; it fits me perfectly.
Tracy: My all-time favourite purchase was the land Joachim and I bought almost two years ago, it is a magical place! As for fashion, it would have to be my Burberry leather handbag. I had previously never seen a handbag I wanted to own until this one. Before I bought it, I used to just carry my phone, keys and a wallet!
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Joachim: Good quality shoes.
Tracy: Anything that makes you feel good! Even better if it is made using natural New Zealand fabrics!
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Joachim: Choose quality over quantity.
Tracy: Dress to suit yourself, not the latest fade or trend. I love the co-founder of the programme Escape to the Chateaux. She has red hair and wears really bright kimonos and things that make her happy! She wears them with confidence and to me that is real style.
Jewellery by LOVE IN A JEWEL.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Joachim: Making a piece of jewellery for British Royalty and starting up my own business with Tracy. I’m really proud of LOVE IN A JEWEL.
Tracy: Creating LOVE IN A JEWEL with Joachim. Making the Keepsake Collection is a pretty special way to spend your day as you get to read beautiful notes of love that are going inside the jewellery.
I always imagine how the person will feel when they see the polaroid photo showing the note of love and then realise it’s sealed inside their jewellery forever.
One of my favourite moments was when we made a pendant for a lady down South, organised by her daughter. The daughter asked her dad to write a note to go inside the pendant. Previously, her dad had only ever written his name in birthday cards to his wife, so she was not expecting much. The Southland Farmer took everyone by surprise when he wrote “My love, my life, my all xx”. That was a highlight for me as it made me happy thinking how his wife would have felt reading that note.
A career highlight was also being a finalist in the International Design Awards held in Sydney with our Keepsake Collection.
What can’t you live without?
Joachim: My wife.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Joachim: Lederhosen – I had to wear it as a child because my mother from a German background thought it looked cute on me and easy to keep clean. Luckily, I can choose my own wardrobe now.
Tracy: A wool polo neck!