Designer Profile: Bijoux Pépine
Inspired by urban architecture, age of ancient civilization and mineral texture, Montreal based designer, Perrine Marez creates eco-friendly jewelry using natural materials such as sand, spices, indigo, and minerals with stainless steel for metal.
Tell us about your journey on becoming a jewelry designer
It all started from when I was a child with my passion for drawing and creating. I knew I wanted to pursue arts and creativity so I studied Product Design in Belgium, I learned and mastered quite a few manufacturing techniques in metal and wood to make furniture. I also met my spouse who was studying graphic design at the time; who had a huge influence on my work by generously sharing his creative knowledge and visual inspirations with me. We decided to move to Montreal shortly after graduating. I felt that this city had a powerful creative energy that influenced my gravitation towards making jewelry. It all felt natural to me. I started small with my first collection and selling my pieces at a local markets and online. From there my business grew and now I have several stores carrying my collection in Canada and internationally.
Bijoux Pépine is a company of passion.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MATERIALS YOU CHOSE TO WORK WITH?
I mix different kinds of powder like sand, spices, cement and natural pigment with eco-friendly resin. For example, I use Spirulina for the green or blue jewelry, or hot pepper to attain the color coral. I can make a wide range of colors using these natural dyes. Sometimes I use gold leaf too. All the metals I use are stainless steel so it is hypo-allergenic for sensitive skins. I chose to implement these materials because I want the pieces to last longer and be conscious of my environmental footprint during the creation process.
"Slow Fashion to me means creating pieces that resonate with my customers on a deeper level."
Tell us about your process of making a Bijoux Pépine piece.
Back in my studio, I create prototypes in wood or clay and I custom make silicone molds for all the pieces. Then, I mix my natural coloring powder with the resin and I cast it in my molds. When it's dry, I sand and clean the piece then I start working on the metal for chains and rings. All by hand!
What does slow fashion means to you and why is it important?
Slow Fashion to me means creating pieces that resonate with my customers on a deeper level. I am very fortunate that I have the opportunity to meet many of my customers and be able to understand their needs. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on my process and create something of true value for my customers. I have great and personal story to tell with every piece. I would love to offer my products around the world and stay true to my values of creating each piece by hand.