Precious stones with an African story
March 30, 2017
Precious stones have been worn by African kings and queens, to diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones that adorn the crown jewels of royalty, the practice of giving jewelry has been used to symbolize love and to commemorate milestones.
Satta Matturi created her brand Satta Matturi Fine Jewllery, catering to the Ultra High Net-worth Individuals (UHNWI) and High Networth Individuals (HNWI), globally. Her brand and designs of the object are inspired by different parts of Africa.
A British and Sierra Leone national, Satta spent most of her life at De Beers before venturing to create her own brand.
Why did you decide to go into the fine jewelry business?
I’m naturally creative and have an innate passion for diamonds and the art of jewelry. I struggled to find the sort of pieces that appealed to me and felt that there was a gap in the market in catering to HNWs in Africa. I realized that I could design my own jewelry and offering a differentiated product that resonated across age groups and cultures.
How did your experience at De Beers contribute to your current business as a gemologist and jeweler?
Working at De Beers or 16 years was fantastic where I learnt as much as there is to know about rough and polished diamonds and travelled to many of the cutting centers and consumer markets meeting manufacturers and jewelry designers working as a Key Account Manager. I spend part of my time now as a rough diamond evaluator and still have a love for rough diamonds.
What inspires your creations and the names you use for the pieces?
The inspiration from my first collection was mainly from West Africa in particular where there are a lot of cultural symbolism and traditions. I love the fact that so much culture has been handed down from generation to generation and the fact that women play an important part in society. The collection celebrates all women (irrespective of where they are from) and allows women to identify with the product and the story behind it.
Where do you source your stones?
Sourcing is very important to me, obviously from a quality perspective but also from the perspective of ensuring that each stone is handled and managed responsibly through the supply chain. I have several reliable suppliers that I have worked with for a number of years.
Is your business by appointment only and where are you based?
At the moment yes it is, as I like to have a personal and one on one moment with my clients. I spend most of my time in Botswana and Southern Africa but also have a base in the UK as well.
Since you launched your business, have you seen trends that have changed, in terms of consumers and their purchasing habits and decision-making process?
Markets such as Nigeria and South Africa have really grown and matured. I find that they are more accepting of new, alternative brands and more likely to buy a piece because they simply love it rather than head to a more recognized name simply because of the color of the packaging etc.
What pieces do you recommend for a gift for a married couple and for a dating couple?
An exquisite pair of earrings, preferably chandelier style with diamonds and pearls…works for all; the lady wearing it and the joy of the on-looking man to see the playful/provocative way it frames her shoulder and neck!