Chupi Sweetman makes jewellery that is meaningful. As in, truly full of meaning. Giving someone one of her pieces is not merely giving them something pretty and sparkly but telling them how you really feel.They are, of course, still pretty but there's much more to it than just that.
This ability, to put into objects, the things you most want to say, is one of the reasons that Chupi has become such an important name in Irish design. It's why Topshop scouted her in first year of college and made her the youngest designer that they had collaborated with. It's why the brand endures. It's why we are celebrating ten years of Chupi.
There are lots of reasons to love the label but among them is the fact that the pieces are designed, manufactured and finished in Ireland - making them ethical, the opposite of mass-produced, lovingly constructed and good for the Irish economy. All good things!
Inspired by nature and objects around her, Chupi uses feathers, leaves, coins and twigs to turn something small and mundane into something beautiful. She finds the beauty in these things and gives them the spotlight that they deserve. She turns a hawthorn twig into a variety of symbols; interconnected rings to symbolise a deep connection between two people, a simple circle for eternity, a short segment on a chain as something sturdy to represent support. She makes messages, love letters written in silver, gold and gems.
Funnily enough, I found the brand through one of the people I love most in the world. When Chupi was a young brand, my childhood best friend told me about her. In fact, she raved, if I remember correctly, about this label she had seen at a market in Temple Bar. A few years later, I bought a Chupi dress from Topshop as a college student. Now, though I don't wear the dress as often, I see the tag as I look through my closet or I read an interview with Chupi herself or see an article about the brand and I smile because it will ever be interconnected to a friend's passionate love of design in my mind.
If you're looking for design that attracts this kind of love and devotion, which is so lovingly made and which conveys love so beautifully, Chupi is what you're after. And, after ten years, they know what they're doing.
Happy Birthday, Chupi. I wish you guys every success in the future!
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