Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Our names are Sandra Zeller and Celia Bonahon. We are two childhood friends that met in ILADO, an African peninsula when we where 10 years old. In 2015, 20 years later, fascinated by the meaningful beauty of ancestral jewelry, and inspired by our own search for meaning and harmony in the hectic pace of our lives as young mothers in Paris, we created ILADO Paris.
How did you pick the name of your brand? Originally, Ilado was the name of an African peninsula where our friendship began when we were 10. At that time it was synonymous for freedom, adventure and joy, the same feelings that we experienced when we decided to create our own brand.
How would you describe your brand? ILADO Paris offers jewelry with soul, inspired by the magic of ancestral jewelry celebrated for thousands of years around the world. We create jewelry that you wear for yourself, to feel good, to express who you are, to inspire you every day. We commit to perpetuate the beauty of traditional know-how at the heart of contemporary creations. We look for the best artisans from around the world. Pearls, natural stones, silk, resin, gold or silver are carefully selected and assembly to create unique pieces with perfect harmony and impeccable quality.
What influences your work? We are mostly influenced by our our travels around the globe, our curious nature and our love for contemporary products that tell beautiful stories.
Where does your inspiration come from? We are fascinated by the beauty and the magic of ancestral jewelry. We want to capture jewelry, beyond its beauty, to its deeper meaning.
Do you have a favorite piece? Our favourite pieces are our U and DUO Bola Necklaces. It is inspired by the Mayan "Angel Caller' pendant. This pendant sphere contains a silver ball that emits a subtle and harmonious chime when shaken. Legend has it that this sweet jingling sound, that is unique for each Bola, is magic: it has the power to call the Guardian Angel of the wearer to provide them protection, comfort and guidance throughout life.
In Mayan culture, it was worn during pregnancy, to protect expectant mothers and their babies. After birth, it could be kept by the mother, or be given to the newborn to protect it in its sleep, soothe it with the reassuring and familiar gentle chime, and protect it by calling the invisible presence of its Guardian Angel.
This meaningful jewelry piece can be offered as a protective amulet. Its harmonious soft chime is also a reminder to live in the present moment, an invitation to calm the pace in this hectic modern world and to refocus on what is essential.
What would you say is your proudest achievement so far? ILADO Paris was launched 9 months ago, and as every mother knows a lot can happen in 9 months :) We are very proud of seeing the top French fashion bloggers wearing our Bola Jewels and we are glad that their soft chime sound is already accompanying a lot of women and mothers-to-be around the globe: in Europe, but also in north America and Asia!
Have you got any big plans for 2017?
We are currentely designing a new collection of medals that you can customize with personal engraving, to remind you of what is essential to you, to express who you are, where you come from, what you want to become and inspire you every day. Shop here >>