YOU'RE SO DAMN PHINE!!
So today I am here with the lovely Elina Faurschou the creative director/owner of the jewellery brand PHINE. I came across this brand one day as I was going down the rabbit hole aka Instagram. I immediately fell in love with her pieces and decided to treat myself for my birthday back in September. I purchased the Feminist Earrings & Feminist Cube Bangle. Elina agreed to sit down with me and tell me a bit more about herself and the brand.
LaHG:- Who is PHINE?
Elina:- PHINE is a woman who is confident and wears jewellery with pride.
LaHG:- How did your brand get its name?
Elina:- PHINE actually has a lot of meanings. My middle name is Josephine, PHINE is the shortened version of this name. PHINE is also slang for the mathematical golden beauty for the golden ration and a lot of my jewellery is very geometrical. So therefore they are mathematically equal. For example the sides of the cubes on the Feminist collection are all equal. A lot of my inspiration comes from geometrical things. So I thought the name would work perfectly.
LaHG:- What were you doing before you launched PHINE?
Elina:- I was working full time as a Lawyer. Now I work part-time as a lawyer while I’m setting the brand up.
LaHG:- Have you always wanted to be a jewellery designer?
Elina:- Yes I have. As a little girl my dad used to show me how to make rings from left over gold in his dentistry. That’s how I became jewellery obsessed. I’ve been taking weekend classes and goldsmith classes. During my law studies I knew that I didn’t really want to become a lawyer, but once I start something I have to finish it. All my notebooks are scribbled full of jewellery pieces. Then 5 years ago I had a meeting with my ex-boss and I didn’t get the promotion that I thought I wanted, and I thought you know what this is maybe the opportunity I need. The little push that made me quit that job and go and study jewellery design.
LaHG:- So you actually quit your job to study jewellery design?
Elina:- Yes I was living in Stockholm at the time and so I moved to London to study jewellery design. Stayed in London started PHINE and found a part-time job as a lawyer in the meantime
LaHG:- What part of Sweden are you from and how long did you live there?
Elina:- I’m from Stockholm. So we lived there until I was 10 and then we moved to Germany. We would go back to Sweden every summer. Also moved to France and then I moved back to Sweden to study Politics and then Law.
LaHG:- How long has the brand been around for?
Elina:- The brand has been around for 18 months.
LaHG:- Do you have a female fashion icon? Who is it and why?
Elina:- I would say my grandmother/ No matter what the occasion she would dress up. Even to go in the garden she would make sure she looked good. Those things have stuck with me.
LaHG:- Your designs are very unique. They are very different from what you see on the high street. Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
Elina:- Hardware stores, I love items in hardware stores. Like the bits from drills, and then I feminise them. Why shouldn’t women be able to have pieces that are originally manly or just for men? I like geometric forms; I like when everything’s equal and looks the same.
LaHG:- Would you say that you are a bit of a perfectionist?
Elina:- Yes I would.
LaHG:- What advice do you have for up and coming brands?
Elina:- Believe in yourself and be strong about what you believe in
LaHG:- Who inspires you and why?
Elina:- Hmmm that’s a difficult one. I get inspired by females who speak up for women and our rights. I would also say my grandmother she has always been very proactive. For example she went out and bought her house, not my grandfather, and back in those days that was unheard of. She got a job and worked as a hairdresser in the 1920’s. She very much had the attitude of “I can do whatever a man can do.” I take inspiration from women who push the boundaries.
LaHG:- Your jewellery pieces, where are they made. Are they made in Sweden or here in London?
Elina:-They are made here in London. I make the individual pieces myself. If I get big orders I have a production site in London. All the pieces are handmade. Everything is handmade in London
LaHG: Which piece took the longest to make?
Elina:- All the Morning Star pieces. The ones with all the spikes. It took me 5 months to make the first prototype After that it takes me 2 days to make the Morning Star ring and 3 days to make the earrings because of the chain detail etc.
LaHG:- Which piece takes the shortest time to make?
Elina:- I think that would actually be the Lioness necklace. The prototype took me 5 days and now making it for customers it takes me 3 days.
LaHG:- Do you make a batch of them or are they made to order?
Elina:- With the Lioness necklace, as it’s one of our bestsellers I try to have them in stock. But then they sell out and I have to make more. It varies from piece to piece. With the bestsellers I try to have them ready and in stock.
LAHG:- What has been your biggest challenge?
Elina:- That’s a really good question. I think probably most people mean well but they always say “You should do this” or “You should do that this way”. It’s really hard sticking to what you believe in instead of getting side tracked by how everyone else is saying you should do it.
LaHG:- Out of your collection which piece is your favourite? Or do you have more than one?
Elina:- Definitely more than one. I love my 2 Morning Star rings. I feel really naked if I don’t wear them. All the necklaces, starting with the Interlinked choker I wear mine almost every day. The Lioness necklace and then I go back and forth between the Elephant necklace and the Feminist necklace. I sort of wear 3 necklaces every day. And then earrings. You never find me not wearing earrings. I switch earrings every day. I just love jewellery too much.
LaHG:- Name a celebrity (or two) you would like to be seen wearing one of your pieces?
Elina:- Well one dream came true recently with Winnie Harlow the model wearing the Interlinked choker. I really like her. I’m sure she probably had quite a rough childhood due to her vitiligo. So it’s nice to see her doing so well because she’s having the best revenge. Rihanna is another one. OMG I would freak out if she wore my jewellery or Beyonce. I think these 3. I would go to jewellery heaven
LaHG:- If you had a dinner party, who would you invite dead or alive? You can invite 6 guests.
LaHG:- You actually look a little bit like her.
Elina:- Yeah that’s why I like her. She’s very serious but also very graceful.
LaHG:- What is your biggest motivation?
Elina:- Seeing how far I can go with building up my dream. That’s what motivates me every day. To keep designing jewellery pieces and to push the boundaries. Another one is that I want to quit my part-time law job so I can do this full-time. I want to open a store for PHINE.
LaHG:- You ship worldwide and everything is on your website, but you want to have your own stand-alone store?
Elina:- Yes definitely. Like having a flagship store where people can come in and try on the piece. Where they can touch and see the jewellery. I want to be able to interact with the customer and get their feedback. Some brands lose sight of this as they grow and as a result lose touch with their customers. I think this is the most important thing. Why should the customer wear it or buy it. Like in the past some customers commented that a piece was too big or too heavy for them and I have been able to tweak it. I also make bespoke pieces. I like having that personal experience.
Feminist Collection - Prices start from £69 and all pieces are also available in Sterling Silver. £10 from every sale is donated to The Girl's Network an organisation dedicated to inspiring and empowering girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of professional female role models.
LaHG:- Who do you like following most on social media and why? Let’s say somebody that every time you log on to Instagram you go and look at their account first. Do you have anybody like that?
Elina:- Monikh - I like her fashion style she wears nice clothes.
LaHG:- If you had to change careers tomorrow, forget being a lawyer or a jewellery designer. What would you change to and why?
Elina:- Probably something to do with animals. Growing up we had dogs, rabbits fish and even a horse at one point. As soon as I have more time and I’m not switching between 2 jobs I will have a dog for sure.
LaHG:- What is your favourite quote and why does it resonate with you?
Elina:- The one by Michelle Obama. “When they go low we go high.” When you’re starting a brand a lot of people become jealous and they try to bring you down. So I don’t sink to their level I go higher. It makes me more determined to persevere. Oh can I add Michelle Obama to my dinner party?
LaHG:- Hahaha Yes you can add 1 more
Within the fashion industry there has been a seismic shift and now more than any time before fashion houses are being run by women. I think it’s so important to champion and support Womenpreneurs and Girl Bosses. I really enjoyed meeting and interviewing Elina for this blog post, so much so, we have become good friends. I wish her continued success with her brand. Check out her website you will not be disappointed.
As always I love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below.