Instagram Heroes: Get Adorned with 7 Lovely And Local Jewellery Brands

In jewellery we find a form of adornment as universal as it is enduring. Looking to surviving artefacts, some of the earliest examples of jewellery were made from shells, stones and bones, and provide insight into ancient cultures where jewellery may have been worn as a form of talismanic protection, an artistic display, as a symbol of personal meaning, or to indicate status or rank. Whether simple as a flower tucked behind one’s ear or ornate as a gem-studded crown, the art of self-adornment can be seen as an unbroken chain that connects us to our ancestors. To bring us back to the contemporary sphere, discover a few of the jewellery studios in South Africa (with one geographical exception) whose unique designs are a pleasure to behold.


The transcendentally gorgeous jewellery of Pichulik is designed with intention and handcrafted to talismanic effect. Their Instagram bio puts it perfectly, “Magic at service of feminine wisdom”. The Cape Town-based brand founded by wonder-woman Katherine-Mary Pichulik draws inspiration from ancient traditions and cultures around the world. Follow @pichulikafrica on IG.


Where African luxury meets statement jewellery, Inkaturah is a brand founded and run by designer Phathi Katurah. “Rooted in traditional African aesthetics, merged with architectural geometries, each piece narrates a different story which celebrates and expresses the character of the unique individuals who wear them,” says their website. Follow @inkaturah on IG.

Lichen & Leaf

Artist and maker Cynthia Edwards is the woman behind Lichen & Leaf, who crafts her colourful polymer clay and ceramic jewellery (amongst other things!) in Cape Town. Organic shapes, at times abstract and other times figurative, characterise her light-hearted, minimalist designs – all made with wearability in mind. Follow @lichenandleaf on IG. 


From the mind and heart of designer Gillian Lawrence, Lorne’s modern jewellery is about a “co-existence between body and art”. Favouring offbeat adornments that are sometimes mangled, sometimes misshapen, Lorne’s jewellery comes to life in unique combinations of organic materials such as pearls, squiggles of metal, ornamental oddities found at junk sales, and everything in between. Follow @for_lorne on IG.


Made in small batches in the one-woman studio of Simone Toerien, Folklorika’s whimsical jewellery is inspired by natural history and folklore. Each piece is intricately hand carved in wax before it is cast. For the label’s most recent collection, Toerien explored the Afrikaans saying “jakkals trou met wolf se vrou” (jackel is marrying wolf’s wife) – a folkloric expression for when rain falls while the sun is still shining. Follow on IG.

Pina Jewels 

As seen on every Instagram it-girl, Pina Jewels have got you sorted when it comes to bright, smile-worthy adornments you’ll want to wear on the daily. Their popular daisy earrings are described as “a sweet ode to playful jewellery we once wore and dreamt of as kids” – and the rest of their designs follow suit. Follow @pinajewels_ on IG.

Nandi Naya

Hleziphansi “Lezi” Zita was born in New York to exiled South African parents. While her jewellery isn’t local in the sense that it’s made here, her elegant and conceptual designs explore both her heritage and place within the African diaspora. Zita founded the brand Nandi Naya – named for her first born child – in 2015, with a particular focus on “sculptural silhouettes, handmade to compliment the modernist woman”. Follow @nandi.naya on IG. 

Are you an Instagram Hero?

If you’re a creator or business owner in Sub-Saharan Africa using IG to grow your practice or build your brand, you qualify to enter our monthly Instagram Heroes awards series. The Creator category includes art, design and craft, as well as creatives and makers across all fields. The Business category is for local entrepreneurs, agencies, start-ups and well-established enterprises. Submit your work using the form below.

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