Swiss jewellery designer and the founder and creative force behind Marijoli, Marielle Byworth, talks about living the high life with celebrities in Tokyo and how she found her spiritual core.
You launched your jewellery brand a decade ago. How has the concept and vision changed? "When I started 10 years ago, Marijoli was about creating something fun for women my age who have a lot of energy and embrace life. The aim was to create contemporary jewellery that they could wear everyday. To this day, keeping this idea of creating something contemporary is still my aim."
How did living in Tokyo change your creative outlook?
"Everything started the day I moved to Tokyo with my husband. I previously worked in London for my family, who dealt in antique jewellery. So everything I knew before I went to Tokyo was more old-fashioned. Living in the city was a revelation, because everything around me was about creativity - the way the Japanese wrapped gifts, the way they prepared green tea … All of this allowed me to develop my spirituality. This is also how I've developed my jewellery shapes, which are inspired by flowing energy. Because of Tokyo, I found a way to define Marijoli."
You went on an intensive yoga programme in 2008. What did that experience teach you?
"After three to four years of living an exciting life in Tokyo, with celebrities and a lot of media exposure, I felt the need to centre myself. I was always interested in an inner state of mind and had been practising yoga casually for years. I attended an intense Yoga Alliance teaching programme. Since then, I've integrated stronger spiritual thinking in my work."
What was your childhood like? "I was brought up in a very small village in Switzerland, in a region famous for watch manufacturing. Growing up in a small community, the food we ate was what we grew in the garden. In a way, we were living in a small eco-system that is not easy to find now. This has made me feel grounded."