How Ruth Aymer Created Aymer Maria
The London-based jewellery designer opens the doors to her studio, revealing how her handcrafted pieces blur the lines between past and present, beauty and meaning
Appearing like recently unearthed treasures and drawing on the grandeur and intricacies of ancient Greco-Roman columns, basilicas and temples, Aymer Maria’s jewellery reimagines architectural wonders from bygone centuries as wearable works of art. Founded in 2021 by Ruth Aymer and simultaneously paying homage to her cultural heritage, these relic-like rings, pendants and earrings pay homage to Afro-Caribbean traditions of adorning the body with finery and precious metals – not only as decoration, but for empowering and expressive purposes. Here Aymer takes Liberty back to where her design story began, how she imbues jewellery with narrative and why antiquity is an endless source of inspiration…
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The Making of Aymer Maria
How Would You Describe Your Brand in an Elevator Pitch?
AYMER MARIA fuses my cultural heritage, architectural inspiration, and ethical craftsmanship to create pieces of fine jewellery that carry profound meaning.
We create timeless regalia in the form of heirlooms, drawing from the powerful symbolism of jewellery in West African culture and the majesty of Greco-Roman Classical architecture. Our pieces are more than mere accessories; they are statements of individuality and significance, with deep cultural meaning and artistic flair. Our commitment to ethical practices sets us apart, too, using harm-free materials and traceable precious metals and collaborating with responsible partners like Botswanamark for diamonds.
How Do Your Designs Pay Homage to Your Heritage?
My designs are a way for me to celebrate and honour my Afro-Caribbean heritage and the rich cultural history and significance of jewellery in West African traditions. It's a way for me to connect with my roots and share the beauty and symbolism of these traditions with a global audience. My West African background, in particular, has profoundly impacted the creative direction of AYMER MARIA. I view jewellery as more than adornment; it represents cultural heritage, history, and personal identity. In many West African cultures, jewellery has a rich tradition of being worn as regalia and is highly regarded for its precious, powerful, and cleansing properties. This cultural connection to precious metals and their symbolism has deeply influenced my work.
When Are You at Your Most Creative?
I'm most creative when I step back and immerse myself in different environments and experiences. I often find inspiration comes from unexpected sources, and I'm constantly seeking new stimuli to fuel my creativity. One of my favourite moments for creativity is when I intentionally carve out time to unwind. I light a scented candle, take a few deep breaths, and curl up with a book. I'm currently reading The Five Orders of Architecture, a book that helps me relax and fuels my creativity. Travel is another powerful source of inspiration. Experiencing different cultures, witnessing architectural wonders, and engaging with local art and traditions all contribute to a wealth of ideas I can infuse into my designs. Ultimately, my best ideas come from staying open to the world around me and embracing the beauty and diversity it offers.
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What’s Your Biggest Distraction?
My biggest distraction, undoubtedly, is the allure of new and exciting ideas. As a creative individual, I'm constantly brimming with inspiration, which is a wonderful aspect of being a designer, but it can be challenging to stay focused on one project when a new concept or design starts to take shape. I'm learning to balance pursuing new creative avenues with staying committed to my ongoing projects and seeing them through to completion.
What Advice Would You Give Someone Looking to Start Their Own Brand?
Starting your own brand is both an exciting and challenging endeavour, so it’s important to clearly define your brand's vision and mission from the start. Understand what sets you apart and set some core values. This foundation will guide your decisions and actions throughout your brand-building process. It’s important to uphold these principles as authenticity and integrity are essential for long-term success.
Next, identify your target audience and understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. Study your industry, competitors, and market trends. Keep an eye on emerging opportunities and adapt accordingly. Knowledge is power when it comes to making informed decisions.
Lastly, continuously assess your brand's performance and adapt your strategies as needed. Always be open to feedback, flexible with changing market dynamics, stay passionate about your vision and know that building a brand is a journey, one that requires dedication and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures.
What Does Success Look Like to You?
Success goes beyond conventional measures like financial gains and recognition. While those aspects are essential in their own right, true success is about achieving a more profound sense of fulfilment and positively impacting the world. I want AYMER MARIA to stay true to its core values, to continually create unique and meaningful pieces of jewellery that resonate with customers and ultimately become cherished heirlooms. I also see success as people recognising AYMER MARIA for its commitment to ethical practices, responsibility and contributions to the well-being of our community, society and those in need, as seen with our partnership with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees).
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What Are Your Three Best Tips for Creativity?
1. Embrace Diversity and Inspiration
Creativity often thrives when you expose yourself to diverse experiences and sources of inspiration. I draw inspiration from various cultural influences, particularly my West African heritage and architectural marvels, so broaden your horizons by exploring different art forms, traveling to new places, engaging with multiple cultures, and being open to unique perspectives.
2. Cultivate a Creative Environment
This means surrounding yourself with visual stimuli, such as art books and architectural references. I also value small rituals like lighting scented candles and reading, which help me unwind and stimulate my imagination.
3. Balance Routine and Exploration
While routine can provide discipline, creativity often thrives on exploration and spontaneity, so find a balance between structured creative processes and moments of free exploration. Set aside dedicated time for creative thinking, like exploring new motifs or ideas, but also allow yourself the freedom to wander creatively without specific goals.