In real life I’m a journalist. At least, I was. For 7 years. A young girl’s dream. Not because I wanted to save the world. Not even because I wanted to present the evening news with my sexy blow-dry. But I like the idea of passing on information. And what I love above all is stringing words together, like pearls on a thread, standing back and telling myself that it looks good. Or funny. Or striking. When I think that a few days later my words will be in the hands of thousands of readers and that thanks to the clever way they have been put together, I am able to coax a smile from them, then that sends a shiver down my spine. It’s much the same with jewellery…
When I think about it, I started filling my jewellery drawer during break time at school. I use to sell rings to my girlfriends – made from brads, beautiful they were – and gave braided bracelets to my boyfriends. For me, jewellery is a fixation. An obsession. A fascination. I think it's a bit like chocolates, but for fashion. When I watch a film or a television series, I don’t listen to what Brenda has to say to Brandon; I analyse her jewellery. Her solitaire, her hoop earrings, her scarab pendant. And I’ve done that since I was tiny. It’s the same in the street, in shops – even at the butcher’s, for heaven’s sake. I must have been a magpie in another life. Or Bonnie Parker. But in this life, I don’t steal things: I create!
For 5 years I kept my ‘amulettes’ for my friends only. And for my friends’ friends. But in 2013, I decided to make a real project out of them – to become a businesswoman in a smart suit and a jeweller in a goldsmith’s apron. My number two dream!
But just who is this person, Lou? Lou, that’s me. At least it’s all the facets of me that I don’t get the chance to make “shine” on a daily basis. All of the women who hide inside me. And you. If I’d been six years old, you’d have called me my “imaginary friend”. That’s about it, really (which is where I realise I’m scaring you). There’s Lou the bohemian, Lou the adventurer who keeps her plane and train tickets, who collects pebbles while trekking, who fosters a child in Benin and prefers to wear feathers like the Incas. Then there’s Lou, the “fine lady”. The one who’s invited to a preview on a Friday evening. Well-off and well turned out, she likes shoes with red soles, big stones that sparkle and handbags that would get you stopped by customs. And finally, there’s Lou, the scamp. The little girl who hasn’t quite grown up and who still likes to dip her finger into the pot of melted chocolate. Lou, the magic bullet with so many sides to her!
Apart from that, I love storms in the distance, saying the word “ornithorynchus”, hearing the word “Lilliputian”, getting glue on my fingers and tearing it all off again, walking along a pebble beach, chucking a ball of scrunched up paper at a wastepaper basket and getting it in, taking the train and daydreaming, buying apple juice at the market, my ‘amulettes’ (that’s right, my own jewellery), text messages that say nothing (but mean everything), eating ice-cream with a fork, the smell of a wood fire in the hair of the person I love, going to Habitat, French films, peas (on a T-shirt and in soup), life, the truth – and the poetry that makes it even better!
What about you? Who are you? In an ideal world I’d like to sit down with you all over a cup of Rooibos tea (my harmless addiction).