“BEAUTY IS WHAT LENDS THINGS THEIR IMMORTALITY. IT IS RESILIENT, IT IS LIFE-AFFIRMING, IT GIVES BACK TO THE WORLD.”
~ Alan Moore, 2017
Inspiring words and so very true. Words inspiring to Valerie Genty, founder of Ethos of London. A highly curated digital marketplace, Ethos of London is an online destination that is deeply passionate about fine jewelry and the people who create them. They connect meaning and purpose, caring about people and planet into their values and our human connection to jewelry. With an understanding that beautiful jewelry can be made and acquired with heart, designed for longevity, for legacy, a more meaningful connections with the luxurious and valuable pieces a woman brings into her life, or the gentleman who selects them for her.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Valerie to get some insights into her fine jewelry business and passions.
A Moment With…
Founder, Ethos of London
How did you get your start working in the field of luxury and what drew you to it?
I have always been drawn to interesting colors, textures and to quality, in all areas of life, whether it be food, interiors, fashion or travel. I certainly find inspiration in enriching creative and visual experiences. My professional trajectory reflects this as I spent the last decade in the visual arts, working with artists and galleries. Art is very much a part of the luxury market; therefore my professional experience has immersed me in the world of luxury. Also, living in London makes it near impossible not to experience (and appreciate) luxury, it is literally everywhere around you, from hotels to stores to unique events… the opportunities to engage with various degrees of luxury are endless.
Tell us about your company and its mission/vision? What prompted you to create a company of this kind? What sets yours apart from others of its kind?
Ethos of London’s mission is to champion fine jewelry designers who stand for design excellence, creative innovation and have a greater purpose. Our vision is to become the number one online shopping destination for quality fine jewelry, whilst nurturing a better and kinder society. All our designers are committed to having a positive social impact and support a cause close to their heart, and so do we. What prompted me…. I have always had a fascination for gemstones, design and colors, setting up a fine jewelry business was a natural evolution from my experience in the visual arts.
What can people expect from shopping with Ethos of London?
You can expect a unique curation with a flair for design-led fine jewelry pieces, that are both contemporary and playful whilst retaining classical elegance. You will find colored gemstones and uplifting creations that will bring you joy, style and protection. Ethos of London is all about uplifting women with quality jewelry that can be worn from generation to generation. As well as the e-commerce store, we also provide a personalised service and one to one consultation for anyone looking to commission a bespoke piece. My close relationship with a range of designers means that I can commission the best designer to create the jewel of your dream, and closely project- manage the commission to meet your design requirements.
Tell us about the items you stock and look for in your eCommerce store?
Some of the pieces showcased on the website we have in stock, whilst others are made to order. If the jewel is made to order, it means a very limited number of pieces are likely to be made, and many are one of kind! I look for creative innovation, style, elegance, as well as sustainable practices from the designer, ensuring gemstones and materials are ethically sourced. Quality and longevity of the pieces is also key, all the jewelry showcased on Ethos of London range from 14 karat to 22 karat gold or Titanium.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
I love working with visionary highly talented designers and creative brands. Discovering and promoting their work and their stories is the best part of my job. Each designer brings a different approach to jewelry making and it is fascinating to learn about each of their creative process and understand the source of their passion.
The definition of luxury is generally speaking, greatly misunderstood. How do you serve a more refined and sophisticated client who wants true luxury vs the mass approach to luxury?
We showcase jewelry pieces from independent designers and design houses who have perfected their craft over years and sometimes decades. This result in more creative and unique designs than a mass-produced high street collection. Many customer seek unique pieces and are willing to consider independent brands that stand for quality and design excellence. Ethos of London will appeal to those who are willing to explore further than the high street, seeking both quality, creative designs] and a more complex kind of storytelling.
What are your personal philosophies about luxury as a mindset and approach to living? How do you think people could get more out of luxury beyond acquisition?
A luxury acquisition made as part of building a bigger legacy, for example to build a significant art or artefact collection or perhaps making an acquisition that raises funds for a social cause, certainly elevate luxury beyond a simple purchase. In other word, having an overarching purpose will bring you to a place beyond ownership.
Where do you see the luxury business heading overall and as it pertains to online shops
catering to the luxury market?
I see the luxury industry moving further towards a service industry, where the quality and uniqueness of the experience is as important as the quality of the product, with fewer products but higher prices, and an increase in the made to order. The luxury online market is only just beginning! AI and virtual technology as well as gaming is opening the door for new online shopping models, with 3D and fully immersive shopping experiences being certainly a part of the future of retail.
What do you wish was known about luxury that thus far that is not being talked about?
Luxury is sensory, it is experiencing beauty through texture, smell, taste, colors and refined craftmanship. But most all, luxury is an emotion and a journey of discovery. Interweaving a unique moment or the story of a particular object with our own gives us a sense of place, of time and elevates our daily experience. Luxury is about cultural heritage and resonance, storytelling and meaning. I would love to see more conversations and brands further aligning with heritage.
In your view, what have been some of the biggest changes in the way HNW and UHNW clients fulfill their luxury lifestyle needs today in this largely digital world? How has this affected how you guide your clients?
Brands and businesses will always adapt to meet UHNW client requirements. The digital world has allowed UHNW to have private, bespoke and personalized virtual shopping sessions even in the midst of an international health crisis. If anything, the Covid crisis has further increased UHNW access to ultra-private spaces both physical and metaphorical. I guide all my clients from a place of passion and expertise, and I enjoy working with a number of partners to host private salons for a selected clientele.
We see luxury as a state of mind and lifestyle choice. How do you think that people can get more out of how they engage with luxury in their lives?
One of my mantras is that quality of thoughts is quality of life. If we keep our thoughts align with what best serves us, the quality of our experiences will improve as a result. If I own a Ferrari, it is not the Ferrari alone that brings me a luxury experience, it is how I think about it, value it and conceptualise it… in other word, no matter the circumstances, getting more out of life comes down to how we frame our experiences.
Where can people find you online and on social media?