This is how Veronica Jewelry translates the organic into modern jewelry.
Veronica Tumalip Groepler grew up in Mindanoa, Southern Philippines, before moving to Hawai’i as a high school student with her big family. She grew up with elders who were skilled in fashioning everything from art to furniture with only hand tools. And always with pride in increasing their skills and personal creative flourish.
She remembers the fascination she had watching her father build everything from baskets to bridges with sophisticated weavings of bamboo and rattan. Her mother also used traditional knowledge to outfit her home, even building cooking stoves from clay. She combined that with contemporary handicrafts, such as sewing clothing for her entire family with the latest trends in mind.
Veronica discovered the art of jewelry in 1986, when she moved to Kaua’i—with her two young daughters in tow—to help out at a small family-owned jewelry shop. Though Veronica traveled to California to attend professional jewelry and metalworking courses her true education in jewelry came from observing nature.
Watching the shape and texture of Kaua’i forests—how the lilikoi vines wrap around the koa trees, the miniature roses, the wild cherry guava, the ferns, and the lehua blossom—they became visions of flowers and vines as earrings and necklaces.
While learning the history of jewelry making Veronica was drawn to early-20th century art nouveau jewelry. The freedom to combine colorful diamonds, gemstones, pearls and coral into whimsical and unique forms was perfectly suited for Veronica’s artistic style, personality, and the beauty of Kaua’i.