Daphine was founded in London in 2018 by Damasia Ball and Philippine de Follin. Firm friends, they had bonded over a shared perfectionism, a love of simple, uncomplicated design, and the fact that they are both from families of strong women. Endlessly inspired by the way their mothers, grandmothers and sisters adapt effortlessly to many roles, they decided to make jewellery that would do the same thing.
Île de Ré
This is a really special place to me as it represents family. We go there two times a year as my husband’s family holidays there, and his grandfather was from there. I did a lot of travelling around when I was young so now the familiarity of returning to Île de Ré is really comforting to me. Everything feels nostalgic and as though time has slowed down. We take bikes everywhere and there is never a sense of a rush—you can truly be disconnected from the rest of the world and enjoy a simpler way of life. One of my favourite things to do is ride through the salt flights to Marché de La Flotte, a market that sells local and seasonal produce. We also cycle to Les Portes to get oysters at Les Huitres De Trousse Chemise. It is one of the few places in the world where I can really disconnect and I think everyone who has been there shares in that feeling. No one is concerned about what is the cool restaurant to go to or what outfit to wear to go to dinner, it’s a place that encourages you to live in the moment. We actually took the Daphine website live in Île de Ré when we first launched in June 2018 and I sat there and saw the first few orders coming in from our friends.
Kempton Antique Market
I like the treasure hunt vibe of Kempton. We have found jewellery pieces there, pieces that have inspired our collections but also pieces we have bought as part of our vintage edits on our website. I think it’s the aspect of finding such special treasures that feel like a bargain, the thrill of waking up early and beating the crowds and not knowing what to expect—the unpredictability of it all. Picking up things that carry their own story, getting to know the different traders and chatting about the history of the pieces to understand how they found the pieces that they are selling. Vintage and nostalgia are always a source of inspiration to us.
If In Doubt Wash Your Hair by Anya Hindmarch, 2021
In a way I feel like Anya Hindmarch wrote this book for me. From the conversational style of writing to the stories about female entrepreneurship and juggling motherhood with business it feels incredibly personal but also something I’m sure a lot of women can relate to. There is a sense of shared wisdom and you feel like a friend or family member is speaking directly to you. Something I personally love about other women entrepreneurs is that there is a feeling of duty to help each other out and lift each other up. There are two quotes that really resonated with me: “Remember that if you are happy, your children will be happy too—the only piece of advice I have ever received from my mother-in-law and she is quite right. Take time for yourself, whatever and wherever that may be, but don’t forget yourself in the endless list of things to do” and “Things come of things. I am a great believer in doing things to make things happen. If you drop a pebble in a puddle of water, you will get ripples. If you throw energy at things, you will get energy back. Keep moving, keep talking, keep dreaming. It all puts out energy that will come back to you.”
Travelling to Jaipur
I was able to travel to Jaipur at the beginning of the year for work after two years and it felt like a rebirth. Being able to travel again plus being with creative friends Maria del Orden and Laura de la Rivière was so energetic. It really boosted my creativity while I was working on samples for the next collection after two years of a more contemplative state of mind. I stayed in a family-owned Boutique Hotel recently refurbished by the owner. They spent almost 10 years purchasing and then restoring it. Arriving in Jaipur you feel as though you are landing on another planet, the colours are unbelievable and also like the fact that it feels like an older era with the old palaces and buildings. Flowers, animals and humans all coexisting and a sense of spirituality in the city via meditation and yoga. Jaipur is, for me, the peak of creativity and craftsmanship as you can have anything made—if you have an idea and you want a bespoke table for you living room you can do rough sketches and find someone to do it—and the same goes for clothes, carpets, jewellery. The people are really easy to work with which makes it an amazing environment to create in.
Family time in Brittany
My family from my Dad’s side are all from Brittany in a very small village called Saint Briac. This is where I spend time with the women in my life and my children. The main activity is to go to the beach and just sit and talk all day long, most of the time surrounded by three or four generations of women, everyone on the beach in their family groups. Lying on the beach for hours and mindlessly chatting about fashion, accessories, recipes has always been a huge inspiration in my life. Just listening to these women in my family built me as a woman and a mother. They always all worked and are very creative all in their own way. It is a small Fisherman’s village on the beach, it’s always been popular as it is only two hours from Paris and has beautiful views of the coast.
Graciela Iturbide Exhibition at Fondation Cartier in Paris (February 12 to May 29, 2022)
The first large exhibition devoted to Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide in France, spanning works dating from the 1970s to the present day. I fell in love with this woman’s work. She travelled the world all her life with her camera with no specific purpose other than to take pictures of the ordinary. I was especially captivated by her black and white portrait, titled Nuestra Senora de la Iguanas, Oaxaca, 1979. It’s a portrait of a woman in the market that sells Iguanas for a living and she carries them on her head all around the market. The Iguanas look like a hat on her head a give her a very royal look. I felt a lot of poetry and an invitation to look closely at the magic in every human being. Her dream house, built by her son in Mexico, is based on the light and space she needs to work and is a true invitation to a life focused on passion and being in the moment.
She was one of the few women in charge of a jewellery workshop in the early 20th century in Paris, and perhaps the only one so supremely sure of the singularity of her talent that she refused to sign her pieces. From her genius way to create bold and timeless jewellery that speaks to a new generation to her career everything is inspiring. The first female jewellery designer to have her own company named after her, she is an endless source to all jewellery designers because her pieces are so simple and timeless. She was very independent—it was she and Coco Chanel who were trailblazers, having their own companies named after them and running their ateliers and workshops. Her pieces are now collectors’ items because they are so rare—pure gold, beautiful gemstones. She designed a round yet curved bangle in solid gold—you can see so many modern designs inspired by this because it is so classic and feels relevant even today.