Botanics and sustainability are at the heart of what we do at Botanic Protect and so what better way to celebrate the festive season than by bringing you an exclusive offer from emerging jewellery brand, Lovely Oxford!
We’ve gone behind the scenes to talk to creative mind, Olja Borojevic, to find out what inspired her to start her own botanical jewellery business.
Tell us a little bit about Lovely Oxford and what inspired you to start your own botanical jewellery brand?
Lovely Oxford offers beautiful pieces of handmade jewellery, with a personal touch and sustainability in mind. We want you to feel empowered, successful, beautiful, in peace, calm, optimistic and brave to try something new!
Lovely Oxford grew from my love of wildflowers and Oxford – where I moved when I came to live in the UK in 2011 – together with a passion for making jewellery which I’ve had since I was very young.
I started Lovely Oxford in 2013 when I first started experimenting with resin, along with my Father who loved the end product. Sadly, soon after the idea was born, my Dad unexpectedly passed away and I left it all dormant. Life, including having a baby and moving house got in the way and then on top of everything, I lost my mum to breast cancer in 2019 which took a toll on my creative side.
But it all changed in 2020 when COVID came along! While we were all at home, I started collecting flowers with my daughter and we planted some wildflower meadows on our allotment. I invested in supplies, started making new pieces and Lovely Oxford was born again! A year on and we have many happy repeat customers!
We take pride in giving 5 star customer service and being a transparent and personable brand.
Our jewellery is high quality and made with love, the communication with us is friendly and warm. The overall experience is something special with a genuine heart-to-heart connection; a unique piece of beautiful, eco-friendly, handmade jewellery that connects you with nature every day.
Have you always been a jewellery designer?
No, I’ve never trained as a jewellery designer, I am self-taught through trial and error! I still work 4 days a week as an IT Engineer but Fridays are my creative days, together with evenings and weekends!
My plan is to complete a metalsmithing course as one of my all-time wishes is to be able to fix and recycle some of my family inherited gold pieces.
How important is sustainability to you and your brand?
Sustainability is very important to me and my brand. It is very hard to be 100% sustainable but I always try to make small changes wherever I can. For example, we use ‘bio resin’ which is produced from pine tree production waste and is very eco-friendly but my next project is to slowly move away from resin as it does produce wastage (a minimal amount but there is still some waste!). So, we will start introducing more glass instead of bio resin.
I hate waste as we produce so much of it in everyday life, so I try to not put anything in the packaging that will just be thrown away! We use fully recyclable cardboard boxes to fulfil orders and I don’t include plastic in my packaging and I try to use compostable plastic if I have to.
How do you source your materials?
I try to use local UK suppliers and UK made products as much as I can – and there are some fantastic suppliers in the UK. All of my flowers and botanics are handpicked on my countryside walks or from our allotment and gently dried by me.
How long does it typically take to make a piece and how many tools do you use?
It depends on the size and complexity, it can take anything from 15-20 minutes to a few hours, if it is layered. I don’t use many tools, just some wooden sticks, toothpicks and tweezers will do the job! Sometimes I use silicone moulds and, of course, botanics!
Do you do special commissions?
Yes I do! I’ve designed quite a few memorial pieces with pet’s fur and at the moment I am working on a special commission for a wedding (some set necklaces and earrings).
Do you have a favourite piece?
Some of my favourite flowers are ‘forget me nots’ and so, I loved it when I made a set of earrings and necklace with forget me not flowers and pet’s fur together.
Describe how running your own jewellery business makes you feel in 3 words!
Grateful , empowered , excited!
So, if you’re looking for a unique gift this year for someone special, Lovely Oxford is offering Botanic Protect newsletter subscribers an exclusive 15% discount! To claim this special discount follow this link or type the code ‘Botanic’ at checkout – order by 15th December for Christmas delivery. Enjoy!