About Zeal & Heart
Zeal & Heart has been a long time coming.
It all started back in New Zealand with my obsession of getting notes from my heart engraved on pieces of jewellery. I would find blank sterling silver rings or pendants on sale and take them down to the local key cutting/shoe repair/engraving combo shop. The only option was hand engraving by the bloke behind the counter, which inevitably meant terrible handwriting and not exactly the result I had in my head.
I have always held on to particular phrases, I guess these days we would call them mantras. But to me it was a phrase for an age and stage that powered my every step. I imagined that one day these would be the powerful words I would get tattooed across my skin, but in the mean time the shaky hand engraving would have to do. I still have some of these moments in time lying around my flat;
- Not all that counts can be counted (from when I was a desperately unhappy accountant)
- Sic itur ad astra (Latin, meaning 'thus we shall reach the stars' from when I was in my first semester of university and full of hope)
- 4077 (from when I binge watched every M*A*S*H episode with my Dad)
Jewellery, particularly made from precious metals, always had such a aura of 'special' for me. And engraving my dreams, hopes and fears onto it just gave it power and it gave me something to hold on to.
To speed up the story (I am sure your tube stop is coming up) I will give you the highlights for the boring middle bit:
- Worked at a jewellery store for three years while I was at university and saw how jewellery held symbolic power for those who give and receive it, for a cynic like me it was beautiful
- Did a jewellery making course
- Started working as an accountant
- Stopped working as an accountant
- Ran away to London
- Was skint in London
- Did another jewellery making course
- Created three cast jewellery designs to try and be less skint
My first adventure into selling jewellery was under my Runawaykiwi blog name and was a collection of three designs. You see the technology was not there for machine engraving yet (or at least not that I could afford) and so my only option was to 'cast' the text and design into the silver. With casting comes minimum order quantities which is why I was limited to just three.
They sold well and I finally had enough money for coffee and brunch and an emergency trip to Paris. But being limited to just three designs meant after a year or so I was bored and wanted to move on, so I sold most of my collection and hung up my jewellery business hat.
Then came 2017 and I was sitting on the couch trying to figure out how to change my creative life. I followed all the normal brainstorming techniques and came back to the idea that what I wanted to build was a business that would make young me happy. I wanted to be able to engrave funny, sassy, loving, hopeful and kind messages on jewellery and sell them to people who resonated with that meaning.
After some extensive googling (and my Dad doing a couple of investigative trips to the local key cutting/shoe repair/engraving shop) I found a commercial grade machine engraver that I could fit in my London flat. I spent my life savings (gulp!) and imported my little machine from South Korea. All that was left was to come up with a pun based brand name and start.
Zeal & Heart is a business that I love with all my heart. I get to hear the most touching stories of why people connect with these phrases, and I get to engrave whatever I want on jewellery in whatever font I want. Everything is engraved by me while I look out the window at the Thames.
Thank you for taking the time to read my little story, to finish off I thought I would put the Z&H mantra here just in case it helps.
Wear your heart around your neck, and your dreams out loud
Zeal & Heart jewellery is for those of us who are striving for something more. From mantras to swears, our engraved silver jewellery is a tiny reminder that we have the courage to seek our dreams.