Haste creates waste. And it isn't always the first attempt that leads to success. This is what the crystal hunters of the Swiss Alps might think. Jelena Brkic confirms it. After several years working as a financial analyst and, later, in the communications industry, Jelena wasn't satisfied with her professional life. So she decided to quit her job and devote herself to her passion: making jewelry. In February 2015, she founded her own jewelry brand: ELVETIA. The brand's highlight is that it exclusively processes mountain crystals and smoky quartz from the Swiss Alps, which are carefully rescued and selected by professional crystal. All the resources used to manufacture ELVETIA's jewelry come from local sources. The entire value chain is based in Switzerland. Therefore, the rock crystal isn't only unique in its origin, but in its own finding. "It's what sets us apart" - states Jelena- "because, for example, Brazil's quartz crystals are obtained from pure mining, and are, therefore, a mass production product".
As a result, the Swiss Alps' mountain crystals and minerals aren't only exclusive and, therefore, luxurious, they also reflect a tradition that has existed since the sixteenth century. Only through this tradition, created by the people, and the artisan knowledge that lies behind it, have the crystals become what they are now: jewelry with a valuable meaning. Protecting and promoting this tradition is Jelena's guiding principle, maintaining this message over time so it'll be safe for future generations.
Behind every jewel, there's always some inspiration from Jelena's home and her surrounding nature. For example, the Edelweiss flower, in its simple beauty represents a great longing, honesty and purity. Or the butterfly, with its capacity for metamorphosis, grace and amazing delicacy. "Nature is the best designer, you just have to look closely", emphasizes Jelena. It goes without saying that each ELVETIA jewel's individual design is developed based on a local goldsmith's conception, who incorporates Swiss mineral materials and ecological gold and silver, which are obtained from recycling in Switzerland, and are treated with artisan techniques from the region.
The current 2018/2019 collection, created in Switzerland, includes the ELVETIA engagement ring for all the lovers of the world, a customizable engagement ring that allows customers to choose the Swiss region from which they want the rock crystal to come. Therefore, the engagement ring won't only be a declaration of love, but also a declaration of commitment to the region, the country and its culture.
This doesn't mean that the ELVETIA collection only adapts one-dimensionally to the region's inhabitants. Today, customers from all over the world appreciate products made 100% in Switzerland. For Jelena, keeping it that way is both an opportunity and a challenge. It's equally important to inspire the next generation to work with their hands again, to motivate young people to get involved again with Swiss nature, and to enjoy mineralogy and geology.
That way, in the future, crystal will find mountain crystals and other minerals in a spectacular environment. The goldsmith will continue to mold each jewel into a unique piece with perfect precision. And Jelena will continue to passionately convey the beauty of her home and its nature through glass, gold and silver. She owes that to Switzerland, she says. And for Switzerland, Jelena will continue attempting to preserve its tradition for generations to come. A truly sustainable statement for the most beautiful gift in the world.
+ Info: Elvetia
Neues Stadtquartier in Zürich - Europaallee
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10 am - 7 pm / Sat: 10 am - 6 pm