Growing up in an environment of boundless creativity, counting artists and antique dealers amongst her close family, Donatella gained an inherent appreciation for art and antiquity. Having carefully studied the variety of styles, changing trends and techniques used by famous designers, she developed a keen eye for detail and a strong sense of aesthetic.
“From a young age, my desk was strewn with rough sketches and magazine cut-outs of the imaginary jewellery collection of my dreams.” - Founder, Donatella Balsamo.
As time passed, her love for travel grew as quickly as her passion for design and Donatella immersed herself in unique cultures throughout the globe, feeling empowered and inspired by her experiences. Her interests in oriental cultures and the architecture of East Asia, Morocco and Turkey broadened her perspective in creating and sourcing designs. It was during a fateful journey to India that she finally decided to pursue her dream and life-long passion for jewellery and gemstones.
“The more extensively I travelled, the more I was inspired to design and create my own jewellery, and this culminated in the conception of my namesake brand."
While exploring the city of Jaipur, Donatella encountered incredibly talented artisans with extraordinary skills. It was here that she saw the opportunity to combine their meticulous craftsmanship with her creative vision.
Donatella Balsamo is an Italian, London-based designer specialising in luxury hand-crafted, exotic jewellery, combining a classical and antique feel with a contemporary twist.
Aiming to take its customers on a magical journey, Donatella combines the mystical world of the East with the haute couture principles of the West to create eye-catching statement pieces.
“My jewellery is designed for those who seek something different and eye-catching whilst appreciating genuine ethnic influences.”
The selection of vibrant semi-precious gemstones is infused with the colours of beautiful ‘must-see' destinations. Each of the brand’s four collections is distinctive from one another, with unique characteristics inspired by the different parts of the world they are named after: Amazon rainforest, The Rajasthan, Sardinia, Vietnam (formerly Saigon)... and many more to come. Telling their own stories through varying styles and colours, the result is a broad and versatile range of elegant jewellery that meets the taste of woman of all ages.
It is Donatella’s penchant for multicoloured cabochon-cut stones set on matte silver that ties the brand together, giving her jewellery a charming, vintage-heritage aesthetic – with a hint of glamour.
“My jewellery is all about colour and boldness. I strongly believe in the expressive power of jewellery and its ability to radiate the personality with the wearer. My aim is to create unique, handmade pieces that tell the story of these inspirational destinations, appealing to women with an eye for distinctive and timeless jewellery”.
Production takes place in India, in the region of Rajasthan, where the gemstones are hand-cut, polished and set on (often recycled) silver and 18ct gold plating. Donatella’s commitment to ethical production ensures that she has a strong relationship with her artisanal partners and that the origin of each and every stone is ethically sourced.