With Spirit of Island, a sustainable online jeweler was created whose jewelry is produced in an environmentally friendly way and traded fairly.
But who is actually behind Spirit of Island and how did the idea of founding a sustainable online jeweler come about?
For this we look back a few years to the year 2015. Simon, one of the two founders of Spirit of Island, was 27 years old at the time and worked as a project manager in an event agency in Düsseldorf. He had worked as a tour guide for many years before and discovered his interest in foreign countries and other cultures. However, even then he was suffering from the side effect of wanderlust.
The journey starts
In 2015, Simon decided to meet his constant wanderlust and quit his job and his apartment to go traveling with his brother and another friend.
It is not planned how long the journey should take, but the direction has already been outlined. First a few months in Asia, then work & travel in New Zealand and then we'll see.
The last stopover before New Zealand is called Bali. Here, after many weeks of backpacking, the boys want to switch off, surf a few waves and unwind before a new chapter of the journey begins.
The first encounter
Arrived in Bali, Simon met the Indonesian Ina early on. She is 30 years young and actually comes from Jakarta. However, she has been living on the island of Bali for over 10 years at the time and works there as a wedding planner in a five star hotel resort.
The two get along very well right away, so they have their first date the very next day. From then on they meet regularly.
The good bye
But when they continue to New Zealand after 6 weeks, saying goodbye is very difficult for both of them.
After almost a month on New Zealand's North Island, the three boys reach Wellington. From there they want to take their car to the South Island the next day. The tickets are already booked.
On the day before the crossing, Simon, who has continued to write to Ina for the last few weeks, decides to cancel the planned route with the boys in order to fly back to Bali the same evening.
Back to Bali
Both of them are very happy to see each other again. Simon moves directly to Ina in Jimbaran and continues to explore the island from there. In the meantime, he learns a lot about the local culture, which he quickly finds his way around.
There's just one thing he can't get used to - the amount of plastic floating on the streets, in rivers, on the beach and in the sea. Neither the locals nor the tourists seem to really care.
Ina and Simon often talk about this problem and the bitter phenomenon that the beauty of the island leads to its destruction since so many tourists come to the island. The fact that environmental protection and sustainability is a luxury that very few neither can afford nor want is something that is noticed again and again.
In 2016, Ina and Simon then decide that they want to get married. The somewhat surprised families and friends are quickly enthusiastic and some even come from Germany to celebrate the dreamlike wedding together in Uluwatu, before the newly married couple then also go to Germany.
The actual idea of starting a sustainable jeweler only came in 2018 during their belated honeymoon in Bali. To be more precise, on a trip to Ubud, in the interior of the island, where you can admire the craftsmanship of many small manufacturers. Above all, teak is processed into beautiful furniture here.
Ina and Simon are particularly interested in the silver and gold jewelery made there, which is still handmade by small traditional manufacturers - but mostly without precious stones, which surprises Ina.
While still on their honeymoon, she gets to work and sketches the first designs of filigree gemstone rings.
Together with Simon, she then searches for the best silversmiths in Bali - which is the first really big challenge. But through good contacts on the island, they still find what they are looking for.
At the same time, Ina contacts her relatives from Borneo and Jakarta, who are immediately enthusiastic about the idea. Ina's cousin Sarah provides active support and establishes initial contacts with suppliers.
Ina and Simon immediately agree that the production should neither harm the environment nor exploit the locals.
The goal should be that the jewelery stands up as an ambassador for nature conservation and sustainability!
The sustainable jewelery should prove that something as beautiful as a gemstone ring can be produced sustainably, traded fairly and packaged without plastic.
It should be an innocent product, created with love for nature, to please the owner and to remind her what nature gives us and why it is worth protecting it through responsible and sustainable action.
Would you like to learn more about our philosophy: