Retail Therapy: Renasala

Retail Therapy: Renasala

Meet the jewelry e-tailer housing some of the most sought-after designs.

Meet the jewelry e-tailer housing some of the most sought-after designs.

Text: Danielle Combs

In Retail Therapy, V spotlights our favorite boutiques and concept stores from around the world. This week, we spoke with Rena Sala, the owner and founder of London-based jewelry e-tailer Renasala. The meticulously curated online boutique is a hidden gem, housing an array of handcrafted earrings and necklaces from independent jewelry designers who are continually pushing their craft into new territories.

Minimalist designs, clean lines, and modern shapes can be found in the form of classic gold hoops by Laura Lombardi, wooden drop earrings by Sophie Monet and sculptural jewelry by Anne Manns. Each unique piece is hand-selected by Rena herself, ensuring you’ll always walk away with a forever keepsake. Read below to see Rena’s process for selecting jewelry and the designers to know now.

What does jewelry represent or mean to you? 

Rosh Mahtani of Alighieri Jewelry calls her pieces “modern heirlooms” and I love that. For me, jewelry is appreciated much in the same way art and objects are. They are momentos from a certain time or place.

I admire the fact that each piece of jewelry featured is curated from a handful of independent jewelry designers who value handcrafted work. Why is this model important to you?  Has it made you aware of how some designer's items are mass-produced unethically or harmful to the environment? 

I am not a big shopper and tend to only buy things I truly love and hope to have forever. The same goes for jewelry. When looking for new designers and brands to feature on the site the same qualities are a must: clean lines, good quality materials and thoughtful design as these will stand the test of time. The designers we work with all share a handcrafted approach to their making and I do believe this is something that ultimately adds value to the product in a time where many things are mass produced. Designers like Laura Lombardi who uses recycled materials where possible or Anne Manns who works with small family run factories in Germany are putting consideration not only in the design, but in their process as well, which is admirable.

How would you describe your aesthetic and the pieces you’ve curated for your site?

I am a total minimalist, and so in my jewelry, I love clean lines, sculptural forms, and I never shy away from more statement pieces as they often times best represent the designer’s body of work. Although I am not a big fan of sparkly stones and color, I love interesting materials so you will see a range on the site from wood to brass, silver, and gold. Chances are, if you like the aesthetic of one of the designers on the site, you will most likely like others (if not all!).

How do you like to wear or mix and match your jewelry?

I tend to not layer or stack jewelry. Instead I prefer to wear one or two really beautiful pieces and give them the attention they deserve. I won’t leave the house without a pair of earrings on (the bigger the better), and will often switch them up throughout the day. The only time I break this rule is when I wear Alighieri necklaces as they are too good not to layer! (And can be worn at different lengths.)

How do you find these new and emerging jewelry designers? 

The London-based designers which include Alighieri, Jenny Sweetnam, and Jessie Harris, I was lucky enough to work with before I launched the shop and was so excited to have them part of this next adventure. As for the other designers, I had been following their work over the last year or two, and when I made the decision to launch the shop, there was no hesitation to ask them to be part of it. We now have designers based in London, Berlin, Barcelona, New York, and Los Angeles.

Instagram is of course the best way to discover new designers and to follow their work. After 6 years of working in PR, some of my best tips have come from from editors and stylists. Not all of the designers recommended may suit the site, but I love seeing what people are excited by. It’s really important to know what’s out there.

Who are some up-and-coming jewelry designers you’re excited about? 

Some of the newer designers we have on the site include Anne Manns who is based between Berlin and Northern Italy and launched just last year. Her work instantly grabbed me with its clean line and sculptural shapes. Another new designer who launched this year is Nathalie Schreckenberg based from Barcelona and Sao Paulo who has beautifully organic and imperfect forms which are carved from wax and then cast in a cool sterling silver.

What are your hopes or dreams for the future? Any plans to expand? 

I am always looking at ways to make our offering more interesting so I will be looking into collaborating with designers to make sure we have the best assortment. From the beginning I have tried to offer some exclusive pieces when we can just to make sure there is something a bit different to discover on the site. I am also looking to collaborate with like-minded retailers to offer our curation within their stores. As for the future, I’m originally from Nova-Scotia a beautiful province on the East Coast of Canada and I have been dreaming of making a move back there to open a physical shop one day.

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