In 2019, our founder Alexandra decided to leave the world of tech behind and create her own fine jewellery line. She was tired of designer pieces tarnishing after a week of wear, and so while on holiday in Italy she made the decision to follow her passion for quality jewellery. She named our brand La Grotta, which is Italian for ‘cave’, to symbolise the journey she was about to take into the unknown. Here’s what happened next...
The highest quality materials
Alexandra wanted to create fine jewellery women could wear all day, every day. So it was important that the pieces were high quality, timeless but also affordable. As she was living in England, she was keen for everything to be made in the UK. But after searching for talented jewellers, she found no-one with the pearl skills she needed. She began looking further afield to Hong Kong, the country she was born in, and found that 95% of the world’s pearls come from China and Hong Kong. The local jewellers there are highly skilled and the pearl farmers work in a sustainable way to cultivate the pearls, which made the right choice clear.
Pearls harvested by hand
All of La Grotta’s freshwater pearls are sourced from Hong Kong and China and are harvested by hand. You can even see Alexandra harvesting some herself over on our Instagram. Culturing pearls is something that has been done for many years – the process of culturing pearls is actually very beneficial for the planet, as molluscs are natural biofilters and clean the water around them. La Grotta chooses to work with freshwater pearls specifically because it has the widest range of sizes and shapes that can’t be found with any other types of pearls.
Designed for now and forever
Each La Grotta piece is designed by Alexandra herself. First, she identifies the type of pearls she wants to use, and then she creates a bespoke mood board around them. From there, she sends her sketches to the jewellers who digitise her drawings and start to hand make samples. All of our pieces are made with solid gold to ensure they never tarnish, even if you wear them all day, every day. They are then assembled by hand to ensure perfection every time. It’s for this reason, we are proud to offer a two-year guarantee as standard on all of our jewellery. Our quality is unrivalled.
Fine jewellery often comes with premium price point, but Alexandra was keen to reject the industry standard of a 10x markup. That’s why La Grotta follows a direct-to-customer business model. We offer fair prices and allow anyone who loves pearls to add our pieces to their collection. Rather than profits, we prioritise customer service, premium packaging and the quality of our pearls.
The start of success
Since launching La Grotta, Alexandra has packed hundreds of thousands of orders at her home in England and received praise and press features from prestigious publications including Harper’s Bazaar, The Telegraph, Cosmopolitan and The Independent. The thing that she is most proud of however? Growing a community of women from all different backgrounds around the world, who share a common love for wearing fine jewellery everyday.
This is just the beginning for La Grotta, so please join us as we continue to grow. Follow our journey on Instagram, shop our latest collections here, or keep reading this blog for jewellery education and updates on what we’re launching next.