Welcome, and thank you for being here. I'm Rholene Singleton, the creator and designer behind Indigenous Jewels. Making jewelry used to be my hobby, but in 2014 I quit my job in order to commit all my time and energy in building a small business selling my jewelry pieces online. My husband and I live a nomadic lifestyle here in South Africa, moving from one town to the next on a yearly basis, so being able to work from home has made such a difference in both our lives.
When I started making jewelry I was determined to create my own design aesthetic using chainmail pieces as the focal point in one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. My dedication to this aesthetic motivated me to experiment with new techniques and ultimately helped me grow in my art to become a better designer.
In Medieval times, chainmail armor was worn to protect warriors on the battlefields, as well as many of the sports they participated in back then. The many different chainmail weaves used to create this form of armor fascinates me, and ultimately inspired me to create beautiful artisanal jewelry pieces highlighting some of these ancient weaves. I also hope that my pieces may serve as a personal form of armor, and remind the wearer that they are a strong and capable individual with a fighting spirit who can and will get through any circumstances thrown their way.
All Indigenous Jewels pieces are made from quality precious metals that are sourced only from companies who are registered with the Responsible Jewelry Council of South Africa. It’s my mission to only support such companies who advance responsible ethical, social and environmental practices with respect to human rights throughout the diamond, gold and silver jewelry supply chain, from mine to retail.
I also try as much as possible to use natural stones only that was mined from the earth and shaped by hand by a lapidary artist. This means that I try to stay away from any dyed stones, heat treated stones, stabilizers, waxes or fillers. Natural stones are not “perfect”, often showing a variety of colors or specs of other natural material still trapped within the stone. I personally prefer the look of these imperfections and feel that it’s well suited for my handmade jewelry pieces.
Although I'm taking a break from metalsmithing for a while, it remains an absolute honor to share my creations with the world, and I look forward to improve my skill and designs even more in the future, and in the process growing as a artist and small business owner.
Love, Rholene XXX