Welcome back to the Diamond Disruptor podcast! On this week's episode, we're continuing talks with key Lark & Berry staff about what it's like navigating the world of fine jewelry as history's first disrupting, designer cultured diamonds brand. And this episode is a special one indeed, as it's Lark & Berry founder Laura Chavez's first ever longform interview!
Lark & Berry founder Laura Chavez joins the DD podcast fresh off being featured prominently in a Daily Mail feature piece called 'How lab-grown diamonds became every girl’s best friend: Far more ethical. And even a top expert can’t tell the difference. No wonder they’ve ruffled the feathers of the jewellery industry...'
LB fans all over the world know that cultured diamonds (also known as lab grown diamonds, man made diamonds, grown diamonds and created diamonds) are the better choice for the planet environmentally - and if you don't know yet, you should: Cultured are the only diamonds guaranteed to be 100% conflict-free diamonds every time!
But despite all the evidence on the side of sustainable diamonds, the launching of Lark & Berry hasn't been all smooth sailing. As Laura told the Daily Mail, she's received a lot of provocative pushback from people in the fine jewelry industry. The Daily Mail article from last week literally opens with this:
“A few months after Laura Chavez set up her jewellery company in 2018, hate mail started arriving. One letter was - recalls Laura - ‘signed by two important people in the UK jewellery industry, both men, presidents of organisations that I think readers would know,’ - and she goes on - ‘They went through everything on our website, outlining what was wrong, then threatened to take legal action. I had such a shock. A colleague said: “You’d better watch your back!”’
Laura gets into all this controversy in even more detail on the DD podcast, as well as commenting at length on the Graff awards debacle her brand faced a couple years back. If you've been following this blog, you might recall Lark & Berry's Bow Necklace won in the category of best design... and then the artist suddenly returned the award without an explanation.
Laura theorizes it could be because this historically mined diamond-favoring industry was none too pleased to learn after granting the award that the Bow was made with only cultured diamonds! Listen to hear Laura herself discuss this incident at length for the first time.
But certainly, it's not all doom and gloom. Laura only has optimism for where sustainable fine jewelry is headed. For the first time anywhere, Laura also discusses her earliest inspirations in loving jewelry, the most common reactions she got to only using cultured diamonds after launch and an exciting new way to grow diamonds that is like something out of a scifi movie!
On the subject of inspiration, we can't wait for you to hear about Laura's grandmother, Delia, who gave our founder her very first necklace as a young girl. Hear Laura tell us about how she was always so taken by Delia's style and grace, and how, as a woman making her own way through a difficult life, she was such a key figure in Laura's unyielding perseverance.
There's so much more from Laura in this podcast, we hope you'll listen, rate review and subscribe to be notified of future episodes coming your way!