It is really the small things that make a difference and Patrick Mavros, a Nairobi jeweller with Royal Family following, has mastered the art of intricacy. His lion, warthog and fiddling monkey cufflinks, crocodile studs to elephant pendants among others have become statement pieces globally.
Patience, good listener and talent are some of the traits Patrick is said to have; all which go into the pieces he moulds from the smallest jewellery to live-sized home accessories.
Tanya Carr-Hartley and Lucy Freemantle, the managers of Patrick Mavros Kenya store, said the appetite for jewellery among Kenyans is big with their top-selling female jewellery items being the zozo silver necklace, ndoro stud and dangle earrings, sea urchin pendant with blue topaz stone, star fish earring and ndoro running necklace.
The walking lion, hippo, elephant and sea urchins cufflinks are the best sellers among men customers.
As demand grows, Patrick yesterday launched a new collection with stones and embedded pearls in the designs. They have also extended the cufflink collections which is their best seller to include a variation of the walking lion.
A number of celebrities and business people adorn Patrick Mavros pieces including the Queen of England who has shopped at his London store thrice and President Uhuru Kenyatta who owns part of his cufflink collection, which was gifted to him.
Kate Middleton has also been spotted wearing the ndoro dangle earrings and the crocodile stud earrings and her son Prince George was gifted a sterling silver animal figurine.
The firm’s miniatures also decorate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s apartment in Kensington Palace, UK.
Patrick’s pieces are priced depending on the amount of silver used in making them, the design and they range from Sh9,500.
The Mavros jewellery business which started with Patrick carving his wife Catja a pair of stud earrings from brass has grown to include his four sons who run the London, Nairobi, Mauritius, Zimbabwe stores and also come up with designs.
Catja also designs special custom made jewellery pieces for her family. She made a jewellery set for her son’s wedding and another piece after her first grandchild was born.
All the designs are inspired by animals. The Zozo collection, for instance, is named after a baby elephant which the family helped pull out of the mud after getting stuck back in their farm in Zimbabwe.
The collection was the first collaboration that Patrick designed together and his four sons. Another signature piece is the elephant hair bangle which is a chunky piece for both men and women.
The stores also have 18-carat gold jewellery as one piece or small additions of gold onto the silver pieces.
Customers can also ask for custom jewellery with addition of a special stone from the store’s collection of gemstones or have the jewellery engraved or inscribed by Patrick himself.
“We get about five orders of inscribe messages every week from clients, however if the client needs a custom made piece moulded for them, this might take a few weeks to do,” said Lucy.
A vibrant new generation is forging a spirit of rare and relaxed opulence and the growing trend is custom-made.
However, it’s one thing to own intricately designed jewellery but it is another to own a masterpiece. More Kenyans are now aware of the stares and social status that comes with wearing an exquisite piece.
Ragini Patel of Maru Craft said no one wants to spot a cheap jewellery be it a bracelet or neckpiece while in social circles, therefore investing in a good piece of jewellery is imperative.
Ragini said most customers come in with various requests from magazines pictures to their own designs and have them made at the store with additions of tanzanite, ruby, sapphire, sapporite, yellow topaz or crystals.