Marzipan is a handmade jewellery collection that redefines a new style of jewellery. It is bold, edgy, and colorful and offers an eclectic mix of unconventional materials. From the traditional forms of semi-precious stone and beads, to re-cycled plastic crochet flowers, vintage porcelain, and hand rolled clay beads, ribbons, buttons and other unusual appliqué material. Each piece is created with love and a passion that is tangible and irresistible.
Marzipan was started by Karyn and Shelley Walters in 2002. With a combined background of fashion design, corporate sales and marketing, it was a perfect blend of skills and more importantly friendship.
Their vision was to create a range of affordable yet polished handmade jewellery that was neither full on Semi –precious but also not just cheap plastic costume. In 2002 the market had not been flooded with cheap fashion accessories and jewellery from China but it was about to. So there was a gap for handmade beaded jewellery and the type of product that they were designing. Marzipan started off with a bang. Their very first order was for a designer boutique that had stores country wide and they supplied them for two seasons. They were also one of the first jewellery brands to supply India Jane when the store first started up and it was a great platform of exposure. Buyers from overseas started to notice them and they began supplying a few international buyers which has now evolved to a steady export market to the US, Europe, Australia and Namibia
Marzipan has exhibited at IJL (International Jewellery London) Ambiente as well as Design Indaba. They have collaborated with Rosenwerth and Hip Hop for SA Fashion Week and stocks a few select upmarket boutique outlets in South Africa. They now have their own online store and ship worldwide.
Initially they sourced community projects to help with beading production but eventually they set up office in Simons Town and found the talented beader Miss Veronica Tom who has been with them since 2003.
They source beads and materials from all over the world and also locally. The semi-precious stones are all tumbled and drilled locally; they are not shipped to China for cutting and drilling like most semi-precious stones on the market which is an important aspect of their business. Local is Lekker! The semi-precious stones that they use are majorly sourced in Southern Africa. Agate (Botswana) Amethyst (Namibia and Zambia) Red and Yellow Jasper, Tigers Eye (South Africa) They also use handmade clay beads from Earth Butter Beads, an initiative started by Desiree Malan to uplift and create jobs and skills in her community. Each clay bead is hand rolled and therefore unique.
Marzipan is still a very small and personal business and in this is why they maintain a unique handmade edge to their products.