WATCH | How this jewellery designer’s atelier is creating a legacy of independent heroines

While the fashion industry is known to rely on women’s insecurities for sales, one designer is instead inspired by feminine boldness and bravery.

Katherine-Mary Pichulik has created a distinctive form of handcrafted jewellery that is symbolic of women’s upliftment. In 2013, she launched PICHULIK in Cape Town.

Her pieces, imbued with African and ancient cultural influences, are made with the belief that women can be their own heroines and set the tone for those to follow.

According to Pichulik, jewellery is one of the earliest forms of female empowerment. She primarily uses simple materials such as rope, decorating it with gemstones, beads, shells, and coral.

With attentive craftsmanship, Pichulik’s designs evoke the innate strength, grace and wisdom of women.

“I come from a lineage of incredibly strong women,” she says. “I’ve been taught to know that as a woman, I can create and do what I want.”

Pichulik didn’t want to contribute an additional jewellery brand to the market, but rather one that advances the development of women in Africa.

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She works with an all-female team from different backgrounds and collaborates with other women-owned businesses to achieve collective empowerment.

“Design can go so much further than just being a piece of art,” Pichulik says. “It can make a significant contribution to where we live and those we live with.”

With designs that honour women, Pichulik is using her craft to elevate the feminine narrative and bridge gender gaps.

“Whether you’re wearing it or making it, we hope that PICHULIK makes you feel better, stronger, and gives you agency,” she says.

Footage and photos by Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Tami Kolbe, and The Insider SA were used in the creation of this film.