In an age where quantity so often wins out over quality, itâ€™s refreshing to slip an Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen â€śLotusâ€ť ring onto my finger. The sphere of polished red coral at its centre was picked by hand and the band itself moulded and etched by a single artisan. Although there are others similar, this ring â€“ in materials and markings â€“ is completely individual.
â€śNo two pieces are alike,â€ť says SĂ¸ren Lynggaard, the companyâ€™s CEO since 2003. â€śCraftsmanship is everything.â€ť
Established by Danish jeweller Ole Lynggaard in 1963, the company revolves around family. SĂ¸ren, Oleâ€™s son, began working for his father in a production role before moving to his current position; his wife Hanna works in sales; his sister Charlotte is one of the companyâ€™s two designers (the other being Ole himself); and Charlotteâ€™s husband Michel Normann is CCO. â€śOver the last 10 years, we have grown a lot. Thereâ€™s a belief in Danish companies,â€ť says SĂ¸ren, who has seen the brand branch out from Denmark to more than 20 countries, including New Zealand as well as Australia â€“ home to the companyâ€™s first flagship boutique outside Europe.
The CEOâ€™s enthusiasm for all things Antipodean â€“ SĂ¸ren took time out of school when he was 17 to work as a jackeroo on a farm outside Sydney â€“ has paid off and Ole Lynggaard pieces are fast becoming some of the most covetable jewellery items in Australia and New Zealand.Â
â€śOur design is still distinctly Danish,â€ť SĂ¸ren says. â€śOur designers are very inspired by nature, but the Danish comes in by way of making jewellery you can wear. Although itâ€™s a luxury piece, itâ€™s very usable. Itâ€™s not something you wear once then lock up in your safe.â€ť
The creative process at the Lynggaard headquarters in Copenhagen is still extremely hands-on and interactive. In fact, the companyâ€™s some-45 artisans sit in the middle of the building while other staff go about their daily duties. â€śWe believe itâ€™s important weâ€™re all in the same space. When you go into the company, you walk past production and see how much work goes into each piece. We have lunch together every day; one day you sit with finance, one day with jewellers. Everyone mixes and knows what is going on. Itâ€™s good to be reminded what goes into it. Itâ€™s very inspiring for staff.â€ť
While many other jewellery companies discontinue lines with the passing seasons, Ole Lynggaard is more about evolution and timelessness, SĂ¸ren says. â€śPeople want quality and they want things that represent something. And they come to us because they want something special.â€ť