A love of drawing and passion for jewellery sowed the seeds of inspiration for Camilla Samuelsen and her Norwegian jewellery label Libelula
When inspiration strikes, Camilla Samuelsen gets out her sketchbook and translates the idea into a unique piece of jewellery. “Some take years and some are designed in an afternoon in the sun,” says Samuelsen, who founded Libelula Jewellery in Norway six years ago.
Since then she has built a dedicated client base, attracting customers from all over the world with handmade jewellery that draws on the places she goes and the people she meets. “I find inspiration in flowers, insects, architecture, beautiful women and colours all over the world,” she says.
Samuelsen is cautious about growing the business, preferring to prioritize a close connection with her customers. “Libelula is a small firm,” she says, “so I can get to know my clients on a more personal level and create jewellery that matches their personality.” Each stone is carefully sourced and then sent to goldsmiths in Spain, who handcraft the piece over a period of around six weeks. Once completed, the item is either delivered by Samuelsen in person or couriered to overseas clients.
Samuelsen, whose love of drawing and design dates back to her childhood, has gained a reputation as one of Norway’s most talented jewellery designers. Her success quickly became apparent as boutiques in Paris, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo started to stock her collections. “The turning point was when women other than my friends started to buy my jewellery,” says Samuelsen, who gave up a career in finance to build her brand. “I realized this was a passion that I could actually make a living from.”
Recently, she has started collaborating with select partners, such as for her latest collection, which was custom made for the luxurious Hotel de Crillon in Paris. The designs, made in 18-carat gold with colourful gemstones, include a charm bracelet that represents the city and five cocktail rings inspired by different aspects of the hotel, such as the Les Ambassadeurs bar and the Marie-Antoinette suite.
The style varies from client to client but Libelula has a strong brand DNA. “I’m not afraid to use big stones in special pieces,” says Samuelsen, “but the everyday collection is Scandi chic.”
Looking ahead, Samuelsen says, she’s keen to create more one-off pieces for special clients who fall in love with her designs. Fresh inspiration awaits.