New York-based, Taiwanese independent jewelry artist Anna Hu is leading the way in nature-inspired looks that speak of the preciousness of gemstones from the depths of the earth.
How do you approach the idea of preciousness in your profession?
In my eyes, everything that comes in pure forms without any additional unnecessary decoration is precious. It could be a beautiful fancy vivid pink diamond or a piece of dazzling jewelry created with authenticity. When it comes to defining things that are precious to oneself, it all comes down to personal experiences: whether it brings you joy and happiness, whether it adds more value to your life or whether it is just inseparable to you. Of course, I also see everything that comes from Mother Earth as precious, and that’s why I feel so lucky and grateful to have a career surrounded by natural gemstones, the most beautiful treasures in the world. Especially during changing times like now, I dedicate myself to more projects that give back to the whole society and Mother Earth. For example, I worked with Alrosa in July 2020 on a charity project to raise funds for COVID-19 frontline health workers. I created three unique jewelry pieces that feature a heart, a symbol of love and care, to be auctioned by Christie’s online globally. Proceeds from the auction of the jewelry set were directed to charity through the industry-based Diamond Empowerment Fund, known for implementing Diamonds Do Good social programs, to help doctors and volunteers who continue to work at the center of the virus threat. I was also involved in Prince Albert of Monaco’s Monte Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean with my Leaping Koi brooch-necklace in aquamarine to raise funds and awareness of preserving all endangered lives in the ocean. Coming from a jewelry family and having my father as a diamond supplier, I have always found hope and brilliance when I see natural gemstones.
What is precious to you, and why is it important?
It’s definitely my family, especially my children – they are the most precious to me. I have to admit that it is not easy to run a successful business and look after a family at the same time as a female entrepreneur. Sometimes I need to stay up all night in order to see through a deal or talk to a client who’s in the complete opposite time zone from me, and early in the morning, after a whole night of being awake, I still need to make breakfast for my teenage children who do not get to see me too often due to my hectic travel schedule. It’s tiring to be a supermom and a career woman at the same time, but when I see the satisfying smiles on my children’s faces when they have that first bite of food that I make, all the exhaustion and frustration from balancing between being a female boss and a mom suddenly vanish. They are my joy and my everything. I feel very blessed to be their mom. They’re the reason I am still standing today after all the challenges I have faced during my journey of creating my own jewelry empire.
What is your relationship with nature, and how is this reflected in your jewelry creations?
I always see nature as an important source of inspiration for my jewelry creation. Whenever I surround myself with nature, I feel so calm and peaceful – it gives me the energy to reboot and to unwind from all the hustle and bustle I face in my everyday life, and I’d like to share this peace of mind through my jewelry creations. That’s why I use a lot of gifts from nature – flower or animal forms, an ocean theme, natural gemstones, etc. – in my jewelry creation. For example, my Ballerina Fairy collection is a combination of my passion for classical ballet and my love of flowers, which are carefully shaped to fit the posture of each Ballerina Fairy brooch, sophisticatedly designed as a couture dress. My Butterfly collection, on the other hand, is not only a perfect example of my close observation of nature in every form, but also shows my deep connection to butterflies, which are my favorite natural creature, as reflected in my last name in Chinese.