Many remain shackled by many of society’s pressures, paralysed in their decisions of ‘practical’ and ‘realistic’ careers, unable to depict what exactly these ‘dreams’ are that are so often mentioned, let alone how to harness or follow them. Few take the risk to find out, held back by a sense of obligation or responsibility.
Coco’s Liberty is a jewellery brand created by Elina Berget in a pursuit to break free of the world of corporate law in Germany and instead make a childhood hobby into a career, sharing her skills and designing with everyone in mind. Reigning true to the name, Elina says it has been a liberation, having begun a career in law with the ambition to specialise in Human Rights Law, Elina had found herself sinking further and further into the realm of Corporate law instead, “It was not a nice environment, I found as a woman I had to work twice as hard, I didn’t like it.” She continues, “But then, I thought I knew what hard work was as a lawyer but as I’ve built this brand over the last three years, I have never worked so hard in my life.”
Becoming an entrepreneur has redefined the concept of hard work completely for Elina, the beauty of it is, the indistinction between Elina’s life and her work. She has a real sense of accomplishment from pursuing her childhood hobby and seeing her brand grow from strength to strength. “I started making jewellery when I was five with the gold left over from my dad’s dentistry business. For the first few years he would melt it down into gold sheets and show me how to bold it into basic rings.” She’s continued to develop these basic skills learnt as a child through classes and workshops and further study, experimenting and innovating along the way, to establish her own style.
I begin to explore Elina’s current design process with her, her tools are spread out on display across her work bench, she shows me how each one plays a vital part in the making of her collection, each piece is handcrafted by Elina herself. She laughs when I ask her what has inspired some of her more recent collections as she admits that her initial ideas stem from an array of items found in her everyday, ranging from toothpicks, to drills or to weapons featured in television programs. “Everywhere I go I carry my sketchbooks, you never know where you might find your inspiration. Beginning with a source of inspiration, I begin to sketch an initial idea of a collection. I contemplate what pieces would compliment one another and begin to start making the samples.”
It’s clear that harsh, industrial shapes and textures seem to resonate with Elina, perhaps a hint at the power and control she now has over her life and the process of carving out her new career. Elina shares her ideas for her upcoming collection, it has become a poignant point of reflection as she’s reviews each one of her previous ranges, considering her customer’s feedback, she assures us it will feel like her old pieces but she’s beginning to explore a new turn.
Words by April Edgar
Images by Paolo Steve