Animals, in a nutshell. I think that compassion and respect for them is an absolute must, not just for their sake but for the sake of humanity: when you feel positively towards animals, when you get to know what they are like, how they live and who they are, then you have a connection to a world that is genuinely meaningful and almost always full of incredible joy, inspiration and companionship.And it is a place to which you can escape the often hard world of humankind.
About my partnership with Animals Asia
But..nothing beats a personal recommendation. So when my friend Liz, who is a television wildlife presenter, described the charity ANIMALS ASIA as amazing, and its 1998 founder, Jill Robinson as formidable, I knew that I'd found what I was looking for.
Jill Robinson of Animals Asia is my kind of woman. She has been awarded an OBE for her work with animals, especially Moon Bears, thousands of whom are treated appallingly — in the name of traditional medicine — in bile battery farms in China and Vietnam.
For a long time I had been wanting to make my small business into more than a job that pays my way and it wasn't until recently that I worked out how to do it and what movement I wanted to support. When I discussed this with my friend Brian Finnegan of GCN he clarified that what I wanted was for Saba Jewellery to become an activist brand.
There are so many charities I have huge respect for. But I've always had a thing for bears. I've never seen one in real life — but they have some strange hold on my heart. Not in the same way that my own pet animals do, but in a more awe-inspiring way: their connection to the earth, their wildness, their power, their freedom. And in spite of the obvious differences between animals and humans, there is so much that we have in common: a sense of joy, fun, loyalty, community, love, pain, fear.
I feel powerless and a sense of despair when I think of the needless suffering of Moon Bears, some of whom are in bile farms for as long as 30 years. So I decided that I would see what I could do, through my one-woman business, to raise awareness, do some fundraising and to try and make a difference.
The result is my handmade, sterling silver and 18ct gold Soul Friends Collection.
Soul Friends was launched in the summer of 2018 and I donated 20% of my direct sales for the month of June to Animals Asia - I'll be continuing my awareness and fund raising endeavours so keep an eye on the website for events, competitions and that sort of thing).
Please visit https://www.animalsasia.org/ to find out more about the incredible work they do.
I am also inspired by colour, working with my hands, making stuff, reading, meeting friends, going to book festivals and art galleries, hanging around with my family, walking my dogs, feeding my chickens and travelling when I get the chance.
I used to work as a strategic marketing consultant for a Fortune 500 company, then I worked in animation for several years (I worked on the BAFTA award winning Sir Gawain and The Green Knight as well as the series of Give Up Yer Auld Sins). When I moved back to Ireland from the USA I took a jewellery making night course at the National College of Art and Design and it set my heart on fire: an ordinary person could make something beautiful. While I enjoyed my previous careers, becoming my own boss and getting to work in craft was what I really wanted and I founded Saba Jewellery in 2003.
My designs are meant to be statement pieces: the kind of jewellery we wear is a very personal and private choice but once we put it on and go out there it says a lot about who we are. It starts conversations, it is meaningful, it is timeless and an heirloom to be passed down.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions and thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoy browsing my website.
Ph: +353 83 1233 158