“Chris Winspear, the man behind Chris Winspear Design Jewellers is a well-known name in the South African jewelry industry. He has been creating beautiful, breath-taking designer jewellery for twelve years and there is a growing international demand for his unique pieces. With local roots in South Africa and international experience in both Sicily and Australia, Winspear has utilized his tri-continental influences to create the perfect blend of stunning aesthetics, creativity and charm.
Winspear began his career in Australia in 1998, working with a successful Goldsmith in Sydney. As the saying goes, “home is where the heart is,” so Winspear eventually returned home to study at Wits Tech University to further his expertise in the design field. In 2005, he graduated with a diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacture. While enrolled at his University in 2004, he won the Jewelex Jewellery Design Competition for best design and has continued to be on the top of the South African Jewelry Industry since then.”
Ladybrille sat down with the Chris Winspear to discuss about his work, his passions and everything in general. Enjoy!
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Describe your career. What exactly do you do?
Chris W.: I specialize in the design and manufacture of custom-made jewellery. Designing elegant jewellery and creating custom-designed pieces is my biggest passion. From engagement and wedding rings, to cufflinks and pendants, to corporate logos and trophies – the clients are my source of inspiration. It is always interesting to see what design elements speak to each individual. Therefore, close relationships to my customers are very important for my work. With regards to designing for a target market, as opposed to an individual, it is really important to understand what they wear, what their personal taste is, and their lifestyle. Once you have done this, you can then identify the design elements which will truly speak to them.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Very insightful) So how did you end up in your chosen field?
Chris W.: I immigrated to Australia with my family in 1997, when I arrived I had the choice between learning a foreign language and studying jewellery design. As my talent for languages doesn’t really go further than “Si” and “Schnitzel,” I decided to go for jewellery. And it was definitely the right decision. I loved it from the first lesson on and developed a passion for designing my own pieces.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you balance the demands of your career with the demands in your personal life?
Chris W.: You need to realize that work is very important, but time out and time spent with family and friends is just as important. If you keep that in mind then you can maintain that important balance.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Quite true, it’s all about finding balance) What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced in getting to where you are?
Chris W.: I find that creating brand awareness is the most difficult challenge. It’s always a time-consuming endeavor and it takes a long time to see any benefits from it. It also sometimes seems like a waste of time at that moment, but persistence is key and eventually things start to snowball.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you define success?
Chris W.: On a day to day basis I define success by the look on the clients face when they see the finished product for the first time. Yes you could describe success as being world famous and living the lifestyle of a rockstar but in reality these day to day success stories with each client is what builds a foundation to that in the long run. There is no better form of marketing than referral marketing and this is by doing all you can to ensure each and every client leaves happy.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What is the one thing you wish most people knew about you?
Chris W.: Quality is a term that is so often used and so rarely applied, and it is something that I always strive for with great sincerity.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Share with us your memory of the happiest moment in your life?
Chris W.: The awesome relief when my girlfriend (at that time) said yes to my proposal. Very sentimental I know 😉
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Awww, that’s really sweet) What keeps you awake at night?
Chris W.: Not much to be honest, I’m a pretty deep sleeper. Only when I have last minute urgent jobs on the go, do I sometimes think about it at night.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What drives you?
Chris W.: Passion, commitment and ambition.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What makes you get up everyday to do what you do all over again?
Chris W.: The awesome part of what we do, is that every day is different. Sure, the context can be similar from day to day but from client to client people have such drastic differences in taste that each one has to be approached in a unique manner.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What are the daily principles you live by?
Chris W.: When in jewellery, your reputation is incredibly important so you need to stick to your morals and principles. Basically treat those around you the same way that you would like to be treated yourself. Your word is your bond and if you commit to something you must ensure that you stick to it.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (I agree with you Chris, reputation is everything). You have already talked about clients being your inspiration, what else inspires you?
Chris W.: Life, and all the crazy and wonderful people in it! I also strive for quality and innovation in what I do.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered most for? Chris W.: Being a genuine and sincere person, who always strived for total perfection.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Chris W.: “Commit!” A friend said that to me when I was stuck on a cliff face in France, and was hesitant about making a jump that if I missed I would have hurt myself. Basically this translates very well into life – whether it’s the right or wrong decision at the end of it, sometimes you need to take risks to progress it’s better than not making any decision at all.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What do you do to relax and reward yourself for all of your hard work?
Chris W.: I do enjoy my adrenalin sports whether it be jumping off a building, skydiving or riding a motorbike.
To view Chris Winspear’s website, click here.
“Ladybrille® 15 Questions With . . .” is a feature on Ladybrille® Magazine that salutes some of the most important names in the fashion and entertainment industries around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Africa. Our goal is to inspire you (our reader) with the interviews of these brilliant men and women that make the world go round. If you know of a name worth celebrating or you are such person and would like to be featured, please send an email to ([email protected]).
~Copyright 2012 Ladybrille Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Elfonnie Inokon Anusionwu is a Ladybrille Woman Alumna. She is also an engineer and fashion entrepreneur. Elfonnie cites her passion for Africa and particularly her country Nigeria as the basis for why she writes. She believes that it is only through journalism that Africans can change the world’s perspective about who they really are. Follow Elfonnie on twitter at @elfonnie.