The Insider SA meets Pichulik founder and creative director Kathryn-Mary Pichulik who creates incredible pieces out of everyday materials.

Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Founder, Co-CEO & Creative Director of Pichulik, establishing her brand of handcrafted pieces in 2012. She is inspired by a philosophy of transforming everyday materials into precious designs. 

What started out as a hobby, quickly had people requesting to buy her handmade pieces off her neck and soon after the business was formed. 

“Pichulik is inspired by ceremony and initiation. And tracking the connections across the continents that bring us together. What’s really interesting about jewellery is that it’s a relic of the trade routes. It speaks of women’s relationship to her community. It speaks of all the different initiations she has throughout her life into womanhood. And that’s a commonality that spans from South America to North Africa, the South Of Spain into Southern African and I love that connection. Gloria Steinem says, ‘we are not ranked we are linked’ and I think Jewellery is an incredible link for women internationally and globally,” says Katherine-Mary Pichulik

The materials used in the designs are all sourced from the continent. Their iconic ropes are made by local crafters and beautiful stones gathered across Africa. We visited their Cape Town studios where the pieces are finished off by a skilled team.

“Everything is so finite and small… Everything takes a lot of finesse, along with attention and intention, and incredible colour combinations. That’s one of the things that we as a brand are quiet proud of is that we have fantastic colour combinations, and there is a lot of refinement in the work that we do,” adds Katherine-Mary.

She believes greatly in the value of empowerment. She says it’s about encouraging self actualisation, and making others reach their full potential.

“The Pichulik woman is not a specific demographic but we like to say a women with a type of spirit. She is passionate about South Africa and Africa, she’s inquisitive and works on herself. She’s also kind, funny, daring and bold, and often trends a little bit older. That said, we’ve found that with new pieces in our Nascent collection, we’re seeing a younger, sassier audience.”

Pichulik’s Fall Winter collection Circe celebrates the heroic journey of Circe, one of ancient Greek mythology’s most notorious protagonists. Dismissed for being a woman, derided for her ordinariness, and vilified as a witch for her ability to harness the magic of plants, Circe’s story is one of awakening and discovery. 

“In this collection mythology and folklore are really central to the story. The materials are monolithic.  We’re working with things like obsidian, lava stone, so really kind of elemental and vesuvius – to really kind of speak to this powerful, female protagonist like Circe who was considered the original witch but that was in her framework of her being kind of a wild, powerful woman. But now we’re imagining her as a healer, a wisdom sharer, and a powerful heroine which any woman can relate to and see themselves in.”      

With jewellery being able to say so much about who we are, we love how Katherine-Mary Pichulik’s range helps express those individual ideas about style and culture to the world.