Love from Holland
Hannelore, the Dutch founder and designer of Proud Pearls, has more than 25 years of experience in international fashion design. She has worked with many international clients including royals, famous artists and musicians. Hannelore’s inspiration is found in daily life as well as around the world. She travels the globe in search of new ideas, influences, materials and possibilities, always open to meet and work with inspiring people from different cultures.
Hannelore comes from a creative childhood, with both parents always creating and constructing. “My whole childhood was filled with paint, clay and drawing etc. I’m the youngest of three daughters. As my sisters are much older than me, I had to entertain myself a lot of the time. My parents used to have a boat and we spent every weekend and holiday on the water. You could always find me in the forecastle creating things, especially cardboard dress-up dolls which were my favourites. I would make boxes full of paper wardrobes and of course jewellery for all my paper dolls. As a teenager I designed and sewed fashion collections for my Barbie dolls.”
Hannelore tries to instill the same creativity in her own children. “I’m trying to give my children the same creative childhood but it is a challenge with all the technology that surrounds us. I find it important to be bored as a kid: from boredom the most beautiful things can be created (laughs) although my daughters would not agree! My youngest daughter is 12 and uses her Iphone to make very creative films and pictures, so you could say it is a combination of two worlds coming together. My eldest daughter is 16 and was very creative as a toddler but finds more interest in her social life nowadays, she helps me a lot with my social media. I really like the international reach of Instagram, I have met so many beautiful, strong and inspiring women worldwide!”
East meets West
After high school, Hannelore applied to art school and was admitted to the prestigious Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. She graduated as a fashion designer and went on to internships at several international fashion brands and designers. After one of her internships in Indonesia, Hannelore’s interest in Asia intensified. “I was very excited to have the opportunity to live in Asia 8 years ago, with my husband and my two young daughters. We have recently returned to the Netherlands but with a global network of friends and clients my world has become extended. I really advise everyone, if they have the opportunity, to live abroad for a while. Expand your horizon: live and eat local, meet local people, dive into other cultures: it really makes you a better and more humble person with an open mind.”
Proud Pearls is designed for women who generously welcome influences from around the world, and who passionately enjoy life with awareness of the world we live in. “A fair process is one of the most important parts of our brand.” Hannelore explains: “we always do research: we work with honest materials to make our own small contribution for a better world, our designs are timeless and contemporary. I would like to make a statement against mass-consumption; why do we need so many new clothes and jewellery? It is really shocking to see the giant clothing factories in the East, they are all so polluting for these fast consuming collections, collections who are replaced in very short periods. I’m hoping for a change of mind and I notice that there is a movement of intelligent and powerful women who make more considered choices.”
You will see both Eastern and Western influences have been creatively and lovingly combined to produce some amazing and unique pieces. The combination of various cultures is what makes Proud Pearls a surprisingly exotic brand: quality and creativity with no borders. Hannelore delights in working closely with the international Proud Pearls team to incorporate their exciting ideas for new collections and involve them in the entire process from design to creation. The unique items are a proud testament to the creativity, passion and craftsmanship of the entire Proud Pearls team.
“The quality of Proud Pearls jewellery is very high, all designs are handmade in our studio in the Netherlands, all pearls are carefully handpicked by us- only the highest quality are chosen for use in the beautiful designs. Each item of jewellery is carefully hand-made in our studio in the Netherlands. I’m very proud of our well trained, passionate and professional team. We enable you to wear pearls in a brave new way- be proud to wear pearls!”