Line Jacobsen was working as a lawyer when realising she wanted to ignite her inner creativity. In 2015 she embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Sri-Lanka where her life changed forever. She quit her job and Anpé Atelier Cph was set up shortly after. Since, the jewellery line has been featured in both British Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Smart Girl Tribe: What was the catalyst for becoming a female founder?
Line: It wasn’t on the cards that I would end up as a jewellery designer and founder of my own company. I have a Master’s degree in law, was admitted to the bar and worked for over 7 years. But I was missing something – there was always a creative nerve and spark that couldn’t be invoked working as a lawyer. It was never completely wrong, but never completely right either. Something “more” was missing – something creative, something colorful.
The idea of a new jewellery brand took its first steps after a trip to Sri Lanka in 2015, where I really and truly fell in love with its colourful take on life. I became familiar with one of Sri Lanka’s colourful sapphires, and I met a man who was working in gem-trade.
The meeting with the Srilankan man became as important as my trip to Sri Lanka. We now share a life together – both professionally and privately.
Sri Lanka had such a big impact on me and gave me countless of inspirational thoughts that I couldn’t really let go. Suddenly I was no longer in any doubt about what I should do, and in which direction I should go. I love and admire Scandinavian design, and I wanted to fuse the colourful and magical East with the minimalistic North.
S: Who has had the greatest influence on your work?
L: To be honest, all the women in my life have had an influence on my work in some way – that’s also why all the pieces in the Scandinavian Simplicity Collection are named after the important women in my life.
S: How did you fund the business at the start and how did you secure customers in the beginning?
L: I was saving for quite some time before quitting my job as a lawyer, so I had enough money to raise the capital for the company. I was fortunate enough to have friends and family who trusted my work from the beginning. They ordered my designs and helped me spread the word about the brand. Pretty fast people from outside my network started to buy as well, and a lot of people have trusted me with orders from the collections and bespoke pieces. I honestly feel that my customers have trusted my work from the beginning – that means the world to me. Also the fact that I have been featured in both British VOGUE and Vanity Fair has given me somewhat public approval.
S: Tell us your career path so far?
L: I studied law from 2005 to 2011, where I got my Master’s degree. I was working at a law firm as a junior associate from 2011 to 2014, where I was admitted to the bar and moved to Copenhagen to continue practicing law.
In 2015 I travelled to Sri Lanka for 3 weeks, and slowly the idea of a new jewellery brand took form. I was sketching and working on designs in my spare time for more than 2 years before launching the brand In January 2018. In May 2018 I quit my job as a lawyer to dedicate myself full time to Anpé Atelier Cph. And I have never looked back.
S: What is a habit that contributes most to your success?
L: I’ve always been nuts about Instagram. It is now a big part of my brand. It’s a creative way of expressing what Anpé Atelier is all about, how I work, the different stages a design goes through – it’s a way of letting my followers and customers into my world, and it’s a great opportunity to get to know my customers and interact with them.
S: What is the actual process of making jewellery?
L: The process is not the same every time. It depends on whether it’s a collection-piece, a one-off piece or a bespoke piece. But in general I always get a lot of ideas when travelling to colourful places, hence why I always bring my sketch-book. Ideas can pop up waiting for the bus or seated at a social event.
When creating a one off piece, I usually already have the gemstone, and draw around this particular piece – creating a design that’s wrapped around that particular stone. For bespoke pieces the designs are created in collaboration with the customer, who also picks the stones for the design.
“I wanted to fuse the colourful and magical East with the minimalistic North.”
I sketch all my designs by hand – pen and paper. If the stones are not picked already before sketching, then the next step is picking the right stone, cut and colour for the designs. It’s always an amazing process, and it continues to amaze me, how nature can create such beauty.
Then the jewellery making begins. All my pieces are made by hand, and only in 14kt. and 18kt. gold. I thrive on perfection, and only the best is good enough.
We don’t have a large pile of jewellery lying in the showroom. The jewellery pieces are either unique or made per order – meaning that every piece of jewellery is made for that specific customer – and customers can order all designs in exactly the colours and materials they wish for. In this way overproduction and waste is avoided – and each jewellery piece is exactly as the customer dreams of.
S: Best career advice you would tell others?
L: It’s a cliché, really, but go with your gut. Follow your heart and use your head. Almost everything is possible, if you really really really want it.
S: What is the challenge you face most regularly?
L: Accepting that I also need to rest and do something else rather than working.
S: The hardest part of your journey so far?
L: I don’t feel like there have been “hard” parts. There are very very long days and nights at work, but at the end of the day I would never do it differently.
S: What are three traits every self-starter needs?
L: Self-belief, courage and passion.
S: Your story is so inspiring, what’s next for Anpé Atelier Cph?
L: This weekend I’m launching two new jewellery series. A rainbow series, called Josephine, and a series of very light and colourful rings called Sarah Lil.
My distinct vision is to make the Scandinavian fine jewellery scene more colourful and playful – gems are so much more than diamonds, and by focusing on colored gemstones my mission is to show women how to easily add a pop of colour to their wardrobe.
S: What would you tell your younger self?
L: Stop doubting yourself, don’t worry so much, keep laughing.
S: Three tips for Scandinavian dressing?/accessorising?
L: Go for minimalistic frames, easy styling, clean and light colours and keeping it simple (but not boring). Pay attention to the small details. Mix feminine with masculine and go for a comfy look – and of course, don’t try too hard.
Fashion – As a freelancer what does your everyday outfit look like? It depends on the day, mood and weather. But it’s always colorful. You hardly ever see me in black.
Books – One entrepreneurial book you would recommend? The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
Three Scandinavian brands we should know about? Stine Goya, Helmstedt and Baum und Pherdgarten.
Travelling – When working is there a particular beauty product that you swear by? Thermal Spring Water Spray from Avéne.
You can keep up with Anpé Atelier Cph over on Instagram.
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