Franki & Felix is a company that is trend-focused and future driven in it's approach to jewellery design and style. We design and handmake, stunning gold-plated and sterling silver 925 rings, pendants, bangles, cuffs, earrings, pendants and chains, for both men and women that are crafted using Balinese ancient silversmithing and lost wax and cast techniques.
Our unique designs use luxurious, naturally white Keshi and seed pearls, from family-owned pearl farms in the North of Bali and from Lombok, hand-picked by the Bali studio family, to match the unique settings. The sparkly gemstones, are from Jaipur, India and jaspers are from Indonesia, forging the hand-crafted elegance, that has become synonymous with the brand.
Vanessa (Franki to her friends) is the CEO and founder of Franki & Felix Jewellery. She grew up surrounded by art, thanks to her parents antiques businesses that spanned the globe from Canada to the UK, they helped to develop her entrepreneurial spirit for travel, appreciate all aspects of design which in turn helped to forge her very creative and diverse careers.
After graduating from Art School in Cheltenham and then a degree in Fashion, Business & Marketing at the University in East London, Vanessa started a jewellery business with a fellow allumni at The Camden Markets in London. In 1995 she went travelling to Japan for inspiration, took a detour to Australia and fell in love with the sun. In Sydney, at the time, the fashion market was slow and developing, but the web market was much faster, so she retrained in graphics and opened an ad agency right in the heart of the city.
In 2009 there was a dip in the economy after the fall out of the US sub prime disaster, so she took time out to think about her future and headed for the shores of Bali for a holiday. That started another creative journey, when she stopped, looked around and put down her bags to call it home for a decade to come. Learning about a very unique culture, learning a language and learning how to develop a business in a third world country was the starting block for the first few years and difficult at that. In that few years of learning, came the opportunity to become a buyer for an offshore hotel chain, to be their purchasing agent on the island. That allowed her to span the island looking for design and finding unique makers in the field of interiors.
In 2013, she saw the need for a community circle, to support others in her shoes that were finding difficulty in culture asimilation. The Sanur Springboard was born. It grew to accommodate and facilitate speakers from all over the island to come and discuss everything from recycling and trash collection, to creating live music and food festivals and art installations for the local communities.
Sanur Jewellery Studio:
In 2014, at one of these community meetings, she met a like-minded spirit, who was a jewellery designer and maker. They talked about their aspirations and what it would be like to build a school to teach people coming to the island, how to make a simple piece of jewellery as a reminder of their trip. It was then that The Sanur Jewellery Studio was born. They combined it with their own modern take on design styles and facilitated it in a stunning tropical setting, providing half day, full and week long classes, for aspiring creatives.
Humble Beginnings - Sanur Jewellery Studio 2014
By 2018, with several accolades under their belt from Trip Advisor and Indonesian Expat and the Yak Magazine (Seminyak) as well as press newsagency NineMsn Travel and KLM Airlines, who called it "The best thing to do on holiday in Bali," they started to consider building a bigger workshop, studio and selling space. The idea was to take the very best of the students and showcase their work, offering them a chance to sell their designs to other visitors.
Award Winning - Aussie girls on a silver course at the school
Bali Women in Business Group:
In the same year, Vanessa wanted to start something for local Balinese women, who wanted to run their own businesses on the island but didn't know what or where the resources were available. That inspired the birth of The Bali Women in Business Group. She and two others, trained local women on free Google products and simple web design and implementation, got speakers in to talk about how to manage skills, time and staffing as well as enabling introductions to angel investors to help get their businesses off the ground. With just a few members in early 2018, it grew to 800 members by the end of the year and a regular turn out of 200 members to member meetings each month.
In late 2018, her partner stepped out of the jewellery school business to move back to her home town in Europe, while things started to hot up on the island, with inquiries from the big brand 'Chanel,' in Hong Kong, to do private classes ....and then the dream meeting with a global partner, to start building the dream charm workshop journey. This would enable her to combine her love of people, jewellery making and teaching in a fun learning capacity, on a bigger scale.
The OG School Dream Team
Turquoise Dragonfly - 1 day workshop
Lotus & moonstone ring - 1/2 day workshop
The Beginning of FRANKI The Brand:
In November 2019, Vanessa did a shoot for her own premier collection 'Labyrinth,' hoping to market her line of ocean-inspired jewellery, in her new shop she was building alongside the studio. Here she would create a journey from the studio, through to the workshop so you could see the making processes of her designs, landing in the store and then a private lunch. It was the stepping stone to the Charm Journey that was developing slowly.
But life was about to change forever.
At the beginning of March 2020, with family worried about the state of the world, she made a trip to UK, hoping to combine her stay with a sales trip to London to find stockists, but the scale of Covid-19 had other plans.
Photographing on site
Bali Door Closes....Another Opens:
Locked out of Bali, with only a suitcase of summer clothes and living in a tiny room in her family home, it was hard to see the future. Her close friends in Bali and Australia, kept her going with meditation sessions and zoom calls for support. By November 2020 it looked like it might last longer and so her staff boarded up the school in Bali, adopted out her dogs and re-rented out the house while she continued to find places that would sell her jewellery designs as well as developing the online retail business in the UK.
Goal Setting and Reaching:
With the help from friends and family, and from the Kickstarter platform, she got the funding it needed and she started the push and in July 2022, her unique coral pattern Labyrinth Cuff Bracelet design, won Top 100 Global Designer Award with the Etsy platform.
Today, 'Franki + Felix' is bright and vibrant with big plans for it's future with her staff on the island in jobs, supporting their families and continuing the success of the brand in tandem. British and Balinese women are now firmly at the helm, steering it in the right direction as it grows, from it's making roots founded in Bali, to it's retail future brought to the UK.
Franki & Felix is starting to make waves.
We are eternally grateful that the power to prevail keeps us moving, evolving and inspiring. We are a testament to shouldering the tough times, but being open to change. We hope you love our jewellery designs and we look forward to sharing more with you.
Now go shopping!