My love and respect for jewellery stems from it’s power to hold memories and stories.  As I look through my own jewellery box I’m reminded of bartering bantering in broken French in the souks of  Marrakech, nights dancing until dawn and beyond and cherished loved ones and the treasures they have passed on to me.

In a new and exciting feature on the blog, I am going to be delving through the jewellery boxes of some of my style crushes and discovering the stories and memories their jewellery holds for them.

First to sit down with me is Kiran Yoliswa co-founder of ‘Styled by Africa’  a e-boutique and online  portal to the enriched, vibrant and unique world of contemporary African Fashion.


In true Magpie on the Run fashion,Yoliswa is a woman whose jewellery collection is a bejewelled homage to all the amazing countries she has visited both on holidays and in the name of SBA.

Magpie on the Run (M.O.T.R.):  How would you describe your style?

Kiran (K): My style very much  depends on my mood , one thing that is constant is that my look will always be colourful.

& let the record state that today is indeed a colourful day as Kiran sits opposite me in a fierce not so mellow yellow blazer. 

M.O.T.R: Is that the Savannah Chic horn pendant I spy you wearing?  [Savannah Chic are a  Kenyan ethical jewellery label] 

Kiran: Yeah,  I love it. It breaks stereotypes of what is typically deemed “African Jewellery” it reflects the minimalistic contemporary side of African jewellery that people are not familiar with.


Savannah Chic Horn Pendant

It’s always the piece I put on when  I didn’t intend on wearing any jewellery that day.

 M.O.T.R:   Would you say it’s your every day piece?

K: It’s a great wearable every day piece. But,  I suppose my actual  every day piece would be this bangle given to me my Grandma.  I’ve had it since I was little and now I literally can’t take it off.    It reminds me of my rebellious spirit.   Several times this piece landed me in detention at school

duo 2 .jpg - Version 3 where we were banned from wearing jewellery.  My proclaims that I actually could not take it off were meet with the order to it have it cut off. I became really good at hiding it, especially in the summer time.

 M.O.T.R:  Ha! I’m all for a jewellery rebellion!  Are their any other family oriented pieces amongst the collection you brought with you today?

duo 2 .jpg - Version 2

 K: These earrings are from India, in the region my mum originates from are streets lined with artisans selling filigree pieces.  Every woman in the family has a piece similar to these earring in their jewellery box.

 M.O.T.R:  You’ve got to love a heritage piece, the women in my family are all about the beads, layers and layers of beads.  It’s probably were I get my more is more motto from!    Tell me about this amazing beaded collar necklace.

nebdeleK: This necklace is from  Zimbabwe, the patterns are indicative of the Ndebele  tribe who settled in Zimbabwe  and South Africa. You see the patterns in lots of different colour ways in jewellery but traditionally it is also used to decorate houses within the community.  I wear it when I want to make  a casual statement,  it looks great paired with a buttoned up white shirt, or a simple tee.

M.O.T.R: You always rock a necklace well. 

K: Yeah necklaces are my thing at the moment, when I was younger I was all about the earrings.  My mum is a big earring person so I used to “borrow” a lot of her pieces.  But now I feel necklaces are easier to wear and work wether your in a corporate office environment or wearing a statement piece on a night out. This Giles & Brother necklace is another piece I wear a lot.  It was a birthday present from a friend last year and it is the first piece that really took me away from high street jewellery.  With my clothes my style philosophy has been buy less but buy better and now I’m applying that to jewellery too.

M.O.T.R:  YES another convert.  I’m all about tuning away from high street jewellery and buying handmade pieces from independent designers or boutiques.  The quality is better, the designs are unique and they are pieces you can wear time and time again and then pass down to others to wear and enjoy. 


Now you are straying away from the high-street were do you buy your jewellery from? 

K: There is great boutique in BrixtonVillage that Alae [Kiran’s partner in S.B.A.) and I discovered called ‘Rachel and Malika’; they stock bespoke pieces from across the world. 

And what about international jewellery hotspots, where has been your favourite shopping destination? 

K: mmm,  South Africa is such a great one stop destination, you can get a great range of pieces there, especially from African designers across the entire continent.  In Cape Town, The Old Biscuit Mill in the Woodstock area is a must visit spot.


The Biscuit Mill is going down on my Jewel Hunting list and until I make it there  I shall continue to live vicariously through your S.B.A. adventures as your travel through Africa.   Kiran thank you so much for sharing your jewels and stories with me . 

sign off vertwo



Did you guys enjoy the new feature?  Whose jewellery box would you love to look through?

Images: Magpie on the Run & Styled by Africa