fashion magazine
Gobert - Joy and Celebration
by MARILYN R. WILSON
Photography by HARRY LEONARD @ LEONARD IMAGERY www.leonardimagery.com
For jewellery designer Valerie Gobert, the process of inspiration and creation is, "A love story...A true act of Joy and Celebration." It is a passion that has lasted for 15 years and one that meshes easily with another love - travelling. There are spiritual and life messages to be found as well as an eclectic mix of old and new, local and international. Diverse elements elegantly combine into a single expression. This is a line for women who are mature, independent and unique in their own right - designed to enhance their natural beauty.

Gobert was born and raised in France. Childhood saw her focused more on socializing than the arts. After high school, the business world beckoned and it was full steam ahead. Success came easily, but there came a growing need for more creativity that finally burst to the surface in her late 20's. "I woke up one morning and said this is not my life. I want to begin my spiritual journey. I decided to sell everything and go travelling." It took a year to wind things up and then it was off to Mexico with only a backpack of belongings. She didn't know a single word of Spanish.

For seven years Gobert travelled and worked her way through Mexico and Guatemala. Stepping away from the fast pace of modern life provided an opportunity to discover the joy artistic expression could bring. Exposure to local artists helped foster a unique world perspective that would one day become a trademark in her designs. It all began with a pair of sandals. She remembers, "I had very little room in my backpack and wanted to have just one pair of comfortable, sexy, original shoes. I designed a pair of sandals and created a small piece of jewellery to decorate them." A local shoe maker brought the design to life and she began selling them on the beach. Creating necklaces evolved next and that naturally led to a wide range of jewellery. At the time the only goal was an income.

It was love that drew Gobert to Vancouver in 2004, but travelling has continued play a big role in her life. These trips immerse the designer in other inspiring cultures, allow the opportunity to learn from local artists and connect her with unique artwork that will blend with her own. "What excites me is to create a design that doesn't exist. There might be an element I create mixed with a piece from France, an item from the Middle East and something from South America. I am a child of the world and my jewellery represents my joie de vivre." Each is one-of-a-kind or limited edition. The collection is created from wide a variety of elements such as: metallic wire in silver, copper and/or brass; elements of nature such as shells, stones and/or wood; and vintage treasures recycled into a totally new creations. One design - a silver circular scarf - has become a signature piece.

Gobert is eagerly anticipating what the future will hold. Where will the next journey be and what inspiring new elements will be found? Launching in Europe is also a goal in the near future. Although life has again become hectic, there is a deep passion for her work that keeps the designer inspired and an abiding sense that the best is yet to come. "I am happy every day and creating jewellery fills me tremendously. I don't think I have lived my highest moment yet, but I think it's coming soon."

For more information please visit the website at www.valeriegobert.blogspot.com.