Katherine-Mary Pichulik has worked as a patissier in Europe and backpacked
through India, but, ultimately, she found her greatest inspiration back home in
When she returned to Cape Town in 2012, Pichulik started making statement
necklaces from pieces of rope and selling them off her neck to people who liked them.
Now Pichulik is a four-year-old accessory brand that was chosen as one of the top-10
brands by Vogue Italia’s Scouting for Africa project.
It was also named African Fashion
International’s accessory designer of the year and was featured as “South Africa’s
hottest jewellery brand” in a CNN documentary. “I create because I am African,”
says 29-year-old Pichulik. Ninety percent of the materials she uses are sourced on the
continent, including West African brass and agate, and Pan-African trade beads.
ceremonies and rites of passage that African jewellery symbolise are a great source
of inspiration to her. Pichulik, a fine arts graduate, has grown from a gifted artist
into a formidable businessperson. Her team of eight women in Cape Town supplies 25
international stores, 12 local retailers as well as her online store. She tries to use her
business to empower women through skills transfer and collaboration.
Find Katherine on Twitter: @Pichulik