I was a small child when I first discovered the magic of origami. It amazed me that you could take something as simple as a piece of paper and transform it into boats, hats, aeroplanes or fortune tellers. One Christmas, I crafted a paper craft nativity wreath with my mum. We used more than 30 different shades of blue paper. The result was breathtaking and my imagination was ignited.
I completed an undergraduate degree and Masters in Architecture at Coimbra University in my home country of Portugal but my love of origami and crafting never left me. My greatest pleasure at this time was building scale models.
One evening, I decided to make a brooch. I looked at all the model making materials around me and it seemed obvious, given my childhood passion for origami, to choose paper as my medium.
Over the coming weeks and months, I explored and perfected techniques for creating lasting, hard-wearing and water-resistant jewellery from paper.
In 2010, I took a risk and came to London to stay with a friend, giving myself ten days to find a job. I went from door to door leaving my house-shaped origami portfolio with architectural practices. Shortly before my flight back home, I was offered an interview. A week later, I started work near Russell Square.
In 2012, the architectural company I worked for closed down. It was the kick I needed to follow my dreams. For years, I had been creating origami jewellery for my friends and family, but there were always new designs and ideas buzzing round my head. When a girl stopped me to compliment the brooch I was wearing one day on a bus near Stoke Newington, I realised I had created something special, something other people would love to wear.
The Origami Boutique was born.
I meticulously hand-fold every piece of origami jewellery, every gift, every wedding keepsake in my studio. No two items are identical because of slight variations in the traditional Japanese origami papers I use, as well as the folds I make. I love the individuality the items express and my customers love it to.
It is a joy to realise my lifelong dream of doing something original and exciting with origami. It’s incredible to be able to combine my passions for fashion, architecture and design in this way. And it’s an honour to share it with you.
I hope you find the perfect piece of jewellery or unique gift you’re looking for. I’m always happy to talk about bespoke items if you can’t see what you’re looking for.