As a child growing up in bucolic Ireland Chupi Sweetman (FACT: her bona fide name!) was forever crafting something or other, if it wasn’t a papier mache masterpiece then it was a glitter and glue pièce de résistance. Aged 17 Chupi turned to fashion selling her very first piece, a pair of vintage Levi’s reworked into a pink satin-lined bag. Having made ‘things’ for as long as she could remember, suddenly the realisation she could direct her hobby into a livelihood was intoxicating. Four years later, during her first year at college studying fashion, Chupi was scouted by Topshop, at the time she was the youngest designer to ever to work for them. Overnight she transformed from apprentice to professional.
Fast forward several years Chupi was searching for a hobby, this led to her making the jewellery she wanted to wear but couldn’t find, subsequently a friend asked for a necklace, another placed an order for a ring and suddenly she was an in-demand jeweller. It would be an understatement to say that the last two years have been a whirlwind!
Twigs, leaves, feathers and bows are reoccurring motifs in Chupi’s work. Inspired by the textures and contours of the wilderness, Chupi’s nature-inspired ranges include earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings, with most of her delicate pieces available in solid sterling silver, gold and rose gold and many plated in 18k and/or adorned with semi-precious gems. A number of items are offered in two sizes and scales. Individually hand crafted in her studio in Dublin and hallmarked in Ireland’s historic Dublin Castle, Chupi is so proud of her Irish heritage that she ensures that all materials are from her homeland.
The names given to each theme has a distinctly ‘Chupi’ touch and suggests their sentiment; ‘My Delicate Heart’, ‘My Heart Is Open’, ‘Strong Mind, Tender Heart’, ‘Cupid’s Arrow’, ‘You & Me’, ‘We Are Twice As Strong’, ‘Love is All You Need Twig’ ‘Love & Joy Twine Bow’, ‘Drop In The Wild’ and ‘Beauty In The Wild’ to name just a sample.
It is hard to pinpoint Chupi’s best sellers as there are so many but the customisable ‘Say My Name’ initial disc neck chains and ‘We Are All Made Of Stars’ star sign neck chains are particularly popular. Recently Chupi introduced the option of combining initials with birthstones. From Garnet in January to Aqua Quartz in December, there is a birthstone for all twelve months. Another variation to Chupi’s stamped disc initial line is her brand new twig initial necklaces which are so identifiably Chupi. As for the ‘We Are All Made Of Stars’ star sign necklaces, they are configured so that each constellation is composed of tiny dots on a circular flat disc, some bigger and some smaller as to mark the scale of the stars. Without words the discs read like a secret sign and whether you believe in star signs or not this is the perfect talisman to wear.
Being timeless designs, Chupi avoids the seasonal cycle, however additions are introduced throughout the year. Whether bought as a gift for a loved one or as a purchase for oneself, they are unforgettable. Essentially, the Chupi brand is feminine, contemporary, sophisticated and subtle, even her signature monochrome packaging of heavyweight paper bags and powder puff-style boxes both adorned with floral outlines and chunky, thick taupe grosgrain bows are must-keeps in themselves.