Stephen Estelle's story begins in the workshop of goldsmiths whose ancestors crafted jewelry for the Nepali royal family. Based on the estate granted them by the king in the 1780's, these artisans maintain the traditions of their forefathers. In those days, kings and courtiers alike would make the long ride on horseback into the mountains above Kathmandu. Leaving the heat of the valley behind, they would climb into the pine forests of the Himalayan foothills. The travelers would stop at a small but ornate open-air structure on the edge of the goldsmiths' estate. Above them towered the ice and mist of the world's tallest mountains, below lay the rice paddies and jungles of the kingdom of Nepal. It was here, at this quiet retreat, that the royals would take tea and admire the opulent jewels they had commissioned.
Designer Stephen Estelle has worked with this guild for over a decade. Together they have created jewelry that honors the traditions of the royal goldsmiths, while offering interpretations that are fresh and vibrant for the modern world.