Meet Steve, Master Jeweller
Wow, we might have just received the script for Highlander: The Legend.
Our exclusive deep dive Q&A session with none other than Steven Richards, the multi-talented Latitude Jeweller and Sales Manager, has left us in awe. But that's not all – there's a twist! We suspect that Steve might just be an Immortal Being. Intrigued? You should be!
Find out all about it in our thrilling interview with Steve, where we uncover fascinating insights and embark on a journey like no other.
What’s movie was made for you?
Actually, I have two. The first would have to be “Young Guns 2”.
The second is “Highlander 1”
I love them both, not only for the story lines, but also for their lessons in vigilance and perseverance, and both have awesome soundtracks, by great music legends.
How do you like your coffee?
Flat white and very sweet
How long have you been at Latitude and what’s your role?
I’ve been with Latitude Jewellers for just over 8 years. I started out as one of the Jewellers, but now my role is as the Sales Manager and a Jeweller
Tell us a little about your journey before arriving at Latitude Jewellers?
I did my apprenticeship In South Africa, starting at age 19 through a small Father and Son business. The son was a Jeweller with 30 year’s experience and the father was a Diamond cutter with over 50 year’s experience, so I had the benefit of not only being trained as a Jeweller, but also getting taught the knowledge of Diamonds etc. I took a break from Jewellery to pursue a music career in a Rock band, which met with success, but due to certain circumstances, I had to make the decision to end my music career, at which I went back to Jewellery full time. I worked for a prestigious Jewellery company, in a factory type setting where I met an Italian Jeweller, who took me under his wing, so to speak, and taught my different techniques, which he had learnt from his Journeyman who did his apprenticeship in Vincenza in Italy, which was renowned for having the best Jewellers in the world at the time. The techniques and skills I learned from him, he never shared with anyone else, so I was pretty privileged I’d say. The skills and knowledge I learned from those three men have proven to be invaluable time and time again throughout my career.
After working in that factory setting for a while, I decided to start my own business and I opened my first store in a flea market, which eventually progressed to two stores.
Eventually an opportunity presented itself to live and work in Geraldton, Australia. I jumped at the opportunity and was sponsored by another local Jewellery company, who I worked for about 3 ½ years before leaving to work for Latitude Jewellers, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What do you love most about your work?
Designing beautiful pieces and then holding the finished product in my hand and then presenting it to the customer. Dealing with customers and making their dreams a reality, exceeding their expectations.
What mindset do you need to have to be a master jeweller?
Although the term or definition of a “Master Jeweller”, is highly contested and debated in the industry, to master your craft as a Jeweller, you need patience, attention to detail, skills that have been practiced and honed over decades, creativity and most importantly, pride and passion for your creations.
What’s unique about Latitude Jeweller designs?
The designs and Jewellery we create are not the “run of the mill” pieces you would find in any chain stores, or even any other Jewellery store for that matter. Each collection is unique, from the more abstract to the more refined High-end pieces, they are uniquely designed and created, and quality is always of great importance.
What’s your favourite collection and why?
This is a difficult question to answer, but if I had to choose it would be the “Oceans 12 Collection”. It captures the ebb and flow of the ocean’s currents and sealifie below the sea. It also contains one of my first and favourite pieces I ever made at Latitude, being the Mermaid holding the Gemstone/Diamond. I hand carved her out of Silver, and it took 10’s of hours to complete. Out of my 30+ years of being a Jeweller, it’s one of the pieces I’m most proud of.
How does it relate to your personality and who you are?
Although anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a fan of the beach or swimming in the ocean, I do find the ocean intriguing as there are many mysteries yet to be discovered in the darkest depths. I also find the whole Mythological aspect of the ocean fascinating, hence the Mermaid/ Syren.
Creating bespoke jewellery designs for clients, why is that important to you?
Besides the fact that I get to be creative, I truly feel it’s an honour to design and create that special piece for my customer/s, not only because I bring the piece to life from my mind and into reality, making their dream come true, but there will always be the essence of my creative mind attached to that piece of Jewellery. It will be there long after I depart this planet, possibly over many generations to come.
What is one of your favourite jewellery pieces you have created and why?
Once again, this is a hard one to answer, but besides the Mermaid, I would have to say the “Gems of Land and Sea Pendant”. Although having said that, I hand carved a to scale 3D crayfish, for one of Geraldton’s oldest and most prestigious clay shooting event, where the first place prize winner, gets a solid 9ct Rose Gold copy of this piece, worn as a badge/brooch This was one of my most challenging pieces to make, it was a great opportunity and was very rewarding once completed. It took about 50 hours of labour.
(This exquisite pieces is sold out, learn more about our bespoke service or book a consultation)
What single piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
To my young first year apprentice self, starting in the industry I’d say,
”I know it’s hard and these tedious chores/tasks can be frustrating and don’t make sense yet, they serve a purpose. Just like Mr Miyagi in the movie Karate Kid, tasked Daniel with the ”Wax on, Wax off” exercise, there will come a time when you will have that lightbulb moment and all the pieces of the puzzle will come together and it will all make sense”.
What phrase describes how you live your life?
I wear a Silver cuff bracelet on my right wrist, I’ve had it for over 20 years and it’s set with my two favourite stones, Garnet and Iolite. What most people don’t know is that there are words engraved on the underside of the cuff.
The first line reads’ “Don’t stop believing, hold on to that feeling” (a line from a song by the band Journey)
The second reads, “t’s my life, it’s now or never”, (a line from a song by Bon Jovi)
When I’m having a bad day or going through a tough period in life, I read these words to remind me to have faith and remember that I have been in far worse situations, I know I can persevere through this storm and walk out of the chaos a stronger and a better person on the other side of it.
Steven Richards, Latitude Jeweller and Sales Manager
Watch our Bespoke Design Journey with Steve here.