Abi Lindsay Clark had the pleasure of interviewing Lisi Fracchia, Argentinian Gemmologist. Lisi is one of those wonderful success stories which makes her an inspiration to so many people who dream of success, making it clear that if you work hard and believe in your project, you can get there!
Lisi tells us her story.
You are Argentinian and were brought up there. What brought you to Spain?
I am a gem expert and jewellery designer, but my journey has been a long and interesting one. I am originally from Patagonia, in Argentina, where I worked as a school teacher. I then married a geologist, whose career moved us to Madrid in 2006. It was then that I decided to do something different with my life, and explore my true passion…gemstones.
When did you first become passionate about the world of Gems & Gemmology?
By this time I had already travelled the world, collecting opals and pearls in Australia, diamonds in South Africa, and tourmalines in Brazil. Buying them without knowing why, they called my attention but I kept them and treasured them until the moment arrived, when I realised I wanted to take the next step and convert my passion into a career. I took my first classes at the Gemological Institute of Spain, and never looked back.
From 2009 to 2013, my husband’s job took us to Brazil, the true paradise of gems. It seemed like fate had taken over. There, I had the opportunity to continue my studies, and took classes in gem expertise and metalwork. I was able to dedicate my time to perfecting my skills, working with the foremost professionals of the field. Retired professionals from HStern and Amsterdam Sauer were my teachers in metalwork.
When we returned to Madrid, I was prepared to dedicate myself to designing. In 2014, I received the Iberjoya award in Madrid, which assured me that I was on the right path, and motivated me to continue with even more passion.
What was your first jewellery project?
My first jewelry project was a collection made up of 60 pearl necklaces of different pearl types combined with lava ,turquoise and coral inspired in 60 very important women to me and presented at one of INCs General Meetings I have to say that it was sold right away and that encouraged me to continue designing|!
You are a member of the board of directors of the Spanish Gemmological Institute. Can you tell us about this role?
I am bringing Gemological courses and studies to Latin America a few months ago the Spanish Gemological Institute together with the Argentine embassy here in Madrid and Copade Institution in Neuquen Province in Patagonia , Argentina, have signed a marco agreement which will bring opportunities to both countries.Gemology is a science that is not widely known. I would like to help change that. Perhaps because I started as a teacher, I have the desire to teach designers, jewelers as as well as the general public about gemology. Through my pieces, you can learn to appreciate the properties of different stones and materiales, and hopefully, your interests will be piqued. Through conferences, articles, and interviews, such as this one, people will be able to learn that there is more to jewelry and design than most people think. It is the union of science and art.
You have achieved the status of jewellery designer for royalty and the rich and famous. How does that make you feel?
Seeing Queen Letizia wear one of my sphalerite creations was an unquestionably satisfying and emotional moment. Who better to showcase sphalerite pieces? I was and am, incredibly honored. Knowing that several queens, dutches, and celebrities choose my pieces is quite a humbling experience. I put my heart and soul into each unique design. It is gratifying to see them appreciated on such a grand scale.
I understand that all of the production of your jewellery is carried out in Spain. Do you consider your brand a completely Spanish brand?
I do especially when it comes to my sphalerite collection. Sphalerties have by far become a symbol of Lisi Fracchia designs. These gorgeous but soft gems that come from the world famous Aliva sphalerite mine in Cantabria, Spain ,have both a very high refractive index and an extremely high dispersion, qualities that I love. I have the honor to work with one of the few people in the world who knows how to cut them successfully, Dr.Egor Gavrilenko .It also has a special place in my heart since gem sphalerite is the most outstanding Spanish gem material and I consider Spain, my adopted country.the development of my brand in Spain goes hand in hand with the divulgation of
Gemology, My interest is that people know how to appreciate a jewel when they are going to acquire a piece of mine, both in the design , metals and gems that compose it.
Do you design and make a lot of unique pieces of jewellery?
Yes I do , and that is what I love the most ,making unique designs! I have always been told that I have an artistic eye, and I love to draw. This has been useful to me my whole life, and my talent has served me well in my life´s endeavors. Having said that, raw talent can be compared to a diamond in the rough. Without polish, cut it will never reach its potential. I have had to study and work very hard in order to get where I am. I am extremely grateful to the people in my life who have supported me, from my teachers to the exceptional professionals with whom I work.
You have just presented a new collection in the London fashion week where you also received the Orion star award for best jewellery designer, congratulations! Can you tell us about this?
Thank you very much. It was an enriching experience where I presented my international catwalk collection inspired by the current independent and cosmopolitan woman with different possibilities of use and where I had the opportunity to interact with fashion personalities such as Elma Aveiro sister of Cristiano Ronaldo and then my pieces were presented at her show Madeira Fashion Week via Iris Rodriguez. Also IT WAS A very important step in my career as a jewelry designer. In addition, the diffusion that had the event in numerous press media. Among them I was interviewed by the renowned journalist Sandra Coscio, who covers the Red Carpet at the Oscars for Latin America.
What other awards have you won during your successful career so far?
All the awards I received are important for the recognition they represent, but especially the In Flux Award that I received in Milan in October of last year. It was a real pride because it was a very competitive with the presence of designers from more than 58 countries. This award also opened doors for me to exhibit in Art Galleries in Italy and Germany.
You design and create earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces. Do you ever see yourself using jewels to create other types of accessories such as broaches or perhaps hair pieces, for example?
I design unique exclusive pieces or limited handmade editions like the collections Sphalerite Dream, Patagonian Glaciers, Elche, Atardecer en el fin del mundo and other massive ones made in 3D like Kids, Anniversay, Puro Glamour.What fascinates me is to work with gems that are rarely used in jewelery like apatite, heliodore, kunzite, tsavorite and of course sphalerite.
I enjoy designing innovative, versatile, timeless pieces that are both elegant and colorful. Many of my pieces can be worn in various ways. Owners can add accessories, switch stones, move the parts of earrings from the front to the back, etc. creating their own looks for different occasions. Jewellery is highly personal, and I give the wearer of my designs the ability to change the aesthetics of my pieces to suit their needs and desires.
You have a showroom in Madrid where people can purchase your jewellery and also online. Do you currently have showrooms in other countries?
I have my Atelier in Madrid and my my website as well as different sale points in exclusive clothing stores in Madrid and hopefully very soon in other countries.
Do you miss Argentina?
I miss Argentina and my family of course but I have always been inspired by my surroundings. From the rich colors and gorgeous landscapes of Argentina, to the geometric shapes of the world’s cities. I have enjoyed living in many places, and I try to reflect my appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of each place in my pieces. They are tangible pieces of inspiration and fond memories that I share with the world. Hopefully, they will import these feelings to others.
I see you have many articles about you and your creations on the communications agency CoolHunting Madrid . Tell us about this collaboration.
I am very happy with Jesus Reyes of Coolhunting Madrid since thanks to his profesional work I am achieving a positioning global level of excellent communication
What is your next professional goal?
My next professional goal is to participate in El Cairo Jewelery Week via Nehad Sharaf , Dubai Jewelery week with Countess Lina Lavin de la Car and Florence Fashion Show via Iris Rodriguez.
On your website you state “Fulfilling your dreams is possible,” what advice would you give people who wish to achieve what you have over these last few years?
I would encourage them to keep studying updating themselves, working hard to stand out from the rest.
I use the utmost discretion when discussing clients.!However, I can say that when I was awarded the National Fashion and Business Excellence Award, in the category of Jewellery Designer, at the PRENAMO awards this year, given by ANDE (National Association of New Spanish Designers), the Viscountess Maribel Garcigrande wore an original design I made for her in 18K rose gold, with morganites,kunzites, tanzanites,indicolite tourmalines and heliodores .
Diane Jarrett, a graduate gemologist (GG GIA) and Registered Master Valuer; the jewelry industry’s most prolific published journalist with such credentials, has been a long-time supporter of mine. When a professional, such as she, appreciates my work, it means the world to me. This is her field. She has the expertise to judge, and her approval and encouragement have motivated me like no one else.
Lisi Fracchia has also had a presence in other important national and international events as in the Goya 2020, in the New York Fashion Week with Lily Sciorra
What do you feel when you see your jewels show off around the world?
I am proud to see my jewelry show off on Red Carpets around the world. It was a great emotion to see artists of the stature of Ángeles, a member of Camela, Mónica Sors, Virginia Tola and Azucena de la Source show off my designs at the Odeon, Goya and Orion Star awards, respectively. As well as see to the distinguished and gorgeous Lily Sciorra to wear my latest collection at fashion week in New York.
I also want to mention the distinguished designer to the stars in Beverly Hills, as she is known commonly, Vanessa Alfaro, at our London presentation. And my participation in the last edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid by the hand of Mó de Multiópticas and the journalist Jesús Reyes.
Thank you Lisi!