Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Laura Teso
I’d like this story to begin with a path in the woods, a little house with a smoking chimney and a pie. But no. This story begins with me looking my Facebook feed and seeing an advertisment of Whiteleaves gioielli. Gioielli [joh-YEL-lee] means jewels. The ad was well studied, I dare say, since it got me here in the end, writing a post. 😉
The ad was about the cutest handmade jewels ever, on display at a Christmas market 6 minutes from home. I visited the website at once. On the homepage, a message that immediately told me everything I needed to know:
Dalla natura, nel cuore, con le mani…
By nature, in the heart, with the hands…
And the jewels? Lovely. I fell in love with those delicate creations, reminding me of an enchanted, ideal world. A world that has a close bond with nature: flowers, insects, princesses, hearts, leaves, cats, birds, owls, suns.
The next day I went at the market. It is a tiny adorable market in Piazza Eremitani, just next to the museum and the Scrovegni Chapel. I love that market! It is a miniature Christmas village with a marry-go-round, a mini ice rink for kids, Santa’s house and a bunch of kiosks. Among those selling hot chocolate, brezels and wooden hats, there was the one by Whiteleaves gioielli.
I just stopped for a while, looking at the different creations and chatting with “the guy”, who kindly explained a couple of things and then let me lurk as much as I wanted, without pressure, which is a thing I utterly appreciate. He handed me Whiteleaves’ card before I left. He couldn’t know that I had all the information already. 🙂
I fell in love with two necklaces that I later received (accidentally) as a Christmas present from my husband. OK… he was totally manoeuvred. 😀
One is “Foglie” (Leaves). I adore it and I always wear it since then. I think that the pink gold shade “gets along” with my pale skin.
Another one is a necklace with a Castle. And not just a regular castle. The thing that won me over was the writing on the back:
A chi i castelli li ha dentro, a chi coltiva i propri sogni facendoli crescere piano piano.
To those who have castles inside of them, to those who cultivate their dreams by making them grow slowly.
If you have ever read my About me page, you’ll know that I could not possibly let it go. I am the ultimate dreamer and a grown-up kid, who still believes in fairy tales. So…
The thing that surprised me was the lightweight of these pieces. Seeing them online, I thought they were quite heavy. On the contrary they are as light as the good thoughts they bear with them. And it is such a pleasure, since normally heavy jewels bother me and I can’t wear them for a long time.
It was after that, after I wore those two necklaces a lot of times, that I make up my mind and reached out for Silvia Santoli and asked her for extra info for a post I would have liked to write about her creations. I was really pleased to understand that she was as lovely as her jewels, and that she is living some kind of fairy tale herself. I learned that she and her husband Marco (he was “the guy” at the market) had a previous activity that went bad due to the economical crisis. They had a very hard time. And all seemed lost.
Then one day Silvia was sitting under an apple tree in her garden. And she thought back to her grandfather, who used to take her with him into the woods to collect leaves and flowers. In that moment she decided to make her hobby (jewellery-making) into a business.
She studied, practised and started creating pieces that reflect the poetry of nature, but also her ideas or the speeches of her imaginative children. Little by little she created an entire new world made of sensitivity, magic and romanticism. And she rediscovered her true self, full of cheerfulness, laughter and dreams.
The things I most appreciated about Whiteleaves gioielli are:
- Jewels are, as wrote before, very light.
- The package is lovely, a vintage envelope.
- They are produce on limited edition.
- All creations are nickel and cadmium free, and made with certified materials, so even allergic people can wear them.
- All models, made of brass or bronze, are plated in three different gold shades: white, pink or yellow. So you can choose your favourite subject in your favourite colour.
- There’s the possibility to commission to Silvia a unique piece. In this case, she will ask for information on the person who will receive it. Nothing too personal, though, just a few hints to better understand this person’s character and preferences.
But the best part is the joy Silvia’s jewels gave me. In fact, every time I wear my leaves necklace I think to the hills around my city, to all the times I felt happy and gratified by the sight of nature and beauty all around me. Like in a poem by Wordsworth:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
I dedicate this post to Silvia and to all the women who, like me, still believe in magic and fairy tales, who think that nature is our home and appreciate to wear something able to remind them about it. I suggest you to take a look at Whiteleaves’ website (they ship only in Italy for now). Then let me know if I was right.
Apart from the picture of me with the necklace, all images are courtesy of Whiteleaves’ Instagram account @whiteleaves.bijouxandthings