Our Creative Director

In the video above, Helen describes her fabrication process, which is what she enjoys doing the most.

Helen Chantler is the Creative Director and co-owner of Reflective Jewelry. Her design sensibility and aesthetic guide our entire collection. Though we do feature other exceptional artists, most of the designs are hers.
Helen's Artistic Statement
Creative Director Designer Helen Chantler Reflective Jewelry
From an early age, traveling the world, I saw how art, craft and creativity brought beauty into everyday life. Beauty, for me, is a blessing that reminds us there is something greater than ourselves.

Jewelry, as adornment, has been an expression of beauty through culture as far back as 70,000 years. I like that jewelry design can extreme from the mythic to the personal and intimate. The relationship to a particular piece can span generations because jewelry marks occasions, holds memories and anchors commitments. Sometimes, jewelry is also just about pure fun. I especially love using gems, a truly incredible gift from the earth—each one with its own personality. Color and sparkle can add so much life to the designing process.

I was a self-taught bench jeweler without any formal schooling in design and craft. I started out making leather belts in a jewelry shop when I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1986. Then, after a few years, I began to learn from jewelry designers in the same shop how to fabricate southwestern style jewelry pieces. I had decided I wanted to become a jewelry designer, and it was a very difficult path. First my jewelry design had to be approved by my boss and then I had to figure out how to make the piece without knowing how. Other designer jewelers taught me technique. Plus, I was paid by the piece; so initially it was hard to make a living. But over time, I began to develop skills and my own sense of style.

I went on my own in 1994 because I wanted more creative freedom. By living in Santa Fe, I saw how indigenous roots are important. Remembering the ancient stories and legends I grew up with in the UK brought me back to my tribal ancestry. Though I've branched out into many directions, much of what I create comes from the motifs from ancient tribal Europe. The inspiration for these designs came from cultures that had reverence for the earth and generations of indigenous tradition. I bring contemporary style to these ancient motifs.

In context to our sourcing and manufacturing, having high standards for human rights and the environment has been a high priority. We have worked tirelessly to become the first certified Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the US. When that gold is not available, we use 100% recycled metals, and whenever possible, ethically sourced gemstones. I view my business, Reflective Images Jewelry, as a small community that brings benefit to both our customers and the larger global community.

Only Fairtrade Gold Jeweler in the USA 
since 2015

Santa Fe, NM Green Business of the Year

Catalyzing the Ethical Jewelry Movement

Winner of MJSA Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge

Founder of First-Ever Ethical Jewelry Blog

Collaborators of USAID Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) Project