Soul Jewellery – Glass interviews Mads Kornerup founder of Shamballa Jewels

SHAMBALLA Jewels was founded by brothers Mads and Mikkel Kornerup in 2005. Not imagined purely on the basis of a desire to make understated fine jewellery, it was their joint determination to invest the pieces they created with a sense of spirituality. This being something as close to Mads Kornerup’s heart as his personalised jewels, his brand has evolved in the space of over a decade into an expression of symbolism, derived from ancient Eastern philosophies and marrying the sentiment of ancient symbols with homegrown Nordic craftsmanship combined with Scandinavian design principles picked up in Kornerup’s birthplace, Denmark.

shamballa madsMads Kornerup

The Shamballa bracelet is now synonymous with the aspiration to find more meaning in the jewellery one adorns oneself with, and a more purposeful life through the means of self-expression. He is still as passionate as ever about enlightening consumers to alternative aesthetics and the meanings behind them. Glass talks to Mads about his continued drive for innovation and meaningfulness in his work.

What has been your mantra for 2017?
That would have to be one of welcoming a new change of energy. We’ve channelled this into becoming more professional and taking ourselves international. We have always aspired to open more stores around the world and New York seems like a good option but London is just as, if not more, appealing to us. First of all, it’s much closer to Denmark, so you don’t have to suffer jetleg going to New York and back, which we’ve never been fans of. Plus, everybody just flocks to London at the moment.

shamballa jewelleryGold bar necklace and bracelets from Shamballa Jewels

Could you tell us more about how these goals apply to the brand?
We’re returning to more of a story-telling approach. When we started out 10 years ago and my brother joined me, I had a lot of stories to tell. Every time someone wanted to buy a piece of jewellery, I would offer them a story along with the piece and my brother thought that it was a bit too excessive, and he asked me to rein it in. At that time, the bracelet was such a new thing that nobody had seen, and such an eye-catching piece, so it had to come with a story. We’d also like to continue creating and perfecting the vibe and energy that we have always been focused on, keeping the focus on what the essence of Shamballa is, guiding people.

Gold Bar__ShamballaJewels_Necklace_8750EURO


Gold Bar necklace from Shamballa Jewels

How do you aim to connect to your customers on a deeper level with one of your pieces and what would you like them to find in a purchase?
Jewellery is something magical, something that can muster indescribable feelings. This is what we try to capture for our clientele. It’s strange to think that pieces of finely jewelled hardware can make you feel a certain way. But it does. For tens of thousands of years before even the invention of the wheel, for instance, we had been hanging stones and feathers and anything else that meant something culturally. We decided first on ornaments that could purposefully adorn us – that was more important.

Cup Of Wisdom - Shamballa Jewels Bracelet (1)

Cup of Wisdom bracelet by Shamballa Jewels

How do you then make sure that each of your jewellery pieces is unique to everyone?
Looking ahead – although I’m not allowed to say too much, we want to explore store concepts that will allow each customer to log online on a tablet and play with all the possible shapes and colours. They can take their pick from rose gold, red gold, black gold, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, get creative with lights and darks and have a whole universe to play with. We have faith in this because our clients are creative enough and want to be different so we want to give them more options.

Gold Bar_ShamballaJewels_Necklace_41 190 EURO

Gold Bar necklace by Shamballa Jewels

So you are happy to let the jewellery guide the customer in this way?
Absolutely. Again, it’s all about the feeling. It’s not like us to force anything on anybody but, at the same time, it’s sometimes difficult to find out what kind of message we want to send. Obviously, a lot of people want to be part of a certain brand but we don’t want that for our customers. Instead we want them to feel like themselves by, in effect, making the jewellery themselves.

Cup Of Wisdom - Shamballa Jewels Bracelet (2)

Cup of Wisdom necklace by Shamballa Jewels

How can someone really change or at least alter their way of thinking through the choice of one item of clothing or jewellery and how do you advise going about this?
The first way that comes to mind is by adding a necklace to your outfit. For me, it’s such a great option because you can conceal it and there are so many ways it can be adorned. You can add pendants and all manner of things that should remind you of enhancing your life, and making it more wonderful than it already is.

And when you feel like un-concealing it, you can take it out and share it with anybody, and when you feel like it, you can re-conceal it. Whether that added element is something that reminds you of your family, or an element that reminds you of a great place in the world, or reminders of places you want to go or things you want to do, I think it’s super-important to incorporate that into jewellery.

by Livia Feltham


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