From businesswomen to jewellery gourmands – the story of WildWoman

The force behind the WildWoman jewellery shop is Marika and Mairi – two sisters from Saaremaa who search the entire world for awesome semi-precious stones, set them in jewellery and adorn all like-minded women with them. Let’s meet them!

The force behind the WildWoman jewellery shop is Marika and Mairi – two sisters from Saaremaa who search the entire world for awesome semi-precious stones, set them in jewellery and adorn all like-minded women with them. Let’s meet them!

When I hear the word “semi-precious stone”, my first reaction is healing powers, clairvoyance, horoscope and other esoteric stuff. “We actually consider ourselves to be the largest silver jewellery shop in Estonia, not an esoteric shop,” the head of the jewellery brand Mairi says. “Then again, we have nothing but respect and love for semi-precious stones and crystals,” she adds.

Respect and passion for crystal are actually so strong that both sisters studied gemmology at the GIA Institute in the US. The given branch of studies does not deal with the impact of crystals on people but focus on the formation and composition of crystals, how to cut them and where to use them. For instance, amethyst leaves the ground as a rather inexpressive nugget. Whether it comes to reveal a gem on the price scale of a crown jewel, a sparkling gem with a proper clear colour or merely a three-euro talisman will transpire only in the course of cutting and processing, but the rock’s potential is evident much earlier.

“The world of crystals is highly complex,” Mairi explains. If we want to provide our customers with proper products, we must be able to recognise and ensure the high quality. Considering the current demand, there are many salesmen who try to pass off pure glass as quartz. It’s impossible to navigate in this market without studying it”, Mairi explains.

Thus, Mairi and Marika can select high-quality rocks with the best cut for their jewellery that can be taken as an investment. As the crystal resources are limited, the price of high-quality gemstones has rocketed in the world market in the past few years.

“In esoteric shops, they mostly sell tumbled crystals that are the by-products of gemstones. We don’t have such,” she says. WildWoman’s calling is to find the rarest and most special crystals in the world with the highest quality. Some of them are so good, with A-AAA rating in the gemmologist’s language that some silversmiths refuse to set them in jewellery in fear of shattering them. “But we want to use exactly those gems in our designs and allow our awesome customers to adorn themselves with them,” Mairi says.

Marika Tamm

From passion to profession quite by chance

Tamm sisters actually found themselves in the jewellery world quite by accident. The elder sister Marika seems to be slightly more “guilty” of that (in the photo above).

“I studied business administration and I have a Master’s degree in business consultancy,” she says. “I spent a long time in the consulting business, I was one of the initiators and the first project managers of the business ideas competition Ajujaht. Everything was fine, but as it very often happens – at one point, I heard some strange voices telling me that a change was needed.”

Thus, Marika sold all her earthly possessions, empowered her sister to represent her in all matters and went off to see the wide world. In Bali, she happened to meet a clairvoyant. “Among other things, she told me that I am a jewellery designer. At first, I merely brushed it off as nonsense, because although I really enjoyed jewellery, I cannot even draw. But strangely enough, the thought refused to leave me. It seemed that a complete stranger had “allowed” me to do something that I actually love…”

So one thing led to another. For a long time, Marika tried to find someone who would implement her poor drawings. She was about to lose hope when chance brought her to another door. “I was in Bali again and I heard that my blood type was desperately needed for a European man who had been in an accident. So I went to donate my blood, and on my way back from the hospital, the driver apologised because he had to pick up a delivery from a silversmith. I followed him to a jungle of streets in a small village, to the yard of some random house and quite jokingly asked the man if he could also turn my designs into jewels. Great was my surprise when he replied that yes, of course he could!”

So, Marika found a great and talented silversmith for years to come, who gave her the first piece of jewellery designed by her (photo below). “It was gorgeous! And once again proved that you can never know in which house in the backstreet alley your fate could be waiting for you.”

esimene WildWoman Ehtepoe ehe

Younger sister Mairi also has a background in business with a Master’s degree in international business administration. Before drifting into jewellery business, she spent her days leading a successful training and consulting company. But soon she was similarly plagued by routine. “Eventually I looked in the mirror and had to admit that despite my utmost love for my work, I’m also equally tired of it,” she said.

So one day she found herself alone at the airport with a one-way ticket to India with no idea as to how long she wanted to stay or where she would go next. Marika had already committed herself to jewellery by that time, travelling around the world and looking for exciting designs and gems. Mairi’s destinations were selected so that she could meet up with her jewellery-hunting sister from time to time.

“And so quietly and mysteriously jewellery came to find its way to my bloodstream as well,” she says. “Without noticing it, I had also begun buying jewellery. I collected wonderful handicraft from small silversmith shops around the world and sent them home to Marika. Today, it has become an incurable addiction.”

So the sisters now import jewellery from all over the world. The collections are replenished with items from Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Turkey, Morocco, Kenya, Benin, Israel, Armenia and also Europe.

“We gather stories and events with every trip. We have been deceived so dreadfully that we couldn’t provide enough shoulders for one another, but then again we have also had a lot of luck and success stories,” Mairi recalls.

“But one thing is sure, all crystals and jewellery are hand-picked by us,” Marika adds. “Most of the items are one-offs. For the rarer and best gems, we design the silvery jewellery ourselves, and the items are hand-made in Bali,” she explains.

Mairi Kutberg

But what’s the story with the special powers of crystals?

On the one hand, business consulting and training, on the other hand, the overtly feminine world of crystals and jewels – they do not really seem to be a match made in heaven. Especially when considering that you cannot really do without “soft values” in the world of semi-precious stones and even the online texts explain the additional meanings related with various crystals. So what’s the deal, does a pendant with a rose quartz ensure the arrival of big love?

“Of course there will be love if you adorn yourself,” Mairi laughs (in the photo above). For centuries, people have assigned special powers to rocks, it is simply in human nature to have faith in higher powers. “Everything that you believe in will have an impact. Over the years, we have heard from our customers how strange things happened once they began wearing this or that crystal,” Mairi says.

“For some reason, people think that the material and spiritual worlds must exclude one another,” Marika adds. “But it seems to me that they both have their strengths and weaknesses. One cannot do without the other. What’s wrong with a businessman with spiritual values?” she asks.

The sisters believe that they have found the ideal synthesis of the two polarities – a point of balance. However, they do not select their jewellery according to a crystal book. “Then again, every time we come nearer to the full moon, I want to wear the largest moonstones I have. Why? I don’t know! I don’t really think about it,” Marika admits. “I simply believe in feminine intuition. I trust my hands and my soul that pick them out from the jewellery box.”

Thus, it is the love for beautiful high-quality jewellery that keeps the sisters in this sector. “The soul and spirit of WildWoman is the soul and spirit of any real woman – in constant change much like women’s feelings and needs,” Marika says. “Apparently, the combination of crystals and women simply affects women more closely. Some customers are more affected by crystals, some by designs, but the common denominator is individuality, confidence and femininity,” she believes.

Mairi adds that she merely loves to inspire Estonian women to wear bolder jewellery. “Our women have so many different facets, feelings and also conflicts every day. Sometimes I also find it impossible to decide if yellow and green really match or somebody has just come up with it. There is no such thing as adorning yourself in the “right” or “wrong” way!”

Women simply have a unique relationship with their jewellery, similarly, they also have their favourites. The majority of Mairi’s jewellery box is taken over by rose quartz, while her recent favourite has been green amethyst. Marika, on the other hand, tends to wear the feminine moonstone, mysterious labradorite and the lucky stone turquoise. “And I can’t say if it’s because I’ve worn the right gems or something else, but I can honestly say – my dreams are gradually coming true,” she says.

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