GISEL B. Jewelry – Where French Elegance Meets the Beauty of Pearls

by Reema Farooqui

Established in 2015, French jewelry brand GISEL B. is a celebration of handcrafted, artisanal fashion jewelry.

Founder and jewelry designer, Clémence Masson has always been attracted to the crafts. As a self-taught jeweler, Masson believes in continuously upgrading her jewelry design and crafting skills by embracing innovative technology while remaining true to the concept of hand crafted, artisanal jewelry making.

With a background in Humanities, Political Science and Communications, Masson is the first person from her family to step into the world of fine jewelry. “I am lucky to have grown up with my grandmother Gisèle who was a seamstress,” Masson reminisces about learning to sew and embroider from her very talented grandmother.

The time she spent with her grandmother taught her to appreciate fine fabrics and the beauty of hand crafting. It’s no wonder then that she decided to name her jewelry brand after her grandmother, as a way of honouring her memory.

In 2019, GISEL B. opened its first store, La Maison GISEL B,  in Valence. This location includes the brand’s boutique, offices as well as its workshop.

Environmentally Sustainable, Artisanal Jewelry

Seamlessly woven into every piece of GISEL B. jewelry, High quality jewelry craftsmanship  and environmental responsibility are the underlying motifs of the brand.

“When creating the brand, it was essential to integrate ecological and responsible values,” notes Masson. This includes complete transparency and traceability of the origin of the gem and jewelry materials used by GISEL B., of which almost 80% are sourced from Europe.

Insisting on local manufacturing, Masson makes sure that every piece of GISEL B. jewelry is handcrafted in the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region of France, either at the Maison’s in-house workshop or in collaboration with local jewelry artisans. “It’s beneficial for me to be surrounded by quality craftsman, who are skilled with gold plating as well as metal cutting. Plus, with them being geographically close to our workshop and store, helps to avoid unnecessary travel and reduces our carbon footprint,” explains Masson.

Since 2021, the brand has turned to recycled gold for its precious metal requirements. In addition, GISEL B. pieces come in packaging made from recycled materials, which in turn can also be recycled. “Our eco-responsible approach does not stop at jewelry. We donate a portion of our profits to numerous associations for the treatment of our waste,” Masson points out proudly.

“Repair rather than discard” is another important, sustainably conscious initiative undertaken by GISEL B. Very often, people stop wearing beautiful jewelry pieces because they may be damaged or have started showing signs of use and wear. With an in-house jewelry workshop that can easily deal with such issues, Masson encourages her customers to have their pieces repaired. “Our goal is that our customers can wear our jewelry for as long as possible. We offer a plating service to redo the gold plating at a low cost.”

Cultured Pearls

Perhaps the one gem that GISEL B. most identifies with is pearls. Cultured pearls have always been part of the brand’s jewelry offering.

Instead of going through any intermediary, the brand sources its cultured pearls directly from pearl farms in Asia. For Masson it is important to personally know who she is working with, and more essentially have information on the working conditions at the pearl farms. This also ties in with the transparency and traceability piece of GISEL B.’s jewelry offerings. “For over five years, I have been working with the same people,” Masson notes.

Cultured pearls are one of the most sustainable and sustainability produced precious gems in the world. Indeed, what could be a more fitting gem than cultured pearls to be the central gem of a jewelry brand that is so committed to environmental responsibility.

Masson enjoys working with pearls, especially baroque pearls. “They’re so chic, and each piece of jewelry is unique, it’s sublime!” she enthuses. With her elegant jewelry designs, Masson is slowly making baroque pearl ‘converts’ of her customers. In the past, many of them who would complain to her about the imperfection of the organic and irregular shapes of these iridescent gems.

Today, the same buyers are drawn to GISEL B.’s pearl jewelry because they have started to appreciate the allure and uniqueness of baroque pearls.

Forever trying new gem materials, Masson has paired shells with cultured pearls in the brand’s latest jewelry collection called Prestige. “I find that the combination of the two materials brings something different and fresh to the market. This collection is special because it has a lot of character, while still staying true to our DNA.”

Jewelry Design at La Maison GISEL B.

Masson’s jewelry design style can best be described as minimalist with a strong emphasis on details. “I often say that my jewelry is timeless but with character, which is a bit of a contradiction. But I believe that a piece of jewelry should be seen and worn as often as possible. This is how I define my designs,” explains Masson.

As a jewelry designer, Masson finds inspiration for her jeweled creations from her travels around the world. However, very often it is the gem materials she is working with that kindle the spark of creativity with her. “When I am introduced to a new pearl shape, it’s as if a lightbulb turns on in my head,” Mathon muses about her work as a jewelry designer.

Masson also believes in creating unisex jewelry. This is an important hallmark of her jewelry brand. What’s more, her modern design aesthetic works harmoniously in this space, being both stylish and inclusive.

This ethos of inclusivity even extends to the imagery used by the brand. “Classic jewelry forgets a lot of people, which is such a shame. I like to have a range of different people in my photo shoots. This is because a piece of jewelry should highlight all beauties, without any distinctions,” says Masson.

GISEL B. Jewelry

As a jewelry designer and maker, Masson understands the emotional aspect of creating and wearing jewelry. “For me jewelry making is all about the magic of handcrafted pieces, where jewelry materials are transformed into sparkling, luxurious pieces of jewelry.”

GISEL B. jewelry is the realization of Masson’s desire to create and offer high-value jewelry, that is fashionable and contemporary and that has been crafted by skilled jewelry artisans. Over the years, she has helped the brand grow internationally, by staying true to her two ideals – high quality craftsmanship and environmentally responsible practices.

Featured Image: Rosa Earrings, Intemporelle Collection

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