Here we are presenting to you another powerful yet inspiring interview between the founder of the brand, Lark and Berry, Laura Chavez and Alfa Vega. Lark and Berry is an exclusive jewellery brand that uses lab grown diamonds to create exquisite designs.  

What inspired you to pursue building your brand and bringing it to life?

From way back, when I was very young, I loved jewellery. I think the first time I noticed it was on my grandmother, who was a beautiful, independent woman and bought all her pieces herself. I definitely remember the diamonds, the way they shined so brilliantly. But then, later, when I got older and began to work and thought of buying my own luxury jewellery, I learned of the shady history of diamond mining and didn’t want to support that in any way. Before somewhere around the mid-2000’s I would say, people just didn’t know the harm mining for diamonds was causing.

Around the time I was finishing my MBA in London, I took a class covering the history of jewellery design. I learned then that science has technically been able to create diamonds in a lab – the very same as their mined counterparts – since the 1950s, but that it was only in around the late 2000s that these stones were beginning to make a mark in the gemstone/jewellery market.
I was just blown away, and my love of fine jewellery came rushing back. I had been looking for a business to start. I wanted it to be something I was not only passionate about but that could change the world for the better. That became Lark & Berry in early 2018, debuting as the first fine jewellery brand in the world to use only cultured gemstones (lab-grown).


What were the biggest challenges for you to launch it?

The main pushback has been from the industry itself. I’ve been on panels and spoken at numerous jewellery conferences around the world, and at several, there have been big names in the mined diamond jewellery industry pushing back against me and lab-grown in general. And a few years later, as in now, in the present, I just think it’s interesting to note many of these legacy luxury jewellery brands have since launched lab-grown jewellery lines themselves. They know it’s the future, and that people want something more sustainable. It’s the way things are trending in every marketplace, not just jewellery, and it’s for the best, so that we can have a planet to pass on to future generations.

Why do you think Sustainability in the Fashion industry is so important?

It’s important because the future of the planet literally depends upon it. As I mentioned in the last answer, people are demanding sustainable options not just in fashion, but in food, cars, shipping, and everything else. People are becoming aware of how much damage our carbon footprint is leaving. It’s something agreed upon by nearly all scientists. We need to change the way we live – and we’re overdue for it. We owe our natural world to treat it with respect and care.

Can you share your greatest lesson you have learned while working in the fashion industry?

I think it’s that for even more sustainable fashion options to become available, and to start approaching the lower price accessibility of fast fashion, more people really need to support it. And it is tough with clothes for instance because sustainable fashion can be pricey. We’re lucky with luxury jewellery, because since we’re cutting out all the need to mine for diamonds, people can finally buy diamond jewellery at a fair price. So, I think as people, we just need to do
anything within our means to support sustainable movements. Because the more normalized that buying sustainably becomes (with regard to clothes), the more the costs of all the materials and manufacturing will drop as well.

Can you tell us about the fabrics/materials that you use and why you chose them?

All labs worldwide currently employ one of two methods to create diamonds, either HPHT (High-Pressure High Heat) or CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). Both methods create real diamonds. We’re either applying heat and a combination of gases or heat and immense pressure to carbon, which exactly replicates what takes place underground, causing uncut diamonds to form.

It can take weeks or months to create larger, gem-quality diamonds, but this is highly variable depending on the lab and what size you’re trying to achieve.
Once we have our uncut cultured diamond, the process it must undergo before being set in your jewellery is the same as a mined diamond. The cultured diamond must be cut to the desired shape and polished, just like a mined stone. This whole “post-production” process of readying an uncut cultured diamond for jewellery is the same as a mined diamond, which further illustrates there’s no difference between the two but that of their sourcing.

Also, I think it’s important to note, that there are an ever-increasing number of labs the world over that are creating diamonds totally carbon neutral, and even newer, emerging methods, like grabbing excess carbon from the sky and using it to form raw diamonds. But no matter what current method is being utilized, it’s all safer for the planet than mining for diamonds.

What makes your products stand out?

Sustainability is a huge part of our messaging and ethos of course, but we actually put our design at the forefront. If someone sees one wearing Lark & Berry jewellery, the first thing that’s noticed is how unique and beautiful it is as a piece of designer jewellery. Expect to be complimented on it! And then, if a conversation further takes place, you have a great story to tell about the sustainable origin of your gemstones.

A lot of people find working in the fashion industry fascinating. What does your usual work routine consist of?

This industry is very interesting. After all, we all have to wear something when we go out, and we want it to of course be cool, not just functional. And now that more care than ever is placed into how we are sourcing and manufacturing our fashion – it’s just become a whole other world altogether.

My usual work routine consists of anything from shipping, designing a new website, designing jewellery, and general problem-solving – it’s anything and everything. I try to be the sort of founder I most admire, one who doesn’t see herself as any different than anyone else working for my brand. We are all in this together, and we all love learning and taking on many different roles.

How do you think the fashion industry can be improved?

I think the biggest brands that have the most customer support and income should all be taking steps to be more sustainable. Some are, some are not. I think there’s a responsibility on the most influential names out there so that the whole industry can reach total sustainability sooner.

In times of tough challenges how do you overcome them?

Every mistake or problem eventually becomes a learning experience. You just have to breathe and know that an answer will come, and you have to know that when you get through to the other side, you’ll be a wiser person from the struggle.

What kind of message do you want your brand to reflect on the public?

I want us to be known as a household name in unparalleled luxury jewellery design. And I want everyone to know we got there through an unshakable commitment to always creating sustainably.

Where do you see your brand in the near future?

We always have new collections in the works. We are exploring different avenues of sustainable fashion accessories as well. We’re also launching an exciting new concept hopefully around early 2023. I can’t say anything about it at the moment, but we can’t wait! Overall, we just want to keep doing what we’re doing – being the best luxury jewellery designer brand around with the most care paid towards sustainability.

 Discover the exclusive brand and add the diamonds to your everyday outfits!