Jewellery that grows on you

French businesswomen teamed their love of nature and fashion to create jewellery range that features living plants

7 October 2016
Bijou Végétal founders Maryse Gilbert and Manuella Griffaton
By Victoria Horbach

Two French women have launched a business selling rings, brooches, necklaces and earrings that literally grow on you.

Maryse Gilbert and Manuella Griffaton created their 'living jewellery' brand, Bijou Végétal, in which a small plant grows inside a piece of jewellery in January 2015. They offer handcrafted artisan items for any occasion, from everyday wear to wedding accessories. Prices range from €40 to €150.

Manuella’s husband Jean-Sébastian Griffaton, the owner of an urban garden centre in Trélazé, near Angers, came up with the idea. Knowing that his wife and her friend Maryse share a love for nature and fashion, he thought of a way for them to combine their two interests.

Necklace with tiny red rose and earrings with white flowers Bijou Végétal
Necklace with tiny red rose and earrings with white flowers from Bijou Végétal

Customers choose between two types of plant: normal living plants or stabilised plants that do not require special care. Once an order has been placed at the company’s website www.bijou-vegetal.com, the requested piece of jewellery is assembled by hand and packaged.

If the living plants are kept at room temperature, exposed to a reasonable amount of sunlight and watered with three to four drops of water once a week, they can last for up to three months. Stabilised plants are more permanent and durable - they may last for several years, can be left in the dark and do not need watering.

Living plants are placed into a jewellery case along with fertiliser, a pipette for watering and a note reminding the customer to return the item for replacement once the plant has wilted.

The first replacement is free and subsequent replacements cost €10. However, the website also offers a deal whereby customers can buy three replacements for €25. Shipping is made by post to destinations in France and Europe, and takes place around eight to 10 days after an order is placed.

Finely worked silver ring with bar containing lichen from Bijou Végétal
Silver ring with lichen from Bijou Végétal
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