Founded in the United Kingdom, and headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, Orchira is a leading British pearl jewellery brand. Orchira pearl jewellery offers design-led authentic pearl jewellery at affordable prices through it's online pearl boutique and growing network of jewellery retailers, department stores and TV shopping channels across the world. The brand has been an official sponsor of Miss Universe GB Finals since 2010.
The overwhelming popularity and demand of Orchira jewellery comes from Orchira´s founder ambitious vision and concept of affordable luxury, where unique style jewellery is made exclusively with natural precious materials and offered at reasonable prices. The brand’s USP (unique selling point) is 100% authentic cultured pearls and natural gemstones are hand made in unique, stylish and creative Couture designs. Since the launch in 2005, the brand has always focused on the design and craftsmanship of every piece, whereas keeping the price always affordable.
Where the origin of Orchira story begins
Orchira is a love story between two families with long history and Heritage, one from Scotland and one from China.
Shan You, the founder and creative mind behind the brand, is from a leading tycoon business family in Southern China’s capital Fu Zhou of Fu Jian Province. The You Family originated in Nan Song (Southern Song dynasty) in Zhejiang, the ancestor You Mao, was one of the 4 top authors and poets alongside Lu You, Yang Wan Li and Fan Cheng Da. You family's fortune started from 1800’s when settled down in Fuzhou and started the first silk and silk thread shop You Heng Sheng. Soon the business prospered based on superior quality and reasonable prices propelled into a multi billion dollars equivalent business empire operating in private banking, high end department stores, printing and dying factories, oversea fleet and trading, tea trading.
Shan is the 7th generation of You family. The family business has disintegrated during the Japanese invasion during the second world war. Then after Communist government took over, all the wealth has been confiscated and the family mansion in the centre of Fuzhou city, is now belonging to to government and is turned into a Boat Museum. Her grand parents were sent to labour camp and endured many years of deprivation and harsh working and living conditions in rural area. Her grand parents from both mother and father sides managed to hide and saved some family jewels during the cultural revolution.
Fortunately she has grown up in a well educated family with intellectual parents both working as Physics professors and scientists in leading Chinese universities. Since young, she was exposed to family heirloom jewels that has survived the cultural revolution and many political disasters, those precious jadeite, diamond, natural pearls, ruby and emerald jewellery were secretively hidden personally by her grand parents, even taken to labour camp. Even today, she holds the fond memory of being given some beautiful natural pearl and ruby rings to play as toy since 6 years old. Those early exposure to couture jewellery formed her love and a sharp eye for jewellery design.
When working in the leading French company Air Liquide, she met her husband, a high level executive in this large French corporation, who is from the noble family Bichan from the very north of Scotland, the Orkney islands. The Bichan family owned a large farm in Orkney for several generations.
A well respected farming family with several generations now working in the UK, USA and Canada, but now diversified into other industries such as Banking, Architectural Design & Construction and Automotive. The Bichan family members still gather regularly and visit the family roots in Orkney. The rich family tradition, love for the land where they are from, heritage of Scottish value and aesthetic sense for art and jewels, all bring valuable elements to the Orchira brand, allowing Orchira to carry profound historical heritage whereas revitalise an old fashioned jewel – Pearls with modern and fresh style.
How Orchira brand was born?
Shan has been a career high flyer after education in the world’s top university and schools, both in China and France. Tri-lingual in Mandarin, French and English, she holds top level degrees from Shanghai Jiaotong University and France’s top business school HEC School of Management Majeure Entrepreneurs. After working as a strategy consultant with the world’s leading consulting firm Accenture in Paris and London, she discovered a lack of innovative, stylish pearl jewellery design in jewellers across the world, hence decided to launch Orchira, to bring leading edge, creative, colourful and stylish authentic cultured pearl and gemstone jewellery to the world.
Shan has been a regular speaker to date invited by the BBC´s renowned morning business program "Wake Up to Money" on BBC 5 as well as BBC World news broadcasted worldwide by television for commenting on China and worlds´ business and economy issues. She is also the only Chinese/Asian judge for Miss Universe GB finales.
Today´s overwhelming success of Orchira jewellery is based on Shan´s ambitious vision and concept of affordable luxury, where unique style designer jewellery made with natural precious materials and offered at reasonable prices.
Commitment to excellence
All Orchira jewellery is created by a highly talented team of Scottish and French designers and hand crafted in Europe from natural gem materials sourced directly from the leading environment friendly pearl growers and gemstone miners to ensure that quality, environmental and ethical standards are met.
In addition, jewellery which is made with solid gold and silver is independently tested according the requirement by weight by the Edinburgh Assay Office , which guarantees that the jewellery piece is of the stated finesse and weight in compliance with the UK Hallmarking Act 1973 and subsequent amendments. Although the assaying and marking authorities are not government officials, they operate under full legal powers and The British Hallmark, which was introduced over 600 years ago and holds unquestionable integrity as a guarantee of quality and is accepted as such in every part of the world.
Orchira's designs are highly appreciated by Elite people around the world, including Royal family members from Saudi Arabia, her Royal Highness Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud has commented: "Orchira designs are unique and stylish, has a very exquisite style"
Orchira is a full member of the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and adheres to the BJA´s Code of Ethics. Orchira is transparent in it´s business, and compliance is kept with all UK and Scotland legislation, industry standards and beyond.
Orchira is an accredited member of the Safebuy Assurance Scheme for web based retailers, the industry self-regulatory body established by the Consumers´ Association and the Alliance for Electronic Business, supported by the UK government. The Safebuy scheme is officially recognized by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and has also been vetted by other external bodies including Which?, Trading Standards and the Citizen´s Advice Bureau.
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