Ronise from Cape Verde

Ronise Cardoso lives on Cape Verdean São Vicente island. She had had been looking for a work for a long time and when no atempt was successul she decided to follow her heart. And so she created her own company doing what she loves the most - jewellery. But her jewellery is on of the kind! It`s made of fish scales though!

The fishscale jewellery making proces is quite time consuming and it starts right at the fish market! It`s there where Ronise looks for materials. A"tratador do peixe" - a person preparing fish keeps fishscales for Ronise. He also selects them, cleans them, washes and dries. Not every fishscale is lucky to end as a part of jewellery! They differ with size and thickness.

Ronise used to have to select them carefully. Now however she immediately knows if a fishscale may be used for a necklace or a ring. "They all however are very resistant. They may seem vurneable, but in fact they are strong - just as us, women!" - laughes Ronise.

Click and have a look at Ronise`s products!

We also asked Ronise the questions received from you. Have a look at her answers!

Where did an idea to make a fishscale jewellery come from and why do you use fishscales as a main material? Asked Ewa.

Ronise: It all started long ago, when I was a teenager. My mum asked my older sister to prepare a fish and peel it. And older sister, of course, she „outsourced” the task to me. (laughing) It was then when I realised that there was something special about fishscales, something I can`t exactly explain. And they are very resistant! I`ve always liked to make a jewellery but only year 2011 brought me an idea to make it from something different, something unique. And this is how I recalled my fishscale fascination.

How did you start advertising and selling the first products? Asked Ewa.

Ronise: I started shyly selling with a shop of a friend of mine - Art d Cretcheu. I displayed there single pieces and of jewellery and I watched if clients like them. And I listened carefully to feedbacks improving my pieces.

Dorotka said: do you know that in Poland fishscales have a symbolic meaning. We keep them in a wallet to bring us luck.

Ronise: Really? No, I was not aware of it, not at all! Here, in Cape Verde fishscales are nothing special, generally speaking. Just a trouble to get rid off. (laughing) But for me personally, as I mentioned, fishcales are special. I like their design, I am impressed with their resistance. I remember that at the very beginning I was very reluctant to cut them, I just wanted to keep them as they were. With time I needed however to be reasonable and hear what my clients say and adjust to their needs. Even today however if I am about to make a few similar pieces, I never do them at once. I want keep every piece special.

What is the major difficulty that you encounter? Asked Kasia.

RoniseMaterials – over and over. And I do not mean here fishscales but pendants, clasps... It`s impossible to buy them in Cape Verde so I buy them on line and import. And surprises occur sometimes. (laughing).

Ronise, you are an artist. What is your biggest dream. Asked Olga.

Ronise: I wish to see my company BioJoias growing. I have now one person to help me and I wish to create more work places. I would be delight to se BioJoias go more social involved – bonding fishery and art and giving employment to many people. And I hope step by step we`ll reach it.