Launched in the summer of 2012, Root & Hope is a jewellery designer currently offering Caribbean and African inspired jewelry that represents self-expression, confidence, boldness, individuality, style and freedom.
The Island Chronicles: What is the meaning behind your jewellery brand name and what inspired you to call your line Root & Hope?
Root & Hope: The story behind the name of my jewellery brand, Root & Hope is actually very simple. It is a play on my first and middle names, my first name being Ruthann and my middle name being Hope. When I was deciding on what I wanted to name my brand, I had the idea to incorporate my own name into the brand. I used “Root” instead of Ruth as a nod to the way my name is pronounced by most Caribbean people that I know.
The Island Chronicles: (‘laughs’ ) The Caribbean dialect sure has a unique and rhythmic way of pronouncing names and words. Tell us Ruthann, how has your Jamaican heritage influenced your designs?
Root & Hope: My Jamaican heritage shows itself in my designs with the the shapes, colors, and materials that I choose to work with. The size of the jewellery themselves too, I would say is also influenced by Jamaica. With the size, I make my earrings the size that they are so they can be seen almost immediately, to catch your eye and possibly even allow a conversation to be started about them. The shapes are also intentionally big and eye-catching and the colors are bright. One of my favorite things about my Jamaican heritage when it comes to fashion and accessorizing is that we wear things to be seen and as an expression of art, creativity and style that is on display for others to notice. Not forgetting, I must also mention the Ghanaian influence in my designs. Most of my earrings feature Adinkra symbols that have been popular for a very, very long time. What I love about Adinkra symbols is that each symbol carries a meaning that is important to people who are of that Diaspora. If I or someone is wearing something with Adinkra on it, it is immediately noticed.
The Island Chronicles: Let us talk about the latest collection that you are working on or new lines coming out?
Root & Hope: I don’t so much have new collections, what I do is introduce 1 or 2 new designs periodically while still keeping all previous designs. The latest pair I have introduced is a 2-piece style, a circle attached to a rectangle piece where the circle has 1 Adinkra symbol and the rectangle has 3 Adinkra symbols. I call this pair “Adinkras Ascending”.
The Island Chronicles: And which piece in your designs is your favourite?
Root & Hope: My long time favorite has to be the double stranded ankhs. They were the first pair of earrings I ever made. I like them the most because there are 4 ankhs in total in the pair, they are lightweight and move whenever I move.
The Island Chronicles: And now your favourite jewellery inspiration?
Root & Hope: There are so many designers I have looked to for inspiration, but to narrow it down to 1, I would say it is Areeayl Goodwin the owner/designer of BeadsByAree.
The Island Chronicles: Yes, she does some gorgeous pieces that we actually have in our own personal collection. And with that in mind, what type of woman do you see wearing your jewellery?
Root & Hope: The woman who I see wearing Root & Hope is confident. She possesses a subtle magnetism that draws people in, to make people feel comfortable and interested in whatever she is doing at any moment. Her self-expression is her style; it is bold and it coveted.
The Island Chronicles: And how would you sum up your aesthetic in 5 words?
Root & Hope: Passionate, confident, cool, bold and of course irie.
The Island Chronicles: The million dollar question. What’s next for Root & Hope and what are your plans for the future
Root & Hope: I want to expand my line to include more earrings and add other pieces of jewellery like waist/body chains, bangles, and rings. My plans for the future are to bring my jewellery to craft fairs to be able to meet more people and potential customers face to face. I also want to collaborate with designers and photographers where I can lend my jewellery to be including in their creative endeavors.
Find Root & Hope on Etsy
Photography: Alejandro Cerdena