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Ask the designer – Laura Paananen: Responsible, high quality, and timeless jewelry

Behind every great story is the meaningful and inspirational path. We caught up with the founder Laura Paananen in her Helsinki home to hear about the secrets of Luv North and hear more stories behind everyday luxury goods.

What is the most important message of Luv North jewelry?

We strongly believe that jewelry is not just a celebration, but every day, every moment – and above all, for everyone. We want to design modern jewelry that allows anyone, regardless of gender, to easily express themselves in their daily lives. We want our jewelry to last a long time and not age after one season.

How is Luv North different from other fashion influences?

We want our brand to be communal and interactive. The first collaborative collections were designed with Maryam Razavi in ​​2019 and we also want to make interesting designers known through our brand and jewelry.

Interactivity and community also mean that our brand focuses not only on our designers but also on our customers and the community that follows us: we involve our followers in social media channels, for example in the design and product development of future collections, and market our jewelry through the popular brand ambassador program.

On the other hand, we want our customer service to be as accessible as possible and therefore our customer service can be approached not only by traditional e-mail but also by private messages on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

 

What is your biggest source of inspiration when designing jewelry?

I draw inspiration for our jewelry above all from nature – near and far. Luv North has its roots deep in Savo, in the middle of forests and lakes. On the one hand, we are inspired by the national landscape of Lapland, on the other hand, by urban and maritime Helsinki. Nature conservation and the principles of sustainable development are important to us and we want them to play a central role in everything we do. For example, we take these principles into account in all our raw material choices and strive to find the producers of our jewelry materials as close as possible and produced them as responsibly as possible.

 

What makes Luv North jewelry high quality and responsible?

Our jewelry can be used with a clear conscience, as all our jewelry is designed, manufactured, and packaged in Finland. Our jewelry is handmade both in Vallila, Helsinki (link), and in the heart of Savo in Suonenjoki, with my father.

We ensure the transparency of the jewelry production process from product materials to all stages of the production chain. We know the origins of the materials of all our products already at the jewelry design stage and we know all our partners well.

I initially did not think that I am building a particularly responsible brand, but now I can say that we have it. In responsibility, we want to get better every day.

 

The Sun Hoops are part of The Universe In You Collection designed by Maryam Razavi.

What motivated you to work as a jewelry entrepreneur? How do you feel proud?

Luv North is a young jewelry brand as we will soon be only six years old. In six years, however, there has been a lot of growth. A month ago, Fashion Finland – one of the longest-running fashion industry communities – highlighted Luv North as the future gold grain of jewelry alongside a few other jewelry brands (link to the article). This and many of our other jewelry First Steps motivated me to continue with the story of Luv North. I hope that one day we could become a strong Nordic jewelry design brand.

 

Text: Suvi Annola, photos: Nikita Tikka and Laura Paananen

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Luv North handmade Jewelry worn by Finnish pop artist Antti Tuisku

Finnish pop artist Antti Tuisku wore Luv North handmade silver Hoops in the popular Live TV show The Voice of Finland. Behind Antti Tuisku’s style is talented and well-known stylist Vesa Silver.

 

The Sun earring in silver fitted perfectly to the attire. The story behind the earring also matched the mood and tune. It may not be apparent to the viewer but it does make a difference. There is a reason why exactly this earring was worn. The earring knows no boundaries and it can be worn by anyone. Because of the hoop it was possible to link it with Antti Tuisku’s plug jewelry”. Vesa Silver, stylist

 


The hand-made Sun Necklace and Hoops are designed by stylist and model
Maryam Razavi. The Universe In You collection is inspired by her grandmother’s sunburst mirror, which gave its shape to the collections’ first two pieces, The Sun necklaces, and The Sun Hoops. 

Luv North jewelry has been seen on the top of many Finnish actress celebrities but also in the music stars. Among familiar Finland faces, for example, actress Alina Tomnikov has dressed Luv North on a red carpet on a couple of premieres. The favorite TV host of Finland, Vappu Pimiä, wore a Luv North necklace in the closing ceremony of the popular TV program Maajussille Morsian in 2020. Super skilled actress Minka Kuustonen wore Luv North’s jewelry in the Suurmestari TV program in 2021. Pop artist Petra Gargano has seen Luv North’s jewelry on her social media and in the Finnish daily newspaper Iltalehti. Piritta Hagman starred as a tv host and the media person wore Luv North’s jewelry on Fit magazine covers.

Talking about magazines, Luv North jewelry has appeared in several Finnish media, such as Anna, Seura, and Me Naiset. If you looking for something stylish for the upcoming spring, you can always get pair of the Sun Hoops in silver from HERE.  

 

Photos: Antti Tuisku´s photos: The Voice of Finland / Nelonen / Saku Tiainen, the Hoops: Laura Paananen

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Luv North jewelry are created in collaboration with goldsmith Tero Hannonen

Each special story contains several narrators. The first voice in the story of Luv North jewelry belongs to the designer, after which the story continues in the hands of the jeweler.

 

High quality, domestic craftsmanship: We make some of our jewelry ourselves. Some are made in Alppila, Helsinki – at the workshop of goldsmith Tero Hannonen. Hannonen’s goldsmith’s company, which invests in high-quality handicrafts and design, has been operating for more than 15 years. Luv North’s designs take shape at Alppila’s workshop using a casting technology: 3D modeling is carried out on the basis of the designer’s sketch, after which the first prototypes are 3D-printed and casted into prototypes. 

The Universe In You Collection, our first design collaboration designed by Finnish stylist, model, author, and tv-hostess, Maryam Razavi.

Quality jewelry is always based on high-quality materials: Gold (14k)  and sterling silver (925) are not only durable but also recyclable virtually forever. Making jewelry by hand requires more diverse skills from the creator than what is commonly recognized. In addition to mastering creativity, eye and hand seamless coordination and fine motor skills, a skilled jeweler is also required to have knowledge of chemistry. A goldsmith mixes alloys from different metals and removes tarnish using chemistry and metallurgy. Importantly, every work step must respect the aesthetic nature of the jewelry.

The diversity of the work gives significance to Hannonen’s work: “Making handicraft jewelry involves versatile and creative problem-solving where you can immediately see the result of your work.”

The jewelry is polished, and finally, gilded.

However, the most rewarding thing for a craftsman is the positive feedback received from customers. Turning customers’ ideas into reality is one of the job’s the most rewarding aspects to Tero.

Cooperation with a skilled jeweler has been seamless. “We brought Tero an idea for The Sun pendant on checkered paper and shortly after we received 3D modeling of the gorgeous jewelry,” says Laura Paananen, founder of Luv North.

 

The Sun got its shape from our second designer Maryam Razavi’s memory of her grandmother’s old sunburst mirror, reminding her of her Iranian roots.

The artisan continues the story that the designer has started and eventually moves it on to the next narrator – the first new wearer of the jewelry. Find your piece of jewelry here: https://luvnorth.com/#/shop.

 

The Sun necklace available in silver and gold plated.

Text: Suvi Annola, photos: Laura Paananen

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Sustainable gifts for the luvliest from Luv North and Sulapac

Santa got you this, Santa got her that. But what would Santa give you on this holiday?

– Jewelry, which is made out of 80 % recycled silver and packed in a Sulapac jewelry box.

 

This special year we wanted to do something empowering with a local brand, that is like-minded and shares the same values as us; integrity, community, and respect for nature.  

 

Nature has always been close to the heart for the founders of Sulapac, Suvi Haimi and Laura Tirkkonen-Rajasalo, who started the company with one mission in mind: to save the world from plastic waste.

Sulapac’s jewelry packaging is completely biodegradable. This Finnish innovation accelerates the waste-free future with sustainable materials that are beautiful and functional. Like Nature. That is why it is a perfect match for sustainable and locally made Luv North jewelry.

 

“It is very important for us to work with Sulapac, because our values are common. The products of both companies are powered by Finnish nature”, says Laura Paananen, founder of Luv North. Besides respect for nature and strive for sustainability, Sulapac shares our emphasis on transparency and quality.

 

 

“By openly disclosing the material information and production process we help consumers make an informed decision when it comes to quality, environmental friendliness or ethical manufacture”, says Laura Paananen, Founder of Luv North.

This holiday we want to surprise our customers with a free gift: a set of Dot earrings packed in a biobased and compostable* Sulapac jewelry box.

During the third week of December, we will gift a pair of Dot earrings packed in a Sulapac box to the first thirty customers purchasing Luv North x Maryam Razavi The Sun necklace. (Link here)

 

As part of the collaboration, Sulapac will organize a giveaway (The Sun necklace in silver) among its Instagram followers. Guidelines for participation will be shared in a dedicated Instagram post. 

Check out Sulapac online to explore their story and products. (Link here)

*Industrially compostable according to EN 13432. Please check local recycling instructions.

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Designer Stories: Maryam Razavi

Luv North’s second Designer Story is about Maryam Razavi, Finnish stylist, model, author, and tv-hostess, who is known for her kindness and work ethics. Razavi’s first-ever jewelry design collaboration was launched in fall 2019, and the jewelry has already be seen in several Finnish magazines.

Razavi has Finnish-Iranian roots, which inspired her to look deeper into those fond memories from her childhood. “There’s so much beauty and inspiration everywhere. That’s why I always keep my eyes, ears, and heart open. The Universe In You Collection is inspired by my most personal memories of my family and Iranian roots. Being able to go back to my childhood through the jewelry I’ve designed instantly warms up my heart and brings a smile to my face”, explains Razavi.

The Universe In You collection is inspired by her grandmother’s sunburst mirror, which gave its shape to the collections’ first two pieces, The Sun necklaces. The story behind the name of the collection is simple: we have the whole universe within us. The universe reflects the idea that every one of us is enough just the way we are and everything is connected. Although the message of the collection has a personal meaning to Razavi, she highlights that anyone can relate to the values of family, roots, loyalty, sustainability, and the fact that everything is connected. Razavi sums up that “only by being kind to each other and the earth we will accomplish great things”.

The Universe In You Collection can be purchased HERE.

 

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Pure recycled materials, Finnish design and handicraft: this is how our jewels are made

There is a focused but warm atmosphere at the factory. Sudden knocks of the hammer interrupted by a whirr of the drill. Blue sunlight flickering through the window. Pieces of noble metal on the strong dark wooden table. Laura is working on a new jewel with her dad. A couple of questions with their answers. Every now and then burst of laughter. This is the kind of precious father-daughter time many people can only dream of. And this is the kind of atmosphere in which every Luv North jewel starts to take shape.


The path of a jewel from an idea to you is special and so, we want to share it with you. We also want to be open about how we in Luv North value high-quality materials and a transparent sustainable manufacturing process.

Thus, the story of every jewel ever made starts from the materials. In Luv North we use only pure 14k gold which is 100% recycled., Also, our silver is 92,5% pure and 80% recycled. 92,5% silver is commonly used in jewels because 100% silver would be too soft. The 7,5% of silver jewels are made of copper, which is stronger than silver. We use gold and silver because they are some of the most sustainable materials in the world and, thus, most suitable for recycling. Besides, they are beautiful. We don’t use any other metals in our jewelry to make them last time and be safe for users with nickel or other allergies. This way you can be sure your Luv North jewel is environmentally friendly, safe, pure, and no kind of gilded bauble.

The first phase of bringing the medals to life is to cut them. At this point, Laura takes the materials to her hometown to her dad, who has a carpenter background and who has all the skills to treat the metal as strongly but gently and carefully as it has to be treated. After cutting the plates, Laura’s dad stamps the jewel and then punches them if needed. Every jewel that weighs over 15 grams has to be stamped and this you can see in your jewel in for of the letters LUV. After the letters, the numbers tell you what is the percentage of gold or silver in the jewel.


To Laura, the founder of Luv North, it is really important, that her father works with her with the jewels. It makes the process special when it is not just anybody producing the jewelry. It is also important, that everything is 100% handmade.

The last phase in the process is to polish the jewel, perfect the surface, take out all the edges or other marks the cutting has caused. This is done either with sandpaper or a fine. Then the jewel is connected to a chain with handmade links between the chain and the jewel and the chain and the lock.

Now the jewel is ready and shining bright. To finish the process, the jewel is packed in a beautiful box to protect it on its journey to you before your shared story begins. The box itself is a masterpiece and works brilliantly to decorating your room or keeping your Luv North or other jewelry in one place or safe during the night.

Good luck and happiness with your work and all other activities too!

Did you find this information of your jewel delighting?

Photos: Bettina Lamspringe

 

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From Inspiration to Jewelry: the Story behind the first Design

It’s a human instinct to tell stories and essentially, stories tell who we are. The past of humankind is written in stories and we still share shorter and longer reports of what we’ve done and how we feel every day with our nearest and dearest. 
Continue reading From Inspiration to Jewelry: the Story behind the first Design

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Luv North custom made Jewelry worn by Finnish actress Alina Tomnikov

LUV NORTH designed custom made jewelry for Finnish actress Alina Tomnikov for the premiere of family film Rölli in which she starred as Milli Menninkäinen and Usvasaaren neito. Finnish press, including ANNA, Me Naiset, Seiska and Iltalehti, noted Alina in the premieres of Rölli and Pahan Kukat and interviewed her about the upcoming projects.

Continue reading Luv North custom made Jewelry worn by Finnish actress Alina Tomnikov

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A design for Love: the Story Collection

Nowadays, saying someone the three words (and we don’t mean “food is ready”) has encountered inflation. People are not allowed to feel real emotions and when they do, they are too scared/don’t know how to show and share them. We are on a mission to change that.

The brainstorming for the jewelry line started after our designer had encountered numerous mother’s that were longing after a piece of jewelry that they would be able to pass on to their children. Although the mothers were all different from each other, what they had in common was the love they had for their children. The first design, the double coined Mom Story Necklace, is originally a maternity necklace that has two LUV-coins in a silver chain. One bigger to represent the mother, and one smaller to represent the child. The idea is that the mother receives the necklace after the child is born, and carries it until the child is old enough to wear the smaller coin in his neck. All the coins can be engraved to add personality in them.

After the first piece was designed, we decided to take this thinking a bit further, and the Story necklace was born. This necklace represents everything you are and want to be. This is a love letter to yourself. You have made it this far despite all the dark waters. You are here now to make the rest of your days the best of your days. No mountain is too high to conquer, no crack in the pavement is too grand to jump over. This necklace is there to remind you that you should love yourself as you are.