Tag Archives: Legacy Collection

Day 2634: Interview with Charmaine Taylor of the Legacy Collection

“I would love to leave a legacy of being a story teller with jewelry and Love my brand to be known for a voice shaping human rights, fashion and environmental world. Speak into the lives of many woman.” – Charmaine Taylor


It’s 12 : 12  PM on day 2634 of my journey towards independence and I managed to pray,  read Revelation 14:7 and promote my 50 New Feet Campaign benefiting MiracleFeet – A HUGE thanks to  Divine Illunga  who donated $25   which brings the total raised to  $4 826 only $7 674 more to raise by June 17, 2018 to help 50 kids with clubfoot.


A while ago I stumbled upon the Legacy Collection and since I love all things South African and the idea of turning pain into beauty and purpose I decided to pick the brain of the genius behind the Legacy Collection. Take a look:


Interview with Charmaine Taylor

Charmaine Taylor

  1. Who is Charmaine Taylor? Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a born and bred South African and a proud female entrepreneur who has been working in my own marketing design firm since 2007. I love looking at doing business in an ethical and environmental way. Passionate about creating local products with a story. My main aim in my life is to be a story teller in the jewellery industry.

  1. What is the Legacy Collection?
    Legacy Collection is created from the original prison fence from Robben Island. My main aim is to create messages of hope and reconciliation through entwining the Robben Island Prison fence that was once meant for harm, is now being repurposed from rust into fine gold and silver collectable designs.
  2. What makes the Legacy Collection unique?

Legacy Collection has the exclusive right to create jewellery from the original maximum security prison fence. It is limited edition. So I have got pressure to design and sell a collectable item.

  1. Of all the pieces in the Legacy Collection which one’s your favourite and why? (I know it’s a hard question but there must be one that’s extra special to you)
    Wow this is a tough one to choose – I have couldn’t choose less that THREE , sorry 🙂 
    I would say the Release Pendant, Justice Cuff Bangle and the Freewill These were some of my original designs that I still sell today. The Release Pendant symbolizing the Release of the prisoners, the justice cuff is quite symbolic as it is a bangle shaped around your wrist which symbolises chains (much like a prisoner) but now a symbol of release! Then the Freewill pendant has an amazing story; I cut the first range of my Legacy Collection range completely on my own with a set of plyers my mom gave me. At the end of it my hands were so exhausted and cut up that I just pushed pieces of fence together on my work bench and the Freewill Pendant is what was shaped on its own. So I called it freewill 🙂 .
  2. What advice would you give aspiring jewellery designers?
    It is always hard as passionate designers to make something that is “so you” but clients always pick the “safe” options. Do a lot of research on what buyers are interested in and what your market is and stick to a definite marketing plan otherwise you waver all over the place. Always make sure your “home base” is solid and all your company processes are running smoothly before expanding your brand to other cities or countries. Also always know your cost and stick to your budgets. As jewellery is super expensive with using precious metals. We have to look after cash flow. And finally get a great bookkeeper and year end accountant. Always know what is in your bank account. Finances have never been my strong point so count on my team to assist me with this. But ALWAYS keeping a fine eye on your accounts yourself too.
  3. What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?
    I would love to leave a legacy of being a story teller with jewelry and Love my brand to be known for a voice shaping human rights, fashion and environmental world. Speak into the lives of many woman.
  4. What’s your favourite thing about living in South Africa?
    Love the raw beauty of our country in nature, wide open spaces and wildlife. And love living in Cape Town surrounded by nature; scenic mountains and amazing wild ocean. And my favourite flower in the world is the King Protea so I am happy when they are all in bloom on the side of the road.
  5. Who inspires you most and why?
    I have a lot of people in my life who inspire me on a daily basis. Mostly my parents who are both the most consistent supportive people in my life. They are equally the ultimate friendly positive supportive people. They teach me what being grounded it all about.
    But if I had to choose my ultimate role model in the whole world, it would be Jessica Alba. Creating an empire in her Honest Company. She had an issue with safe food and products [t]o use
  6. Name your 3 favourite books and tell us why each of them is one of your favourites.
    1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – its about unconditional love of a man over a woman
      1. Similar book to this was Mark of the Lion – a trilogy of books from Francine Rivers about the roman empire – I got so lost in these books I read till 3am in the morning I literally could not put it down. The ultimate escape.
    2. Elephant Whisperer by Laurence Anthony – amazing true story of wild elephants who grew to love a man so much. Their connection and his fight for their lives is heart warming.
    3. Shanteram – influenced by true events – about a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escaped jail and flees to India. How he gets lost in the deep into the underworld in the Indian slums and finds his way into jail again and escapes again. A great story of adventure of being lost and found.
  7. Name your favourite place in the world and tell us why that place is your favourite.
    1. WOW this is also very very hard. I have special cities for certain seasons of my life. But the one place I always yearn for is Los Angeles, California. The wider Los Angeles all the way to Malibu. It has become a second home to me over the last few years. Being a guest speaker at women’s breakfasts and going to a friends sisters wedding, all these trips I have made life long friends there. It is a city that is always buzzing and ALL things are possible. It really is the city of dreams and broken dreams. Met so many people of influence and you realize they too are also on a journey just like yourself. I always leave Los Angeles feeling inspired to do more as the people there believe in themselves and always strive to do better in their circumstances
  8. Have you ever met Tata Madiba (Nelson Mandela)? If so, what were the most memorable moments of your meeting(s)?
    Unfortunately I never got to meet Tata Madiba. But everything that I do is in honour of him and all of the people in South Africa and that he inspired us to be a peaceful people and to always forgive.

I did however meet the other most amazing man who stood RIGHT next to Nelson Mandela and all the men in the struggle – Ahmed Kathrada. My dear friend Catherine Constantinides invited me 2 years ago to go on a private tour with Uncle Kathy (as he is fondly named) he was SO full of jokes and filled with a presence of love and he was enlightened because of his journey of torture and chose to forgive. I asked him a question “Did you ever lose hope Uncle Kathy?” His reply always rings in my head “No, WE never lost hope, if you lose hope, you die…” it was an unforgettable day with him on Robben Island.

Catherine Constantinides wearing the Reign Pendant from the Legacy Collection


Catherine Constantinides wearing the Liberty Cuff Bangle from the Legacy Collection

For more information about the Legacy Collection or to purchase jewelry from the Legacy Collection visit https://legacycollection.org/