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Featured Members: Balar

Date: 02/12/2013 | Posted by John Garton
Nathalie Walker and Tracey Shepherd are the co-owners of Balar, an online Lifestyle Boutique which seeks to capture all the joy of a summer day in Jersey and recreate it in stunning jewellery and accessories that can be enjoyed throughout the year, wherever you are. Here, Tracey enthusiastically tells us all about how Balar came to be.

It all started with the gorgeous yellow Periwinkle shell found on Jersey beaches. It is like a 'little drop of sunshine' and makes you feel happy when you see it.  Nathalie had been constantly seeing these beautiful shells on her endless trips to the beach with her 2 small children and was looking for some way to use them. So she thought why not create some beautiful jewellery around the shell and feel that happiness every day!

Nathalie had been making her shell and leather necklaces for a year and a half when I met her and she was ready to take her business to the next level and asked me to jump on board. I had been making my own jewellery for the past 10 years, including the 3 years that I lived in Egypt - sourcing exotic elements from the great bazaars.

Now living in Jersey we are both extremely influenced by the amazing beaches that Jersey has to offer.  The bright colours and the 'feel' of summer plus the freedom of the ocean - we want everyone who wears Balar to feel the freshness and colour of a Jersey summer. Hence our tag-line - Be Bright, Be Bold, Be Balar.

We decided to start our business as we both love jewellery and accessories, but couldn’t find anything that we felt was cool, contemporary and made with really good quality materials, so we decided to make our own! It has just evolved from there as we discover things that we both love and that we love making for others. Its all about making products that make you feel good every time you walk out the door - whether its school pick-up or a glamorous night out.

Our work days are incredibly diverse, we may be designing our silk dresses or velvet scarves, hand-painting and putting together our beach bags or coming up with new ideas for our Street-Smart Carry-all bags. But as Nathalie and I make all of our jewellery we can often be found in Nathalie's kitchen doing just that.

We have also collaborated with fellow Genuine Jersey members The Loving Chair Company. We knew Alex from buying her lovely products, but when we came up with the idea of printing our own silks for sarongs and dresses we automatically thought of them. Brontey creates the most amazing, colourful designs for fabrics and we felt they would fit in perfectly with Balar's Bright and Bold persona. We love working with Alex, Brontey and Celeste and some of our great ideas have come about from brainstorming around Alex's kitchen bench.  So much creativity in such a small space - it can be hard to contain!

You can find Balar's stunning products on their website here: You can also keep up to date with them by following their twitter feed: @tweet_balar