Kirsten Goss, a Durban-born entrepreneur, jewelry designer and mother has quickly become an award-winning African brand with stores in Johannesburg and London. There’s no stopping the strong-willed, go-getting Goss who has high aspirations and wants to continue expanding her exclusive jewelry chain with Cape Town also in her sights.
Goss has agents in San Francisco and New York and was recently the new face of Bombay Sapphire in South Africa. She now plans to expand to Asia.
A qualified jewelry designer and gemologist, her first flagship store was opened in London in 2002 and she recently opened another in Johannesburg. In 2009, Goss opened a state-of-the-art goldsmith studio in Durban where six designers craft her jewelry.
The London-based Kirsten Goss gallery is based in the trendy area of South Kensington on a picturesque cobbled path. Exclusive collections are heavily embellished, simple cuts which grab your attention. The pieces appeal to the independent, sophisticated woman who wants something unique. The exquisite styles are breathtaking, the gems dazzling; silver and gold jewelry with embedded precious stones.
Being passionate about the designs is important. Goss is meticulous about her work. She makes sure that every individual piece is handcrafted and personally designed, to fulfill her pride in the Kirsten Goss brand.
It took several attempts to catch the driven jewelry entrepreneur, who we managed to track down in Hong Kong. She explains her latest plans to break into the Asian market with a “pop-up” style fair.
When starting her business she took the risk and established herself as a small boutique firm which has now gone international. “We are doing an unusual thing, most people use the wholesale route to get ahead,” says Goss.
She said that her grandmother, Erica Goss, influenced her to start her own business.
“My role model is my grandmother who was a real frontier lady. She was a well-educated, typical Irish living in Africa, very frontier-orientated. She was somebody who was well-traveled. She taught me a lot,” says Goss.
“I started my business in London when I had a small child and then moved back to South Africa and visited London every month. My grandmother taught me you could live anywhere in the world. It’s all about passion, it’s all about ambition, it’s all about you and I think she was somebody who I drew a lot of inspiration from in my life,” she adds.
The designer’s Scandinavian and Irish heritage and her South African upbringing have all played a major part in influencing her designs. The use of exuberant colors clearly shows how she is influenced by her African heritage.
Goss supports a number of charities including the Make A Difference (MAD) Foundation; Sunflower Fund (leukemia); Save the Children, Enkuliso and Ekujabuleni nursery schools and the Wildlands South Africa. Her father was active in rhino conservation.
She was recently asked to design 12 pieces for the Spirit of Liberty exhibition in London. She has designed pieces for the Royal Wedding and Prince Willliam’s special birthday party.
“My dream is to have five to six galleries around the world in different locations and everybody knows that when going to a Kirsten Goss gallery they will find a truly unique piece,” says Goss.