I have to say I've never quite understood the appeal of charm bracelets, partly because my jewellery preferences have skewed more towards minimal or rough, organic shapes over sparkles and dangling pendants in recent years (if I remember to wear jewellery at all). It was also because the concept of paying over $50 for a single charm felt like an awfully expensive indulgence.
Yet, the key appeal of charm bracelets is precisely the fact that it's a type of jewellery that rewards patience and investment, with the goal of having a collection that will allow you to have many different bracelets simply through mixing and matching charms, or - if you prefer - by showcasing a single charm in the spirit of minimalism, as I did when photographing my selections from Soufeel's online store.
Jewellery - like makeup - comes in direct contact with your skin, so it's definitely an area where I'm starting to look into investing in good quality pieces, when I do decide to purchase something. Photographing this was also the perfect opportunity to showcase the best of our winter-edging-into-spring blooms and hunt around the house for props.
The versatility of the 925 silver bracelet surprised me in this regard. As a base, it has a comforting weight that speaks to the quality of its material, and the width of the bracelet is not too thick or thin. It's also extremely secure once clasped, though I'd be more carefully when trying to put it on, as the beads are inclined to slide around.
Soufeel has an extensive collection of charms, at a significantly cheaper price range than Pandora, and caters to a huge variety of tastes and occasions. The workmanship of the 925 sterling silver charms is intricate - each tiny stone in the 14K clover charm was distinct and polished, as were the flourishes around the pearl. The charms are also optimised to fit a Pandora bracelet so, for those who have the overall 'look' of a charm bracelet in mind over strict brand consistency, it's a great way to build on an existing collection (I don't own a Pandora bracelet however, so I can't compare the quality of charms across brands).
I particularly love the look of Soufeel's Murano Glass Beads collection, though the nature of the bead means that it doesn't sit as nicely on the wrist as the others - I wish it was more horizontally oriented.
A key point in gifting or receiving jewellery is in the presentation and it's often lacking when it comes to online orders. Soufeel's items came with its jewellery boxes that have an elegant faux-white-leather texture and black velvet cushions inside, complete with black polishing cloth. The jewellery themselves are stored in ziplock pouches inside. What made it stand out was the attention to detail in providing good quality branded bags inside the shipping box (in the same faux-leather white texture) and a little drawstring bag for the clover charm.
Free worldwide shipping (crucial for Australian residents) is available for orders over $50, and 365 day returns and exchanges are also available. Holiday season is creeping up on us, as well as birthdays and the lot so if you have a charm-bracelet-obsessed friend, consider getting them a couple of charms instead of one, with the same budget.