In Conversation with Hannah Ward

For this issue, we sat down with designer Hannah Ward, whose love of jewellery and antiques led her to start Trove, a collection of jewellery boxes inspired by the past. 

Hannah Ward in her element, playing with jewellery

What do you love about jewellery?

What’s not to love?! It is a form of self-expression and a powerful way to tell a story. There is a permanence to jewellery, and I am fascinated that vintage pieces may have been worn by three or four people before me. Jewellery is an intriguing historical source providing insight into art and culture. There is just so much to learn when you start to think about the narrative that accompanies your collection.

How would you describe your style of adornment – what jewels are you drawn to? 

Modern jewellery, and lately a 60s and 70s brutalist aesthetic. I love to mix it all up. I am not so much about stones. Instead, I like pieces that explore shapes and form. Depending on the day I may wear very little jewellery or layer it on heavily. I’m the complete opposite of my mum who has worn the same pair of Nanna Ditzel earrings and necklace everyday of her life. They are such a part of her identity, almost an extension of her, which I love and admire too.

Trove ‘Will You’ single ring box in Royal red

What inspired you to start to make your own jewellery boxes?

I have always loved antiques and began collecting jewellery boxes almost by accident when I wanted to find something perfect to store my jewellery in. When I couldn’t find anything suitable, I felt compelled to design my own collection. I thought others would also enjoy the gorgeous experience of storing jewellery in a beautiful box.

How did you come up with the look of the brand and the boxes? 

I wanted the pieces to be something that my Grandmother could have owned and so the core styles in the collection – our Trunk and Mini Trunk – are based on my own antique box from around 1890. It has a beautiful functionality and would have been owned by somebody who most likely had a precious collection at that time. I am drawn to lacquerware too which is a medium synonymous with jewellery boxes. I was fortunate to work with an amazing graphic designer, Pete Johnson from CIP, so it was a team effort by so many friends and family to get the designs just right and continues to be so. 

Could you share a favourite Leonard Joel purchase?

Probably my very simple Cartier dome ring. It just has the most pure, lovely form. It was manufactured in the late 1990s which were also my teenage years, so I love that too!

Hannah with her vintage and Trove jewellery boxes

When it comes to layering jewellery, what’s your advice for the novice? 

As with everything in life, jewellery that has meaning and authenticity will almost always look good. I love when people wear pieces that tell a story of their life, to me it’s so exciting. I’m also inspired when they know about the design or heritage of a piece. I’m rarely interested in the value or design provenance. Beyond that, I always love when I see mixed textures and scale in gold jewellery, particularly if it has a 60s or 70s vibe to it!

What are you coveting next?

A bold statement necklace. Either a vintage Tubogas style or something from Prasi, a brilliant Brazilian brand. I have also just discovered an Australian designer named Sophie Zamel who does the most beautiful and modern take on a diamond huggie. 

What are some jewellery staples that you believe everyone should own?

A great cocktail ring always elevates an outfit, an everyday gold chain, and the best earrings your budget will allow.

Thanks to Hannah for chatting with us and showing her jewellery collection! Discover more at and on Instagram at

Banner Image: Hannah Ward

November 2022