Raised in Brussels, Belgium, in a Turkish family, Kandiyoti embraced the spiritual traditions and superstitions of her home, and ultimately incorporated them into her work. Her passion for anthropology was kindled while in high school, when she notes she was “intrigued at how one could perceive and interpret things in a variety of different ways. This view of the world has stayed with me ever since…”
Educated in law and English studies in London, she went on to join her family’s textile business, but the seeds of her future career had already been stitched into her soul; her passion for stones had been revealed to her on a backpacking sojourn in Latin America and it helped cement the path she felt compelled to follow.
Today, her jewelry, crafted in Turkey, is based on many spiritual motifs, the most popular of which are the Turkish evil eye and the hamsa, or the hand of Fatima. She believes in the healing power of stones and talismans, and says that many women wear her jewelry as good luck charms. She incorporates stones — sublime, sensory, and spiritual — into most pieces, and notes that “Jewels and stones can make you feel special.”
Working in white, yellow, and rose gold, she creates a line of modestly priced jewels, many featuring a variation of the evil eye, in highly interpretive styles; occasionally, the classic turquoise and white style crops up. But, mostly, Kandiyoti’s designs are free-flowing, interpretive, organic. Her jewelry is sold at London’s most prestigious emporia, including Harvey Nichols and Liberty of London, as well as at Fred Segal and Net-a-Porter.