Just a little under two months ago, in mid-April, I went to check out the launch of Pietra Terra, the collaborative AW 15 collection between PICHULIK and luxury Italian perfume brand, Santa Maria Novella. It was held at the Santa Maria shop in the Waterkant area, Cape Town.The PICHULIK range was inspired by individual SMN perfumes. Check the captions below the images to find out how she translated the glorious smells into her neckpieces. FUN FACT: Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest perfumeries in the entire world.


Angelos Wing – This piece was inspired by the Angels of Florence – an iconic fragrance of the Santa Maria Novella house. With jasmine as one if its key notes, the neckpiece wanted to imitate the floral motif and all its symbolism. Jasmine comes from the Arabic yâsamîn, which was in turn taken from Persian. In ancient Indian texts it is referred as the flower of love and it is believed that Cleopatra met Marc Antony on a barge that had its sails perfumed with jasmine. PICHULIK Angelo’s wing expresses the romance of this flower that is at its most fragrant at night with gold thread, a metal that has come to symbolize constancy, and deep blue reminiscent of the starry skies of Giotto.


Katherine-Mary Pichulik, the skattie behind the PICHULIK brand is one of the best South African design success stories to come out of the last three years. Her brand is popular locally and internationally, she is stocked by well-known shops such as Anthropogie in the US and she is available on African super e-commerce site Kisua, among others. The trained artist and Patissiere is also the recipient of the Emerging Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year award, and the African Fashion International Accessory Designer of the Year in Africa award.

She is currently in a multi-disciplinary artist residency in Italy for two months. I got in touch with her to basically ask: How do you do it?!?! Knowledge is power skattie so you gotta ask, and we could do with a bit more knowledge and a few more success stories in the Jewellery & Accessories industry in SA.


Melograno, pomegranate in English, has for centuries been held in high regard. Islam considers it conducive to physical and emotional health, in Hinduism it is a symbol of prosperity and fertility, Christianity associates it with the Virgin Mary and to this day a pomegranate forms the centre piece during Rosh Hashanah celebrations. Melograno is the title of one of the Santa Maria Novellas classic scents. To embody the Melograno’s association PICHULIK used coral, which both mimics the look of pomegranate seeds, but also carries the mythology of coral as a charm for protection and fertility.


Cite de Kyoto – The title directly translates as Voluptuous red. A strong deep red and black neckpiece encrusted with a laced dream agate and wrapped in gold thread- this piece is a statement of strength, an amulet of bravery and royalty. The Santa Maria fragrance that paired with this piece is Cite de Kyoto, which main note is the lotus flower. The lotus flower is able to emerge from muddy waters un-spoilt and pure it is considered to represent a wise and spiritually enlightened quality in a person. We see this neckpiece with the added strength of the laced dream agate as a piece that bestows the wearer with the courage to rise to their greatest potential.


Catherinas ruff is inspired by the heritage of Santa Maria Novella , and how Catherina de Medici commissioned what is recorded to be the first perfume. The neckpiece consists of symmetrical layers in royal maroon, blue and gold mimicking the ruffs worn by Catherina in the paintings of the Renaissance period. This piece inspires the divine and regal innate to all women-everywhere.

First things first, anyone who follows her work knows that she is huge on collaboration, which she seems to do so successfully and effortlessly. “PICHULIK essentially began with collaboration with the brand Lalesso. Collaborations obviously also have positive qualities of opening your brand to new audiences, and sharing a new medium invites new ideas and ways of working. I guess they have also kept us from becoming stagnant. Always flexing our creative muscles by trying to find new solutions, and design answers.” We completely agree.


Vetiver is one of the oldest fragrances in the world and is still one of the few that cannot be reproduced synthetically. The root is used in folk magic to promote personal safety and wellbeing. This is echoed in the clear quartz employed in this piece, a gemstone associated with clarity of thought and communication. The shards of crystals like blades of grass blowing in the wind.


Casa Rosa – The Terra neckpieces are best worn like amulets and double wrapped as chokers. The stone is Silicon Carbide, while rare on Earth, silicon carbide is remarkably common in space. It is a common form of stardust found around carbon-rich stars, and examples of this stardust have been found in pristine condition in primitive (unaltered) meteorites. This neckpiece can be a reminder of our vast potential and our innate connection to the stars – as after all are we not all made up of stardust?


I also wondered about the business side, because let’s be honest here, so many of us that create are quite bad when it comes to business. “I do not have a business partner, however I do have a great capable team including Sarah who is administratively strong, and the advice of a business coach that I meet with regularly. I also come from a family of entrepreneurs including my brother and mother, who advise and provide council.” says Katherine.


Lastly, I asked her to speak to us of international success, we all want it, how quickly should we rush into it? “International audiences have high demands. Before exposing your self to the market, be sure you have the capacity to deliver. Understand all the export logistics, compliances and distribution details or else you might financially cut yourself short by not working these into your costing and lead times.”

You heard it skattie. Now go forth and conquer!



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