This story begins back in the nineties. As a little boy, Karolis Bikinas, was different from the other children in his neighbourhood. Most of his time he spent indoors, playing with self-made toys. Because his parents couldn’t afford to buy him LEGO toys he used to make the figures himself from plasticine. Even the smallest parts like swords, shields and crowns he made with the tiniest of detail to replicate.
Seeing a huge potential in their son’s creativity, his parents took him to an art school when he was just 8 years old. Once at high school Karolis would attend various town contests to showcase his drawings. He then went to the Academy of Arts in the small town Telsiai and studied Jewellery and Silversmithing. He didn’t enjoy studying there as it was a really small, quiet town with not a great deal to do when he wasn’t at the jewellery bench. His friends had all left to study in the capital ‘Vilnius’ so he was finding it really tough but he kept going spurred on by his love for his craft.
In 2014, Karolis graduated from the Academy and made a sculpture for the town which is now one of the most attractive things to see in Telsiai and he is immensely proud of this achievement. He finally travelled to the capital, Vilnius, and found a job in a metal studio. Here he used the skills he had learned to restore interior pieces like candle holders, frames, handles etc bringing old things to life without changing the essence of their purpose. Karolis also got to work for some famous Lithuanian jewellers but he was eager to make his own mark on the fashion industry and made a tough decision to leave his family home and head to Europe with some friends, including Egle.
He had met Egle at high school and she shared his huge passion for art; her specialism was photography. Their souls connected and they decided to make art together but it was going to be a long road with lots of rejection letters and many part time jobs along the way to save money to be able to buy all the jewellery tools Karolis would need to start his own creative business.
Karolis and Egle moved to Manchester and worked hard to realise their dreams with the help of money sent to them from Egle’s mother. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Egle lost her mother in a fatal car crash which affected them badly; this was the hardest period in their lives. Through the darkest days, heaviest rain and coldest nights they worked hard to create their jewellery brand Emperor of Grace to make Egle’s mother proud in heaven.
Their jewellery is unique, creative, bold and all handmade with love. Their brand has been well thought through. Emperor shows that they are warriors, working hard and giving all their energy to their beautiful creations, and Grace is because, after everything they been through, they made it and are now releasing beauty to the world.
Egle and Karolis are passionate about Ancient history and the Middle Ages and this inspires some of their designs. The human silhouette that appears in some of their creations is an emperor who comes from the past to the future and made with all the beautiful gemstones to show his beauty, power, and grace.
We hope you love the creations we have chosen by Karolis and Egle to grace our cabinets during the festive season and in to 2021. They are available for commissions too so if you don’t see the stone you like then just chat to us and we can source this for you and Karolis can turn it into an amazing statement piece of jewellery for you that no-one else will have!