One of our primary goals on Future Heirloom is to uplift emerging makers and brands who are transforming the jewelry world and making lasting impacts on our community. This week, we’re giving you a peek into the World of Sanct Desiderata, one of our favorite New York-based jewelry brands, with a special interview with founder Julia De Souza (she/her) and a look at the brand’s just released and much anticipated documentary Sanct Desiderata/Universe.

Julia De Souza of Sanct Desiderata

“I was born and raised in Costa Rica to a Brazilian mother and a Costa Rican father. I was always interested in art and I started modeling clay since I was a little kid, at 13 years old I had my own jewelry storefront. I founded Sanct Desiderata in the summer of 2012. I wanted to represent my generation and my friends with jewelry that felt fun, interesting and genderless.

Julia De Souza

Future Heirloom: Tell us, why jewelry? 
Julia De Souza of Sanct Desiderata: I think jewelry can tell you so much about history and nature and it’s hard to overlook it, it marks history next to architecture and that’s how I connected them both, you can see what people were doing and thinking and developing, the skills and means they had, and it keep changing so makes it very exciting.

FH: What does the power of jewelry mean to you and your practice?
SD: The power of representation, of statements of history and stories and the power of the artist to create all these pieces for someone else.

A still from Sanct Desiderata’s new documentary.

FH: What’s the most important part of your creative process?
SD: I think the most important part of my creative process is to be able to develop an idea to where I want it to go, it takes time on the paper, being able to sketch to detail what i want to make is fundamental, and even after the design is produced the design can evolve, which is even more fun, I love to imagine huge weird pieces and then get them “down to earth” to a more wearable accessory.

FH: Who is your work for?
SD: My work is for people that like to discover new things everyday. I think when you see my pieces they’re full of meanings and representations, and if you try to figure it out you can see where the piece came from. Curious, lovers of the uncommon and people that like to feel ‘that weight’ of the metal.

FH: What are two things that inspire you?
SD: Nature and humans.
Nature is a big part of my background; I’m from two countries that have a lot of rich natural resources, and especially Costa Rica, which is trying to protect their natural habitat so much. I’ve been an animal and nature lover since I can remember and it was kind of forced in my upbringings to protect and care for beings that were here before us.
Humans are very interesting beings, we have destroyed so much of our environment that it’s hard for me to accept us as inspiration for my art. But we’re all part of this universe and I love to study philosophy concepts and theories of everything to learn how our thoughts have evolved and how we develop as a society. I make jewelry for Humans, hopefully for humans that want to be better with each other and to the planet.

Teaser of Sanct Desiderata’s documentary

FH: What stories are you telling in your work?
SD: I’m probably telling those stories you want to keep telling to your people. My preference for custom work allows me to put a mark into people’s life’s most important moments. I want to be telling Your Personal Story, that’s why people come to me for this special pieces, I love to listen and learn as much as I can. We all have a story to tell, however big or small, and if it’s important to them I want to help them keep them forever next to them, and hopefully pass them along the years, like folk legends. Metal has a status of permanence that’s very rewarding.

My background is in architecture and I appreciate the narrative and process behind every piece that make them what they are. Jewelry, for me, is encapsulated stories, mixed with ancient skills that we have been developing through the centuries, it all feels really magical and transcendental and that’s how I want Sanct Desiderata to be perceived.”

Julia De Souza
Pearl pendants from Sanct Desiderata.

FH: What’s new that you’re excited to share with us?
SD: I’ve just been working on a lot of mini sculptures that have a lot of special gemstones, one of a kind pieces in noble metals. My mini doc is being released this week, we started filming last year and hopefully everybody can see how my jewelry comes to life.

Medallion necklace from Sanct Desiderata.

Head to Sanct Desiderata’s website to view the full documentary on Julia’s practice and inspiration. Follow Sanct Desiderata @stdesiderata.

Thanks to Julia De Souza of Sanct Desiderata for sharing a behind-the-scenes look at her brand, practice, and documentary with us. Images, film stills, and text provided by Sanct Desiderata. Interview edited and compiled by Future Heirloom Editor Jackie Andrews.