SUSTAINABLE DESIGNER FASHION

A Conversation with Tenishia @Escorpi

 

Tenishia, the face of our latest campaign, is an old colleague turned friend of our CEO Jessica. Not only is she breathtakingly beautiful and an absolute rockstar to work with, she also shares a lot of the same values as the Goodfound. Tenishia has taken her journey from modelling to PR, and now a mother of one and the founder of Escorpi, an ethically lab grown diamond business that she runs by herself. Everything from design to production to managing the day to day of running and the business. We not only had the pleasure of working with her, we also got to speak to her, and find our more about Escorpi. If you haven’t heard of Escorpi before, visit the website here.


What made you start Escopri?


I’ve always had an appreciation for the beauty of diamonds but never felt comfortable with the lack of transparency involved with mined diamonds. Whilst the Kimberly process now exists, there are still massive loopholes and mined diamonds change hands so many times it’s hard to really know the conditions in which the mined diamond you purchase have come from. Likewise with clothes, I really have a consciousness every time I make a purchase, I think if you have the power to purchase goods you should try to make one that doesn’t come at the expense of other humans. Obviously I'm not perfect, I make mistakes but it’s a journey of trying to make better decisions. This is why on discovering that lab grown diamonds have the exact same chemical, physical and optical composition of mined diamonds but come from lab, to jeweller to customer, I became so enamoured. Lab grown diamonds seemed like the obvious way to enjoy something beautiful without the guilt and I decided I wanted to provide that option for people. Technology is improving everyday too so lab diamonds are consistently improving their ability to create diamonds using renewable resources. 


What makes Escopri unique?


I am very proud to be a black owned, female business owner from London who did not grow up as part of the diamond industry. Studying at the Gemological Institute of America and being part of the industry you realise how many people have grown up with families in the business. My father in law has been in the jewellery industry for over 50 years however so this did spark my interest and provides an invaluable insight. I’ve always tried to soak up the expertise of others around me. It’s so important to be humble and listen to those in the room who are smarter than you, yet acknowledge that whilst their expertise may lend themselves well to some areas, you will have your own unique perspective and talents. Escorpi is unique because I offer accessible luxury, with lashings of glamour, hints of cheekiness and in a way that is always inclusive.


Where does the name Escorpi come from?


I was playing around with names and perhaps because I'd recently had my son I wanted something earthy, fiery and personal. I started looking at the word scorpio (my star sign) and loved the Catalan translation ‘Escorpi’, it just felt right. I connected with the word and just went with it. 


What made you quit your job and go out and do your own thing?


I think after you have a baby your priorities become really clear and need to be rewarded either through learning so much, financially or because you are happy to exist as you are, I really felt a need to power forward, make immediate decisions with direct results. I’ve always been very driven and opinionated on how things can be better so I think building something of your own lends itself to that, otherwise you’re just throwing out your energy and it may not form part of someone else's vision. 


What are you most proud of?


Having the courage to make the jump. I have many friends who have companies and they’ve said the anxiety or fear you feel never leaves you when you have your own business but it just changes over time and manifests itself differently at the many different stages. 


You have a little son too, how do you balance being a mum and an entrepreneur?


Setting up I had the luxury of childcare, this enabled me to study my diploma and set up the business. It is really harrowing that childcare is so expensive that it widens the gap between mothers and their ability to engage with opportunities.  Many women are dropping off from work forces because it’s not financially viable or worth it at the time and they are not supported during a time when they should be nurtured in order to flourish. I actually now have less childcare then when I started for the time being due to the pandemic which has been a struggle, as I have to fit everything around looking after my son or the few days he’s at nursery but i’m greatly aware coming from a single parent household that many mothers are doing even more with even less. My struggles pale in comparison. 


We are so happy you agreed to model for our latest campaign!


Thank you so much for asking me!! It was really nice to be a part of such a small female team. I used to model years ago and would often feel extremely uncomfortable, so it’s really important to create places of safety and comfort for people to feel their best. Also it’s such a pleasure to connect with someone from the past on a project. I think that’s one of my favourite things about my business is that the random ways I’ve been able to work with people from the past and present. 


What was your favourite piece from the shoot?


I absolutely loved the Stella McCartney fluffy coat, and the pink sparkly Ganni top. Also the little brown checked shirt isn’t something i would usually choose myself but I thought it was so cute.