Czech jewelry designers use traditional handicraft to create accessible luxury

Jewelers Marek Odstrčil and designer Ester Engelová produce timeless pieces using diamonds, sapphires, and unique Bohemian garnets.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco Published on 02.12.2021 15:44:00 (updated on 08.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Esterstyl has come a long way since the business was launched twenty years ago. Since then, the designers have been on a whirlwind path of success with their line of handmade gold and platinum jewelry enhanced with diamonds and precious stones in a modern design.

The founders of the Prague-based jewelry company now have showroom and workshop in the Prague center and produce engagement and wedding rings as well as designer pieces using diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and the unique Bohemian garnet.

When Ester Engelová and Marek Odstrčil speak about Esterstyl, the passion for their work is evident. For Marek that passion for jewelry began as a child, when he created earrings and pendants using apricot pits and tin. Ester spent her childhood years with a pencil and brush in hand, bringing color to everything around her.

As they grew up, they both pursued their passion for art and design in their own ways –he by becoming an apprentice at a goldsmith and jeweler in Granát Turnov, she by pursuing an education at the Secondary School of Applied Arts in the same town. And then their lives merged when they met there in 1991.

A year later, they had their own workshop set up. One of our first commissions was brass plaques for the National Theater, which have remained in use ever since. It would take a few years before Esterstyl would begin to take shape as a business venture, but the passion for quality work was there from the beginning as the pair soon decided they wanted to work with quality stones and jewelry, something that wasn’t common in the Czech Republic in the 90s.

In fact, the market at the time was filled with artificial stones and one-of-a-kind, custom-made jewelry was hard to find.

The first step to change that was a move to the U.S., where they both worked for a family-run jewelry store in Dallas and had a chance to learn new technologies of jewelry making, particularly working with platinum and diamond settings. 

By the year 2000, the couple was back in the Czech Republic and had started working under their own brand Esterstyl, where Ester is the design mastermind and Marek is in charge of bringing those designs to life through technical craftsmanship that showcases quality and unpretentious luxury designs.

“Our main concern is linking the old jeweler craft with modern technologies such as 3D printing and microscopic-enhanced setting of gems which enables high precision even when setting the smallest stones,” Odstrčil says. 

The company now focuses on multi-purpose jewelry that looks just as great at a business meeting or a large social event. If anything, Esterstyl has embraced the concepts of simplicity and timelessness as a key to breaking away from other designers. The designers refer to it as “unpretentious luxury,” jewelry that catches the eye because of its quality, not its flashiness. 

In the end, Ester believes that the confidence and honesty the company puts into its designs is what attracts people to the value of a high-quality timeless jewel. 

This article was written in cooperation with Esterstyl. Read about our partner content policy here.

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