The descendant of Samurai lords, Keiko Uno doesn't need to look far to find reminders of her ancestors. The family's ruined castle and UNESCO Heritage Listed shrine built around 90BC can still be found in Japan. However, the most telling legacy for Keiko is the mountain that bears her family's name, known as a sacred place of gems.
Keiko has had a passion for gems and jewellery since childhood. This passion was ignited by her grandmother, the wife of a senior statesman. "One of my most vivid childhood recollections is of watching my grandmother get ready for state events," says Keiko. "I used to love watching her as she made her magical transition from my much loved and loving everyday grandma to this exquisite, elegant, eye-catching lady of distinction."
Keiko's family moved to Perth in 1972. Her childhood in Mosman Park was filled with music, culture and arts. On holidays to Japan, she studied calligraphy, flower arrangement, tea ceremony, abacus and dance. However, it was Keiko's love of gems that she pursued into adulthood. She attained a double diploma in Gemology before refining her design skills in Tokyo, New York and London.
Today Keiko travels the world hand-selecting the gemstones that add sparkle and colour to her designs. Her original creations are brought to life by a select group of skilled artisans, with each piece months - sometimes years - in the making. Keiko has built an international reputation creating bespoke pieces for a diverse clientele.
Keiko has now made the transition to creating her own limited edition jewellery lines. Each piece is steeped in meaning, designed to evoke a feeling or favourite moment in the wearer. Her aim is to create jewellery that is not only a pleasure to wear, but seductive and emotive; turning the beautiful into the breathtaking and the glamorous into the glorious.