The Story of Ward Strootman dates back to about a century ago. The story of my great granddad that I continue today.
I grew up with my mother Luciënne Jesse who has her own Jewelry Business, JeSse Jewelry. Diamonds and gemstones are in the Jesse family’s blood. My great-grandfather Bernhard Jesse (1896) started as a diamond cutter and was the founder of the Elion & Jesse diamond factory, where my grandfather Albert Jesse (1936) also worked. After the Second World War he started in the diamond trade, and where my mother became an apprentice for a long time. Once in the profession she discovered her love of colour stones. She obtained her graduate gemology degree at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York. When my grandfather’s business moved to Antwerp, my mother started up for herself in Amsterdam, buying and selling a jewellery line and not long after as a jewellery designer, commissioned by jewellers. She had over sixty outlets, but opened her own JeSse Jewelry store in 1998. From then on, she could really started selling her own designs.
Growing up in a family of jewelers. I was the only new generation in the family showing interest in gemology.
While studying business, I realised I needed to dive deeper into the subject. After my Bachelor I started studying gemology at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in London. I couldn't get enough of it. There is so much to learn and so many things to see. Back in Amsterdam I started working with my mother at JeSse Jewelry. Attending shows and meeting many people in the business. Realising that there has not been a change in the industry for a long long time. Being the new generation I wanted more and operate differently.
I see the raw and rough minerals, but I think of them as art. Combining my knowledge of gemology and passion for aesthetic. There is so much beauty in nature and there are infinite stories to tell about the journey from mine to market.
This is where Ward Strootman arised. a combination of Natural History, Art and Jewelry.