Mareli Els was born and raised in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. She qualified in the design of jewellery after attaining a BA degree in Jewellery Design and Metal Techniques at the University of Stellenbosch. Currently she teaches Design and also designs and manufactures specific pieces of jewellery primarily from silver, precious and semi- precious stones and pearls. On two occasions she has received recognition as finalist-winner in the national De Beers Shining Light Awards competition. The pieces she designed for these competitions were classified as 'fresh, creative and brave', which is characteristic of her work. "I am greatly inspired by the Eastern Cape landscape and greater South Africa. Recent trends in my work focus largely on story telling through techniques such as kiln fired enamelling and the colours and textures used along with this skill. I draw inspiration from everyday scenes such as the fauna and flora of this beautiful province, its sunsets and rich seasons as well as family legacies and relationships. There is joy in the small things in life, I make that my focus and would like to inspire those buying my pieces to own their own personal, South African story or memory. I think of my work as ever-changing and evolving as resembled through the adaptability of nature in everyday life. I consider small flaws as a celebration of human nature."
Mareli's pieces are one of a kind, bespoke heirlooms treasures.