The Early Years (1980 - 1998)
I was born and raised in Africa, where I spent the first twenty years of my life. A chance encounter with Hepatitis B when I was eight put me in the care of doctors at a Hungarian hospital for contagious diseases.
The only visitor I was allowed to have was a kind-hearted "travelling" jeweller who entered my quarantined room and taught me how to make animals out of beads and wire. Crocodiles, foxes and bees came to life in my sterile ward. There was no going back. I was hooked. What followed was a decade of perfecting beadwork, craftwork and painting; all of which I was able to sell to friends and galleries in South Africa.
The Formative Years (1998 - 2008)
During the next couple of years I travelled to Budapest, Istanbul, Vienna, Paris and Amsterdam looking for gems in antique markets. Yet again I was drawn into the world of antiques and jewellery. It was my very own opium den...I just could not leave. I ended up in Budapest where I completed my BA Degree; specialising in Business and Diamond Marketing and later a Diploma in Jewellery History and Jewellery Appraisal.
An itch to do a postgraduate degree brought me to London in 2008, where I started my Master's Degree in Fine and Decorative Art specialising in Antique Jewellery from the Sotheby's Institute of Art. Following my Master's Degree I completed my internship at the jewellery and watch department of the Sotheby's Auction House in London.
2009-2014 (The West-End Years)
I spent the next five years working at reputable jewellers in the Burlington Arcade in the West-End of London. I was a salesperson for a while and then became the Manager of the Restoration, Alteration and Design Department at one of the most traditional, British, family-owned Fine Antique Jewellers in the Burlington Arcade. I met some lovely people and saw some amazing pieces of jewellery. It gave me great pleasure to deal with the "before and after" element of restoring, altering and designing antique and contemporary jewellery while managing my own department. I also had the opportunity to learn the -somewhat dying - art of pearl stringing along the way at the Holts Academy of Jewellery.
After moving to London, I reunited with my my childhood sweetheart, Lee and we share a beautiful little girl called Isla Rose who was born in 2014.
Present (The Agnes Katona Ltd. Years)
While working part-time at a reputable pearl specialist in Hatton Garden - the jewellery district of London - Lee and I decided to start our own company. Ultimately making jewellery as a child and altering, restoring, designing jewellery; and stringing pearls as an adult has inspired me to work with Lee - who is a software programmer. Like-minded people can share in our passion; where they can alter, restore and design their own items of jewellery in a friendly and informal environment.
This website is dedicated to that travelling jeweller - whose name I sadly do not remember- but who nevertheless planted the seed twenty-seven years ago; and to my little girl Isla who ultimately inspired me to start my own company.
I look forward to welcoming you!