She have founded and run Igr London, an independent diamond and precious stone laboratory. She founded and directed Yeraua Diamonds, a diamond trading company. And finally, she founded a jewelry brand that bears her name: Thelma West. An intense journey, but it is not the only unusual aspect: Thelma West, in fact, is Nigerian, born in Lagos. And it is not often that a black woman makes her way into the selective world of precious stones and jewelry. Instead she did it, with understandable pride, and her jewels bounced off the pages of glossy magazines.
She, actually, had moved to London to study mechanical engineering. But she had to interrupt her studies and opted for a gemology course in Antwerp. And so, from the Belgian city she started the trading profession in the diamond market, until precious stones became the raw material for making high-end jewels. The stones, as is now customary, are guaranteed of ethical origin, while the jewels are created through an artisanal process and offered with a lifetime guarantee: a formula that has helped success.
But he hasn’t forgotten her roots: West donates a portion of every single sale to two causes in Nigeria: one for medical bills for children in hospitals and another for girls’ education through secondary school. And, of course, the designer knows that it is difficult for a woman with black skin to work in an environment like that of jewelry, even if she is confident in an improvement in perception.