In 2020, the Paris-based jeweler Anaïs Rheiner made a gold necklace with a citrine, a gemstone that some believe bolsters creativity, for her friend Thibaud Monge Etcheberry. She had no idea at the time that the gift would lead them to collaborate on a jewelry line for men.
Called Healers Fine Jewelry, the brand highlights stones — and the healing powers that some gems are said to have — as a way “to do something a little more modern” and different with jewelry for men, Ms. Rheiner, 41, said during a video interview from the space where she makes her own line, Anaïs Rheiner Joaillerie, and now Healers.
Introduced on Instagram in February 2021, Healers was added to the men’s offering on mrporter.com within six months, a boost that led to total sales of 160,000 euros ($165,640) between Jan. 1 and July 31, more than double the €70,000 that the brand had sold in 2021.
Ms. Rheiner funds Healers from her own business, with Mr. Etcheberry taking an undisclosed commission on sales for dealing with the commercial side of Healers, including establishing and managing the retail relationships.
The brand also debuted in the men’s offerings on matchesfashion.com in September. “A lot of jewelry brands we work with at the moment are very polished and this offers something a little bit more raw, organic looking,” said Ben Carr, a senior buyer at MatchesFashion.
Prices range from €580 to €9,660 for rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. For example, the Half Chakra Half Chain necklace, made with 18-karat recycled gold as well as carnelians, amethysts and other stones, is listed on MatchesFashion at $2,244.
Ms. Rheiner said she had been interested in the healing powers of stones since childhood. “My mum’s always brought me up in a healing world,” she said. “She was always into yoga and reiki and it was her way of educating us.”As a result, she said, “I’ve always felt that solutions could be found in alternative ways of healing. I’ve always believed in it.”
Alicja Wooles, managing director of Holts Gems, in the Hatton Garden district of London, deals in precious and semiprecious gems and has no connection with Healers as a business. She said its approach to gems and their special properties represents a shift. By using precious metal with healing stones, she said, “they are taking it from a general gem enthusiast place into the high-end market.” And, she said, “there is a clear design behind them.”
The duo decided to focus their jewelry on men as “the woman’s market is huge and there’s too much competition,” Mr. Etcheberry, 38, said in a video interview. “You need potentially to have way more budget than we had.”
Mr. Etcheberry, who is a former men’s wear designer, said he had found that “as a man it was really hard” for him to buy jewelry for himself. “Usually it’s not made or created for men,” he said. “It’s made for women and then adapted to a male customer. And I wanted to do something for the male customer that was made for them.”
During his interview, Mr. Etcheberry wore the citrine pendant with an emerald — which should “stabilize emotions,” he wrote in a WhatsApp message — that Ms. Rheiner had made for him, a double initial necklace and a rose gold Van Cleef & Arpels wedding band.
Danielle Thom, a curator at the Design Museum in London, who also has no connection to the brand, said Healers had been part of “a growing acceptance of the idea that men can adorn themselves with color, with decoration and with ornament, and that’s it’s not necessarily reflective of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.”
Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Ms. Rheiner moved with her family to Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1983 for her geologist father’s mining job. She knew she wanted to work in jewelry so she apprenticed with a local goldsmith from 2000 to 2004 and graduated in 2006 with a diploma in jewelry design and manufacture from Durban University of Technology in South Africa.
The next year she moved to Paris and established her brand. She met Mr. Etcheberry in 2009 when he came to a party at her boutique as a guest of a mutual friend.
Born in Bayonne, France, Mr. Etcheberry studied fashion design in Paris for two years before opening his own men’s wear label in 2010. But by June 2011, he “ran out of money so I had to stop,” he said. He spent several years styling TV programs, including the French version of “Dancing With the Stars,” and trend forecasting before turning to fashion buying in 2016, first at Browns in London and then at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. He now is merchandising manager for men’s and women’s footwear for the high-end department store La Samaritaine in Paris and the T Galleria by DFS stores within the DFS (Duty Free Shoppers) Group.
Mr. Etcheberry said his limited background in jewelry allowed him to bring an unconventional perspective to the line. For example, he positioned six oval citrines sideways rather than lengthwise on a bracelet ($6,292) because, he said, “it looked better for men.”
The partners both design pieces and have divided responsibilities for the brand. Ms. Rheiner usually sources gemstones from her father, who has a workshop in Harare, where most of the stones also are cut. She also makes the metal shapes, but the gem setting is done by local artisans. Mr. Etcheberry runs the business side as well as the brand’s website and Instagram account.
Aquamarine is the brand’s best selling stone, according to Mr. Etcheberry. It is said to help the wearer “get out of tricky situations,” he said, and the blue stone also “catches the eye but it’s also subtle enough not to be too obvious.”
As to the future, the duo are planning new products like anklets, as “we are getting demand from men,” Ms. Rheiner said, and wedding rings, as “men could wear something a bit more fun.”
Mr. Etcheberry also has been seeking new retail partners in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Seoul.
His success would mean more employees, too, as “there’s X amount of stones I can obtain,” Ms. Rheiner said, “X amount of hours that I have, and have 10 fingers. That’s it.”