I’m Anna Emmett, Henryka’s founder and designer.
So, how did Henryka Jewellery come into existence? Well, the story is definitely NOT an unusual one!
In 2006, I decided to channel my life-long passion of Baltic amber and my love of nature into jewellery that could be worn and loved by all. But do you know where the company name, Henryka, originates from? This name has a very special meaning to me and here’s why…
Henryka was my grandma. I’m forever inspired by her unconditional kindness to others, her never-ending desire to help everyone around her and her ability to see the good in everyone and everything.
Henryka was born 21st January, 1922, in Poland. When she was 6 years old, both of her parents died. Henryka and her older brother were taken to an orphanage and, after a very short stay there, she was separated from her brother and taken away to live with her auntie.
Her childhood and pre-war teenage years were far from easy - she had to earn her living from a very young age by tutoring other children from wealthy families.
When World War II broke out in 1939, Henryka was 17 years old. Like many others, she decided to fight against the Nazis occupying Warsaw.
She joined the Polish resistance movement, the Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa), as the liaison officer (i.e. messenger) to support the entire conspiracy of the Polish Underground State. Her role was to carry messages between high-ranking members of the underground. Very often, she carried incriminating materials, messages, weapons and tricky parcels, so her fate was sealed if she was caught by German soldiers. She knew what awaited her: the Gestapo torture chambers or concentration camps.
But her heroism never failed. She told me many stories of when she was caught by the German Army while carrying messages, but her mental resilience and bravery saved her every time - she managed to find her way out. She was awarded in 1990 The Cross of the Home Army for her efforts during the war. And her stories live on in me today.
My grandma died 12th March, 1995.