How I Got Here: Martine Hul Channels Positive Energy Through Jewelry – JCK

Designers / Industry
By Karen Dybis | June 21, 2023
Martine Hul describes herself as a natural entrepreneur, a smart saleswoman, and a lifelong traveler who seeks positive energy wherever she roams.
All of these descriptions come together in her fine jewelry brand, Hulchi Belluni. Hul represents her name and her parents’ influence on her life; chi comes from her passion for feng shui. And Belluni is her take on the Italian words bella luna, or beautiful moon.
Hul says her journey from her early days in Ghent, Belgium, through her retail career, and into her work today as a jewelry designer influences the pieces she creates for Hulchi Belluni, which is based in Antwerp.
“My parents had their own brewery called Hul in Merelbeke, a little village by Ghent,” Hul says. “This is how I always saw from a young age what entrepreneurship was. Entrepreneurship is in our blood, and I knew even then that this is what I was going to do later on.”
In 1987, Hul began studying physiotherapy, which she describes as treatment to help patients repair, maintain, and improve their mobility and overall well-being. It involves physical rehabilitation, injury prevention, and healthy eating and exercise.
During her school vacations, Hul—through an introduction by her mother—worked at Louis Reichman’s jewelry boutique, Juweel Design Barucci, in Antwerp. “I started selling some jewelry to acquaintances. Then I took a summer job at this jeweler and never left,” Hul says. “I started selling in the jewelry store, and because of the excellent results, I became the retail manager and, later, the purchase manager of the company.”
Often, the jewelry she chose to stock at the store would sell out. That’s how Hul realized she had an excellent eye—and she was ready to use it in jewelry design.
“The success of the collections I bought for the jewelry store was amplified by the changes I made to the pieces when selecting them from the manufacturer,” Hul says. “The proven results of my intuition as a purchasing manager, combined with my own creativity and the experience I built up, automatically led to the idea to create my own line of fine jewelry.”
She debuted Hulchi Belluni in 2001, offering a collection called Funghetti. “It was an idea when I was walking in the forest and saw a bunch of mushrooms of different sizes and shapes. That’s where I created the design of the collection,” Hul says. “A circle set with diamonds in a beautiful pavé setting was the basic shape. We made this shape in different sizes and combined them with different types of jewelry. Simple, elegant, and very appealing.”
Feng shui, which she has studied for years, influences her jewelry, with its its principles of bringing energy into balance. “The objective of feng shui is to make you prosper by modifying your surroundings to improve the flow of energy,” says Hul.
“Feng shui has played an important role throughout my life. I wanted to create jewelry that radiates positive energy—or positive chi as they call it in feng shui—so when a woman wears my jewelry, I want her to feel that positive energy,” she says.
“Hulchi Belluni brings harmony to the world by creating jewelry that fosters a sense of well-being and abundance for all those who wear them,” Hul says. “The company grows organically by meeting new people along the way.”
Top: Martine Hul has expanded Hulchi Belluni, the Belgium-based brand she founded in 2001, internationally and hopes people feel positive energy when they wear her jewelry. (Photos courtesy of Hulchi Belluni)
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