i. I work as a:
Jewellery designer and owner of Elle and Zeine Designs.
ii. I do this creative work because:
It’s therapeutic for me, just like spending time in nature…it’s soothing for my soul and I enjoy it! I create whimsical, colourful, and uniquely modern copper jewellery for crystal lovers and adventurous hearts. I choose and use quality materials and incorporate natural gemstones, seashells or something organic, some of which I’ve collected or sourced throughout my travels and journeys. I create in small batches and limited editions, each piece unique and one-of-a-kind…just like its wearer.
I credit my sister Juzeine who inspired me with jewellery-making from the very beginning, hence the origin of the name Elle and Zeine Designs. What began from a ring-making kit she gifted many years ago opened my entire life to crystals and gemstones. Later on, various silversmithing and jewellery-making classes ensued, and then to my self-taught venture in electroforming, of which I am very proud. Through different steps and stages, crystals and gemstones are lovingly and painstakingly handcrafted into beautiful pieces of art using the electroforming process. Together with electricity and an acidic solution, a slow growth of copper envelopes and layers certain areas of the piece. It takes 12 or more hours to electroform, giving it a sturdy and durable coat.
Inspiration for my creations come from a multitude of things such as my love for travel, anything sea, sky, and nature related, the arts, and my beloved home Vancouver, surrounded by scenic coast and lush mountains.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
~ being detail-oriented and having patience with myself in the creation process.
~ dedication to the project at hand.
~ perseverance to keep doing what I love and being passionate about this little business of mine.
~ allowing my creative and artistic side to run free with my imagination!
~ perhaps my little obsession with crystals, rocks and minerals also contribute to the reason why I love what I do!
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
~ juggling EVERY aspect of running a small business, from selling online to vending at markets and shows, and not to forget all the background work on top of wanting to just create!
~ working a lot of long and odd hours.
~ all the ups and downs when it comes to sales. There will be good days and not so good days.
~ electroforming can be an unpredictable art form.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
Honestly, I bloomed late in life when it came to spreading my wings to express myself. My creative times were when, after graduating from college, I went to fashion merchandising school, then aesthetics school, and finally to taking some jewellery-making classes, all the while supporting myself since I was 19 years old!
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
My family. When I was growing up, my dad was a handyman around the house, but also liked to express himself through photography and art. My mother loved to crochet and knit, which influences some of my creations. And finally my sister who loved to draw.
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
I graduated from Marketing and Sales, then several years later, I took a few creative courses such as silversmithing and beading classes throughout town. I also took a basic 3 hour electroforming course in Tucson, Arizona, and taught myself the rest through a lot of internet research and through a lot of trial and error.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Just because you’re working a dream job doesn’t mean everything comes easily. It takes a lot of hard work. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go well right away. Keep working at it and good things will come in due time. A lot of blood, sweat and tears are involved in every aspect of jewellery design and business.
ix. Some proud career moments:
~ Other than a 3 hour basic course, I am pretty much self-taught in electroforming jewellery, so I’m very proud of this.
~ I started working for myself just a little over a year now, thanks to the loving support of my boyfriend. With the help of an e-commerce platform, I developed my online store on my own and started selling my jewellery there.
~ I threw myself in head first and vended my very first show at a large 3 day gem show event, and needless to say I was very very proud for things running smoothly and successfully.
~ The fact I was asked to do this email interview to highlight my work is an honour.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Be ready for the unexpected.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
I want to expand my creations to include silver-smithed pieces, and to contribute a percentage of my sales to BC Children’s Hospital and an animal rescue/shelter.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
• Website: https://elleandzeinedesigns.ca
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elleandzeinedesigns
• Upcoming show: Nifty for Fifty on Sunday April 14, 2019 from 11am-6pm at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street) Nifty for Fifty 2019