i. I work as an independent jewellery and clothing designer.
ii. I do this creative work because:
I am genuinely interested and fascinated by fashion. I’ve always been super
particular about the clothing and accessories that I wear. I love putting
together outfits and dressing up. The actual physical aspect of making
things is something I’m naturally drawn to; it’s a mental thing as much as
it’s creative. It gets me out of my head and allows my imagination to run
wild. If I didn’t have opportunities to sell my work I’d still just make
them for myself because for me it’s an obsession.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Being super creative, ultra observant, able to find inspiration and
potential in almost anything, not afraid to take fashion risks.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Having the energy and time to make all the ideas I come up with while still
having a fun and healthy personal life. It can be hard to stay in your
studio all day sometimes when it’s gorgeous out.
v. Childhood hobbies:
Anything art related. I was fortunate that my parents supported and encouraged those endeavours. My Dad had (still does!) an awesome workshop and we were allowed to make things with his help. I remember doing a fun pottery class and other workshops at the Surrey Art Gallery. My Dad actually got into jewellery making when I was about 10 and me and my brother followed suit. We had a rock tumbler and learned how to shape cabochons. I think this definitely struck a chord with me on what direction I wanted to take career wise. I was also constantly drawing and writing.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
Allison Wonderland, Erin Templeton, Anita Sikma, Daub and Design, Strathcona Stockings, Eliza Faulkner.
vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
Completing the VCC Fashion Arts Program in 2006 and taking jewellery
classes at Mountain Gems.
viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
That something that looks “simple” is not worth paying more for. The simple
earring studs from that chain store are $5 because a machine made them and they probably have lead in the metal. The ones I make are $40 because they’re made from sterling silver and I cut, shaped and soldered them by hand.
ix. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Research where you can take classes and just start doing it! When I started
I used to make things out of broken glass, buttons, toys, hardware
supplies, old fabric. A hot glue gun was my best friend.
x. A professional goal I have for the future:
To sell in more stores around the world.
xi. If you want to see my work:
Little Dream, Net Loft Granville Island
Woo To See You, 3671 Main St. and 1062 Mainland St.
Zebra Club, 3101 Granville St.
Markets: First Pick Sept. 16 and 17, Heritage Hall 3102 Main St.
I’ll also be part of a jewellery showcase at Vancouver Fashion week on September 24.
• Photos courtesy of Bianca Barr