Pretty Personal

Pretty Personal with Rhett Baker

Pretty Personal with Rhett Baker

Living in sunny SA, we all know the importance of a good pair of shades (even in winter!). So you can imagine what a design crush we have on Kraft Eyewear - handmade with reclaimed wood and a lot of love. The crafty Rhett Baker is the man behind Kraft, so we had a few questions for him.

Pretty Personal with Rhett Baker

  1. Hello Rhett! Tell us a little about yourself.

    Kraft is me and my wife Kerry. I have a background in graphic design and finishing carpentry.  At the beginning of 2013 I was in a job in sales, least suited to me, driving round endlessly looking for clientele which were driving me insane. I had been in the building/carpentry trade for the last 8 years, and was yearning to do something with my hands again. One day I went for a hair cut at Durban's finest barber (Ed. note: Hi Nev!) where the coffee shop owner from next door came in. I noticed he was wearing a pair of glasses made from bamboo, and that really got me thinking - I could make those out of wood! I immediately went home to Google if anyone had thought of that. To my surprise wooden sunglasses had been a trend in the US and Europe for quite a few years. I set out to make my first pair, and the rest is history.

  2. That's a great set of coincidences - Kraft got started because you were getting a haircut in the right place at the right time! Why the name "Kraft"?

    The name Kraft speaks for itself. Each pair of sunglasses we put out has been individually handmade with care, using old techniques inspired by the craftsmen of the past. We aren't reinventing the wheel, just trying to put out a truly handcrafted product.

  3. What inspires your designs?

    We are inspired by our surroundings, all the thought and love that goes into the creation around us, as well as the amazing bespoke manmade creations we find. Anything bespoke and natural.

  4. We're living in a great time for design. Can you tell us a little more about your amazing sunnies?

    Our products are made from quality natural products. Wood is salvaged from unused offcuts from local furniture manufactures and repurposed, rather than buying new products. Recycling in this way reduces the wastage of our earth's resources.
    Every part of the making process is done by hand using small hand-oriented machinery as opposed to the large scale CNC milling or laser cutting done by most companies. 
    Every pair is hand cut on a scroll saw, something that takes a lot of patience and coordination, but makes the outcome is a truly hand crafted product. The cutting process also ensures that each piece is unique and easily customisable.
    We use the highest quality hinges available as well as quality polarized lenses - all come standard with your pair of Krafts.

  5. And is there a story behind the style names?

    As a Durbanite, born and bred, I really love this underrated city. There is so much talent coming out of this place. All our models are named after old street names  and landmarks, as a homage to this wonderful and colourful city . With my product I hope to lend to the pool of talent coming out of this awesome place.

His future's so bright, he has to wear shades - a pair of Krafts, naturally. You can get your very own pair here, and stay in touch with Kraft's news on Facebook.

Pretty Personal with Claire du Plooy

Pretty Personal with Claire du Plooy

Willow trees are known for their beautiful lines and elegant appearance - so it's no surprise that Willow Tree Bags have those same qualities. They're handmade in Cape Town by the lovely Claire (who's pretty darned elegant herself). Team HP is obsessed with her range, so we decided to take a peek behind the scenes. 

Pretty Personal with Claire du Plooy

  1. Hello Claire! Tell us a little about yourself.

    As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed dressing up and co-ordinating outfits. So it was a given that the Fashion Industry was my calling. I have worked in the rag trade for over  15 years, in manufacturing and retail. I have had wonderful opportunities to travel and live abroad. Although always involved in the creative process, I yearned to see my designs and ideas transformed into beautiful end products, from start to finish. And so Willow Tree was born.

  2. Why did you choose the name Willow Tree?

    Growing up, we had a willow tree at the bottom of our garden. I would gaze out my bedroom window or lie under the enchanted tree’s softly swaying branches and imagine what the  future held. I suppose you could say that I pinned all my hopes and dreams on the branches of a willow tree.

  3. I had a jasmine creeper outside my window as a child and to this day it still stirs up memories. What are some other things you find inspiring?

    I love the smell of cut grass; the sound of falling rain; exploring new places; old things that  have a story to tell; my son’s little arms that wrap tightly around my neck; my husband’s unconditional love and support. I am constantly inspired by nature’s textures and surfaces. I am fascinated by the diverse use  of prints and patterns that vary across cultures, in South Africa and around the world. I have a love for textiles and can’t resist mixing patterns; plush surfaces and textured raffia with leather to create something unique.

  4. Tell us more about the lovely pieces from Willow Tree.

    Willow Tree is designed, sourced and crafted in Cape Town. I am passionate about keeping things local. We have so many talented people in our country and it is vital to grow and nurture the industry. Our aim is to create stylish, functional accessories that will last throughout the years.

  5. Favourite "Willow," and why?

    Willow Pattern (Ed. note: like the crockery). I am a hopeless romantic and love the fable of the forbidden lovers. May love always prevail.

We couldn't agree more! Head over to Willow Tree's Hello Pretty store to find gorgeous bags you'll fall in love with. You can also stay connected on Facebook.

Pretty Personal with Alonya van Rooyen

From the Western Province of the RSA, to the West Coast of the USA - Cape to Cali was Alonya’s story, which she turned into a creative outlet. Marrying vibrant SA prints with beachy California stripes, Cape to Cali makes pretty products out of the best of both worlds.

  1. Hello Alonya! Tell us a little about yourself.

    From a young age I was always interested in art and design - I took art classes from a very young age, then in high school took textiles as a 7th subject at Frank Joubert in Newlands (which is where my love for textiles began), and ended up studying textile design & technology at Cape Tech ( now CPUT).  After my studies, I worked in the fashion industry for ten years in various positions - first for a footwear and accessory importer, then started my eight year career at Levi Strauss. I started at their HQ in Cape Town, then in 2007 I was lucky enough to travel with the company - first a 3 year stint in Brussels, and then as the global accessories designer for Levi Strauss in San Francisco, up until August 2013.

  2. Whoa, that’s quite a journey. And how did Cape to Cali come about?

    It was always a dream of mine, but I was too busy working in my “real” job, which was very demanding time- and travel-wise, which left little time and energy for anything else - and then, I had two HUGE life changing moments. First, I lost my little sister to brain cancer; and second, I became a mom - two very different experiences, both of which make you realize what’s important in life. So, from a desire to be home with my baby girl (and being a creative, I needed an outlet), I decided to take the plunge and see if i could do it! The response has been amazing! I’m so overexcited! And think the best is yet to come!

  3. Quite a bittersweet set of experiences. That’s why you give a percentage of your profits to a cancer foundation, which is admirable. Family is obviously very important to you - what else do you love?

    I love textiles that have a story. I love beautiful materials and colors. I love travel and learning about different cultures. These things all influence me every day. I’ve been very lucky to be exposed to so many beautiful places and cultures…from Croatia to Belize, Thailand, Hong Kong, New York, Milan, Paris, London, and LA to name a few. I have seen (and gotten to shop in!) many places because of my job, so I’ve been exposed to some of the most amazing textile influences.

    I also love the idea of local crafts becoming important again, and people taking an interest in old/”forgotten skills” like shoemaking and tailoring. It’s about building new communities and making us proud again. I am especially proud of the movement happening in SA - in the USA, ” Made Here” has been happening for a while. When I went home to Cape Town in September I was sooooooo impressed with the world-class local talent we have. I am *so* excited to be part of this movement - bringing local manufacturing back to SA, and showing the world who South Africans are ! 

  4. We’re so on board with that! Which brings us to Cape to Cali, and the lovely things you make. Tell us about them?

    I make various home and fashion accessories - bags , purses , clutches , beach mats, napkins , cards…and I hope to add more items into the line as Cape to Cali grows…I have big plans .

  5. We don’t doubt that for a second! But we have to ask…the Cape, or Cali?

    I have to say I can’t choose which one - it’s very much both for me…I will always be a Capetonian, and it will always be home…but there would be no Cape to Cali without the Cali.

Hmmm…we’ll let that one slide since our militant Cape Town love has been completely won over by your fab fusion pieces! Pretties, if you race over to the Cape to Cali Hello Pretty store right now, the first four purchases today will get a little something extra thrown in with their order! You can also get in touch on Facebook and on Twitter.

Pretty Personal with Anne-Michelle Dooley

Every antique once started out as someone’s favourite new thing. Antique Fusion Jewellery makes beautiful pieces that you’ll love now, and someone will treasure years from now. We caught up with Anne-Michelle to find out her story.

  1. Hello Anne-Michelle! Tell us a little about yourself.
    I’ll skip all the boring “I was born in” and “went to school at” stuff, and tell you what matters about me. I love to create beauty in whatever I do! Deciding to become a jewellery designer was the result of a long chain of events with a single goal in mind - find something creative to do and make a living from it. Not as easy as it sounded at first, but well worth my efforts in the end!
  2. We agree! And how did Antique Fusion come to happen?
    After studying jewellery design at Ruth Prowse in Cape Town, I worked for a small jewellery business. In 2007 I decided to quit my job as a jeweller’s assistant, and go it alone. The decision came at the price of some serious hard work and many unforeseen difficulties along the way, but I like to think that’s how I knew it was right. When you know what you want, you are often tested, just to be sure. Almost 7 years later, I am proud to look back at what I have accomplished and excited to look ahead at what’s to come. Antique Fusion is in every way an extension of who I am, it has grown as I have grown, changed as I have changed, and learned as I have learned. I have kept every notebook and documented most of my designs over the years. I often sit and read through them. It’s like reading an old journal. You learn so much about why you are who you are and where you are today. It inspires me to work harder, and encourages me to trust my talent.
  3. Wow, 7 years. That must be a really interesting read. Do you tend to see patterns or repeats of things that inspire you?
    I have always enjoyed the intricate, delicate detail and exquisite craftsmanship of antiques. Fascinated from a young age by these treasures of the past, their influence exists naturally in my work.  The concept of Antique Fusion is to ‘fuse’ the old and the new, so as to create a visual synergy of the two.
    It is difficult as a creative, not to be influenced by the world around you and the things you see. I have chosen to live in a very special place, deep in the heart of the Eastern Cape, high up in the mountains of the Amathola Mountain range. Hogsback is a magical place, and the influence of the abundant nature that surrounds me here, often finds its way into my work.  
     Although now days I enjoy creating with other influences too, my true passion will always be my ‘fusion’ pieces.
  4. Tell us a little more about the pieces you make.
    Antique Fusion specialises in antique inspired contemporary pieces, and we are passionate about custom designed one-off pieces. Working mainly in silver and antique found objects, Antique Fusion pieces often explore unusual combinations of materials for visual impact. Our designs are whimsical and light hearted, but elegant and feminine. All our pieces are handmade to order.  Making each and every piece by hand means putting individual loving energy into every item. We like to think that makes the piece you order special. :) Antique Fusion is primarily an online business. We have an extensive online catalogue and easy to use ordering system, all available from our website.  
    We also have a very active Facebook page where you can enjoy monthly giveaways and specials as well as the latest products straight from the Antique Fusion studio.
  5. So what’s the “Antique Fusion” in your life? What are your favourite things old and new?
    My favourite new things would have to be my husband Brandon and our golden Labrador puppy Baxter, clean white socks, new white vest tops and sparkly crisp white linen (an unfortunate passion for someone who lives so closely with nature) and our very own new house in Hogsback, YAY! (Incidentally, if I wasn’t busy making jewellery all day, I would definitely be a housewife! Making home is my thang!)
    What are my favourite old things? Our house is filled with antiques (as you can imagine) and I adore ALL of them! But if I had to choose just a few, I would have to say my exquisite white antique dressing table,  my old Singer sewing machine and our baby blue 1979 Bay Window VW Kombi (even though she gives us a bit of trouble from time to time).

For gorgeous pieces that will undoubtedly be someone’s future much-loved antique, head over to the Antique Fusion Hello Pretty store. You can also get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, pop back here on Monday and we may just have a little something to give away…

Pretty Personal with Diana James

Fans of sculpture, 80s video games, and geometry, rejoice! Dor&kie Jewellery Objects has managed to take all three and combine them into a range of wood-based jewellery that’s both chic and unique. We found out the story behind the name, and more.

  1. Hello Diana! Tell us a little about yourself. 

    I’ve always had a love for art, but I felt that my natural talent wasn’t good enough to pursue a career as an artist, so I ended up studying Jewellery Design and Manufacture at CPUT, mostly due to my fascination with the detail of everyday things and the “small scale” world.

  2. And what led you to use wood as a primary medium?

    Dor&kie happened by chance - we were moving house, and ended up building a lot at our new house, so my jewelry workshop/tools were in storage for a long time.  To keep myself busy I started experimenting in the space available to me, which was a woodworking workshop, and just fell in love with wood and its potential as a sculptural material; and being a jeweler I started using it in my work.

    The name dor&kie references a lot of things: firstly a door and a key, and since I’m a total dork and a Afrikaner, I’ve decided to use only one “o” for door to reference ‘dork’, and the Afrikaans “kie” instead of the English “Co” for company.

  3. Hahahahaha! That’s certainly an original name! Your pieces are also very distinctive - tell us about them?

    My favourite pieces to make are the rings.  I try something different with every ring, and doesn’t matter how much I design and sketch before hand, the final piece is always a surprise. I’ve recently started working with Polymer clay, to add some colour to my pieces, and I’m also trying to incorporate more metal.

  4. You decided to use wood as a material after spending time in the workshop you mentioned - what influenced the decision to use geometric shapes?

    As a jeweler, inspiration can come from a broad range of things, such as nature, fashion, architecture etc. Mostly my work resembles geometric structures that reference the field of gemology and the of cutting stones.  So in a way my work references a field parallel to jewellery, but by using wood it changes the quality of the overall piece.  Gemology focuses on obtaining the most brilliance from a stone by cutting it into facets to ‘capture’ the light entering the stone, but by replicating these facets in wood the piece becomes sculptural - not adding a function to the material used, but a general sculptural look and feel.

  5. What’s your favourite thing about doing what you do?

    Pushing the boundaries of the material I’m using, and also my capabilities as a manufacturer/craftsperson.  I love exploring the relationship of jewellery and how it fits and interacts with the body.  This aspect of jewellery is another reason why I love using wood in my work.  Wood is soft on the skin compared to cold hard metal and due to its weight, I can play around with the scale of my pieces.

I have a dor&kie pendant myself, and it’s one of my favourite things. You can get your new favourite thing in the dor&kie Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. And, if you check back here on Monday, we might just have a little something to give away…

Pretty Personal with Anna Raimondo

A smith is defined as someone who works with metal - but the lovely Anna from SMITH Jewellery does so much more than that. With Hello Pretty since its inception, she makes pieces that strike a balance between whimsy and elegance - much like the vintage orange MG we’ve seen her zipping around town in!

  1. Hello Anna! Tell us a little about yourself. 

    I was born and bred in Cape Town. I was fortunate to have a very creative mother, and an environmentalist for a father. This meant that I led a very varied life, from ballet performances to walks in the bush, from lace making to Namibian diamond fields. As you can imagine, I was allowed to explore my creative side through art, music and dance, as well as develop a love for nature. I suppose this background meant that there was no way I could not continue to do something creative when I grew up.

  2. That sounds way more interesting than most of our afterschool activities! How did you end up starting your own jewellery range?
    After doing art at school, I studied jewellery design at Stellenbosch University - a 4 year honours degree. Then, I won a scholarship to do a Masters in Design at the Richemont’s school of design, The Creative Academy, in Milan. I spent a year learning about luxury design, and even got a 3 month internship in Chloé's leather department. Feeling the need to travel a bit, I worked and lived in London and Sydney for the next two years. In 2010 I came back to Cape Town to set up SMITH Jewellery.
     
     
  3. Wow - after ricocheting around the globe, you must have experienced so many different things. Where do you get your inspiration from?

    At the risk of sounding corny, I really am influenced by anything around me. As I mentioned before, I grew up with a wide range of interests - this has led to me producing many different collections for both my male and female ranges. Having said this, I inevitably find inspiration in any jewellery, fashion, architecture from 3000BC to the 1900s - basically any old cultures.

  4. We can actually see that a lot in your ranges at the moment - you have some very tribal influences, as well as more delicate pieces. Tell us a little more about the things SMITH makes?

    I design jewellery for both men and women. I specialise in silver jewellery, but lately have been using more brass and copper (which I then gold or rose gold plate) as well. I try to create easy-to-wear, conversational jewellery. My women’s ranges are bold, beautiful and lightweight, while my men’s ranges harp back to the Victorian gentleman with a more humorous tilt. Everything I design is then hand made - this ensure that no two pieces are the same.

  5. Variety being the spice of life. Speaking of which - Will Smith, Maggie Smith, or Patti Smith?

    Definitely Maggie Smith - wise, humorous and feisty!

We couldn’t agree more - Downton’s Dowager Countess is our spirit animal. You can find fun and feisty jewellery in the SMITH Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

Pretty Personal with Robyne Cowling

They say that home is where the heart is - and that couldn’t be more true than in the case of Robyne’s jewellery line, Home Is Where The Heart Is, which has absolutely stolen our hearts. With designs ranging from geometric Aztec pendants to cute and cuddly cats, we were sure there had to be an interesting person behind the pieces, and we weren’t wrong!

Products shown:
  1. Hello Robyne! Tell us a little about yourself. 

    Hello hello! My story goes back a few years. My passion for jewellery started when I was just a little one. My mum owned jewellery and accessories shops in Natal, and I spent my childhood behind the counter ringing up sales -loved the clicky buttons on the till! Some might say child labour, I just call it starting young! 
    After school I tried out a few different interests and passions, and was in the fashion industry for a few years doing make-up artistry and hairstyling. In my spare time I did jewellery and painting hobby classes, and at the age of 23 decided jewellery was my calling, so back to school for me! 

  2. And from there, how did HIWTHI happen? 

    "Home is where the heart is" started out as my final year theme. I put my exhibition on Facebook for friends and family to see what I had been working on all year, and from that a budding business was born.

  3. So your business is actually barely a year old? Amazing! How do you find inspiration for your pieces?

    I love that I am passionate about what I do, and that keeps me ‘topped up’. I’ve become obsessed with dogs, in particular my sausage Lucy, they are the best kind of housemate! Pretty quiet and happy all the time! 

  4. Hm, wondering if it would be possible to swap some of my teammates for sausage dogs. (Kidding guys, kidding…) So, tell us what’s special about the things that HIWTHI makes?

    Well, for starters, each one is handmade with love! <3 
    I think my products and my brand incapsulate me as a person - I deal with each client personally and build a relationship with every one. My brand definitely has that ‘let your heart feel at home’ feeling. I love making people feel comfortable buying jewellery, and more importantly, buying jewellery online without ever having seen the piece. I also enjoy working with clients on their designs and making their jewellery dreams come to life.

  5. We think we know the answer to this one already, but, cats or dogs?

    DOGS DOGS DOGS DOGS DOGS DOGS DOGS DOGS DOGS!!!!!

    So, we’re thinking you might be a dog person, but we really can’t be sure….One thing we are sure about, though, is how much we love her jewellery. Get yours from the Home Is Where The Heart Is Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook.

Pretty Personal with Gina Prins

Gorgeous Gina’s artistic streak has spanned childhood paintings to Fine Arts. She eventually settled on making masterpieces from precious metals, drawing inspiration from nature for the Secrets Unearthed range. We decided to find out some of her secrets.

  1. Hello Gina! Tell us a little about yourself.

    I grew up in Zimbabwe and had a fantastic childhood - horse-riding, fishing, and camping by the Zambezi river with my family. My earliest creative memories were painting elephants in Zimbabwe and fishing boats in Mozambique. My parents always framed my paintings, and I was encouraged to express myself creatively from an early age. I moved to Cape Town when I was 18 and started a degree in Fine Art at UCT; and on the side I started an evening course in jewellery design. I loved it, enrolled to do the full diploma, and never looked back.

  2. Bitten by the jewellery bug! How did Secrets Unearthed end up happening?

    After a few years working in various jewellery shops I thought ”Feel the fear and do it anyway,” and decided to start my own range. So, one holiday in Mozambique, after a few Rum and Raspberrys (Ed. note: We asked for the recipe, obviously. It’s Tipo Tinto rum and raspberry Sparletta. You’re welcome.), my family and I started brainstorming and came up with the name Secrets Unearthed…All minerals and gemstones are from the earth, and hold potential to become a beautiful piece of jewellery - they just need to be unearthed and created.

  3. That’s very true. So, what inspires you? (Other than those R&Rs!)

    I love so many things: My amazing family and  gorgeous husband, creating beautiful jewellery, running in nature with my two huskies, wine tasting with my friends, dark chocolate, horse riding, pottery, mushing (husky sledding) on the beach…I could go on! Just absolutely loving life! 

  4. Wait, you can mush on sand?! Guess I know what I’m doing this weekend. Tell us about the pieces we can find in the Secrets Unearthed range?

    Secrets Unearthed is influenced by animals and nature. I love making birds, and custom-making peoples’ pets. I have even done an alpaca range for an alpaca stud farm!  I am crazy about turquoise, and have always worn lots of turquoise as it is meant to protect horse riders. I also love working with old bits of porcelain and adding organic elements like flowers, birds, and animals. I am busy working on a new range for summer - I have amazing new gemstones and porcelain goodies coming soon!

  5. We can’t wait! So, do you have any secrets of your own?

    I am a huge believer in the Laws of Attraction and really bring it into my business. I am a complete vision board and dream journal junkie. I am also a believer in crystal healing, and I know that laughing, running, and yoga will always be the best medicine. 

From downward dogs to R&Rs - you can see the result of Gina’s inspirations in the Secrets Unearthed Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

P.S. Can you keep a secret? Well, so can we - you’ll have to come back on Monday to find out what it is!

Pretty Personal with Melody Watson

A real Southern gal who swapped the American South for the African, Melody’s designs make you smile the second you see them. An autodidact (sjoe, look at us breaking out the fancy words) when it comes to jewellery, her pieces are simple with an ever-present twist of fun.

  1. Hello Melody! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I was born and raised in the US - southern Georgia to be exact. I speak with a southern drawl, but have learned to tone it down since moving to South Africa. ;)

    I have always needed a creative outlet. School bored me, but art class thrilled me! So leaving school I couldn’t think of anything else that would make me happier than being an artist. This led me to study art in college where I found a love for photography and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors in Art.

    But, apart from art, there has always been a part of me that craved a bit of adventure. Growing up a shy girl in a small town, life can become a bit mundane. Even though being the least likely, I became the first in my family to get a passport and after college I went travelling for a few years and worked my way around Europe with my South African boyfriend.

    Fast forward a few years later, I’m now married and settled (for now!) in Cape Town, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

     
  2. We think so too! And hey, you can’t get much more southern than SA. How did you get into jewellery design?

    When I moved to South Africa I had no idea where to start looking for work. But, I knew I would die if I had to work a 9-5 office job. For the first year I was here, I settled in and did a little freelance creative work here and there. It took a trip home to the states with a sore foot (which left me on the couch for over a month!) to help get the creative juices flowing. With nothing to do all day but surf the web and shop online, I stumbled across beautiful handmade jewellery that people sold online. Right then and there I thought “I could do that!”

    1 year later after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and youtube tutorials behind me, I launched my first designs for sale online and OffbeatMelody was born! I made a sale within the first few hours and I have not looked back since.

     
  3. So you’re actually 100% self-taught? Amazing! What inspires to you when you’re creating things?

    People that have the guts to take risks and go after their dreams, even if they seem so far out of reach.

    I also love travel, travel, and more travel and good, nutritious food. My husband and I love to cook and try new restaurants every chance we get. And then I have this quirk where I like anything that is “small”. My bucket list includes seeing the little five rather than the big five. ;)

  4. Oh man, I’m exactly the same. A thing’s cuteness is inversely proportionate to its size. That’s just science. Is that why a lot of your designs are miniatures of everyday things?

    OffbeatMelody jewellery is based on the whimsical and the down right out of the ordinary. I make all of my pieces in hope of evoking some sort of feeling or emotion from the viewer/wearer. Whether it be a sense of happiness, nostalgia, or even laughter.

    I try to go that one step further with my designs to make my pieces unique and come to life!

     
  5. You’ve certainly succeeded - I chuckle a little to myself every time I see your T-Rex earrings. Last question - what’s your favourite melody? (Other than yourself!)

    If you meant music, and you are asking for my “favourite” melody? Well, I do not do favourites (it drives my husband insane when I say that!)

    But, in life I march to the beat of my own drum. I hate following crowds, trends or fashions. I decide for myself whether something works for me or not. Thats why you won’t see run-of-the-mill designs in my shop!

     

We couldn’t agree more! You can see more of Melody’s work in her Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Also, we’ve got a little something from her that’ll have you whistling a happy tune on Monday, so be sure to check back here!

Pretty Personal with Jackie Hahn

In a move that most business students can only dream of pulling off, Jackie Hahn dropped her BComm studies four months in and decided to answer the call of the design industry. Finding inspiration in both the everyday and the obscure, her Jam Jewellery range is a treasure trove of pieces that’ll make you wish you had more hands and ears!

Products shown:
Brass leaf dangling earrings
Silver crown cut-out earrings
Delicate folded sterling silver bracelet
Wood ring with heart cut-out
Silver crown cut out pendant
 

  1. Hello Jackie! Tell us a little about yourself.
    From an early age, I always loved doing creative things with my hands, and collected things like different shapes, sizes, and colours of leaves, or made collages of pictures or found objects that inspired me.
    When I left school I went to Stellenbosch University to study BComm (Management Sciences). However I soon realised that this wasn’t my passion and that I was meant to be in a designing and creating environment. So after just 4 months I quit my studies and took the leap of faith, and enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts degree in Creative Jewellery and Metal Design at Stellenbosch University, graduating in December 2009. I have never looked back since. I am so lucky to have found my passion in jewellery design and manufacturing and that I can persue my creative talent as a career. After all, I was born to be a creative.
     
  2. And from there, how did Jam Jewellery happen?
    Soon after completing my studies I started working at a jewellery design company, but my feet soon became itchy and I wanted to stretch my wings over the waters. So in 2011 I went to Germany for an internship at a jewellery company and worked for a while at a goldsmith’s. However, I soon longed to start my own brand and so at the end of 2011 I returned to my home turf and started working on my lifelong dream of establishing my own brand.
    For the duration of 2012 I worked under my jewellery brand called “Hahn Jewellery”. I was invited together with 2 other international jewellery designers to showcase my jewellery in Berlin in October 2012. However, I decided that I needed a quirky, fun and creative brand that I can take to markets, online shops and festivals, a brand that people will remember, like, enjoy and can relate to.   
    So finally the birth of Jam Jewellery happened at the end of January 2013 and we are going full steam ahead and loving every moment! And we are here to stay…
     
  3. Your pieces have a lot of different styles - so, do you get inspiration from a lot of different sources?
    I love nature! Most of my inspiration comes from nature, I just love the organic feel of it, especially things like: shells, seed pods, underwater sea life, mushrooms, leaves, textured surfaces…but also found objects, like anything rusted or that has paint is peeling off, makes me super happy and excited ( I still want to do a range like this!). I also get a lot of my inspiration from industrial design such as lampshades, or interesting design in homeware, décor, and anything with an organic feel to it. Three of my favourite artists of all time are Gaudi, Mucha and Hundertwasser Haus. Their work is very organic and has a lot of interesting and intricate patterns and textures that puts my creative juices on a buzzzzz.
    Apart from jewellery, one of my all time favourite things that I like is to travel. I love just walking all by myself in ancient cities and exploring every church, interesting building, market and alleyway. My other favourite pastime is to walk or climb a mountain when I can, and to go scuba diving when I have the chance. However, when I can’t do those, I will settle for an Italian ice cream date with my boyfriend in Stellenbosch and pretend we are somewhere in Europe.
     
  4. And when you’re not climbing/diving/exploring/eating ice cream, you make pretty jewellery! Tell us about Jam Jewellery?
    Jam Jewellery specialises in designing and making of any kind of jewellery in various metals and materials such as: Wood, leather, and semiprecious stones. Our main focus is to custom design and manufacture engagement rings and private commissions, and also to design and produce our own unique jewellery range specially for the Jam Jewellery brand.
  5. Last question - what’s your favourite thing to put jam on?
    On a warm freshly baked scone with some cream!

Ooh, we could murder a scone with some jam right now. You can check out more from Jam Jewellery in her Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you check back with us on Monday, we might just be giving away one of the stunning pieces featured in this post.

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