What is uuuuuup!? We are back with our favourite feature – the creative Q&A – and this week we are treating you lovely lot with some nosey questions that we asked wonderful Kaz, of Gem Lettuce Jewellery.
Get ready for marvellous, fresh pieces made from resin, in vibrant colour schemes to give your work-from-home-loungewear that POP it has been lacking.
JANEY: Hiya Kaz, let’s get straight to it: have you always been a creative wiz??
KAZ: My background is in fashion which is what I studied at university, my last full-time job role was Designer at Ben Sherman Australia. I’ve always been a maker of some sort outside of my fashion work, which now tends to be freelance – the jewellery just kind of grew! I just love colour and textures and the more I played around with resin the more addicted I became. I am self taught and have learnt from many messy mistakes and lots of ‘happy accidents’ too. I have been selling my pieces more seriously online for the last few years.
J: Messy mistakes are the BEST (well, I mean clearly! Just look at those bad boys!).
How would you describe your style?
K: My personal style is colourful, I love clashing colours and prints and have a serious knitwear problem! Even just wearing a simple outfit I love to chuck on a statement ring, necklace or hairclip – it just gives me a bounce in my step and makes me feel bit more unique.
J: There is no underestimating what a good piece of statement jewellery can do to lift your mood on a dreary day (year…)!
Do you have any suggestions for styling your rings and hairclips?
K: Just go for it! Lots of people buy my jewellery to co-ordinate an outfit for a party or event, and others just love it to chuck on with jeans and a tee to make them feel a bit different. The main message I get from my customers is that my jewellery brings them joy and that they feel happy when they wear it – so lovely!
J: We are definitely big on joyful jewellery here, and nothing being saved for best!
So for your beautiful pieces, where on earth do you find your inspiration?
K: I take my inspiration from ‘earth wind fire and water’. I just love thinking of erupting volcanoes, flowers sparkling, the never ending ocean and gorgeous landscapes. With my fashion background I love trends in style and colour and do incorporate to stay current.
J: Ooh I love that! And now you’ve said it, I can clearly see that concept in your pieces.
So apart from a little earth, wind, fire and water, what goes into making your jewellery?
K: The design part could be anything from a scribble in my notebook to finding a shell on the beach, I love to work in themes to generate ideas. I create all of my own moulds so I have a really free way of working that means each piece is unique. Each piece starts as liquid resin that I pour into moulds, once the material has set hard I can remove from the mould and finish it off – this involves goggles and sanding and is the most labour intensive part.
J: And which part of that process is your fave?
K: One of my favourite parts is mixing the colours and casting the pieces, best bit is definitely de-moulding!
J: I can imagine that that big reveal is exhilarating, especially when your work thrives on those ‘happy accidents’!
What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
K: I’ve had some really fun moments like accessorising fashion shows and getting into great stockists, but I think this year has been just such a rollercoaster and honestly I am just so proud of the growth I’ve had during such a strange year.
J: Yes, I think just emerging out of the end of 2020 deserves a medal… how did you find the year in terms of being a creative business owner?
K: Well yes what a year! I am used to doing markets, pop-ups and sending stock off to boutiques and independent shops.. which hasn’t been as possible – so I’ve had to pivot my little business towards online sales. I was nervous as to what would happen at the start of lockdown but have had fabulous support on Instagram and Facebook – just people sharing my work and I think changing the way they shop – shopping small plus looking for something unique and that brings them a bit of happiness. I’ve connected with so many fun new people this year online. The 2020 seasonal period was amazingly the busiest I’ve ever been and I’m always so happy for each and every order.
J: I’m super pleased to hear that you did find some positivity from the year, and have learnt so much to benefit you moving forward! So on the topic of looking ahead, what do you hope to be on the cards?
K: This year I am offering a small ready-to-go collection, which I will make stock of, so that I have some pieces people can get their hands on straight away, perhaps for a gift or they want something to accessorise an outfit for an event. This will sit alongside my made-to-order range that I am currently developing some pretty summer necklaces and earrings for. Lots of colour and sparkle for sure this year and really looking to design styles that bring joy to people’s day. I am also starting to do online YouTube tutorials as I do get asked a lot about my making process, I’d absolutely love to be offering workshops this year.
J: Yay to resin workshops and online tutorials, and to fun colours and sparkles too!
And finally Kaz, where can we find you??
K: You can find my jewellery at www.gemlettuce.com. I’d love to see you on Instagram @gemlettucejewellery and Facebook: ‘gemlettucejewellery‘
My new you tube channel is:
I find myself gazing at Kaz’s wonderful creations, completely besotted with the organic shapes, and of course, the sparkles. If you are feeling the same, go and have a peek at what else she can do!
We’re super grateful to Kaz for chatting to us, and for blessing us with her talents and sparkle!
Time is a-ticking, and despite January feeling like it began a whopping 15 months ago, we are finally approaching February (hurrah!) and that means Valentines Day! Join us next Friday (5th Feb) for a look at some gorge makers and small businesses who have got us sorted for cards, gifts and more for the special someone!