We love all of the amazing independent designers out there. In order to find out more about just what makes all of these creative types tick, we present to you an ongoing segment called Indie Designer Interviews.
Today's interview is with Kristy Lee, designer of vintage-inspired hand-beaded costume jewelry. Check out her website for fantastic vintage jewelry finds in addition to her own original designs.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work. I am Kristy Lee, owner of Kristy Lee Jewelry. I make 'One of a Kind' Beaded Jewelry. My designs are bold, colorful and originally vintage inspired. My website also carries Vintage Jewelry, Antiques and Collectibles.
How did you get started as a designer? I have been a collector of vintage and costume jewelry for almost 20 years, during which time I never thought of making my own jewelry. I lived a fast paced California life as a U.P.S. driver, so in 1998 when I was diagnosed with a rare brain/spine disease that caused me to become disabled with severe chronic pain, I all of a sudden had a lot of spare time. Then a few years ago I went to a funeral and on the way home we stopped off at a store, where of course I had to check out their small jewelry section. It was there that I realized I could and would make jewelry. I decided I needed to have something to 'pass down' after I am gone, which is why I sign my jewelry. From the moment that I made my first piece, I was hooked.
What inspires your work? I am inspired by scenery, colors, patterns... If I pass by something beautiful and it catches my attention, I will go home and try to make a piece of jewelry that matches the colors and feeling of whatever it was that I saw. Vintage jewelry also inspires me, in that I love the quality of vintage pieces, also the beautiful 'gaudiness' of some of the 50's-70's jewelry.
Who are your favorite designers? I went crazy over Ian St. Gielar's (R.I.P.) beaded jewelry a few years ago. I love all of the designers that make 'Miriam Haskell' style beaded jewelry. I also love Michal Negrin, VRBA and my sister Julia Bristow's jewelry designs. There are really too many for me to list, including many vintage jewelry designers.
What are your top fashion & beauty must haves? Jewelry ! Always a bracelet and earrings for me.
Any advice you would give to aspiring designers? Design from your heart and make sure your clasps are secure.
Where can people find your work? My website: Kristy Lee Jewelry. I have a portfolio on TALENT DATABASE and the Kristy Lee Jewelry BLOG.