When you moved to New York, what was your dream?
I had wanted to move to New York for a long time, and, when I arrived in 1998, I discovered that it was a lot different from what I had imagined. I was still in school and thought I was going to make clothing, I started making one-off pieces for stylists and sort of fell into jewellery design. New York is really unique in that way, your creative interests can sort of morph and change.
Do you have the model of a woman that inspires you when you create your jewellery?
I am always thinking of different encounters I have had with women where our discussion have turned to jewellery. I find it really inspiring to hear how passionate women are about their jewellery; recounting when they bought something, or where they bought it, and I always love the stories about how jewellery was gifted to them by a lover or significant other.
How did you develop your new collection?
I spend a lot of time at the New York Picture Library, gathering reference materials and inspiration. A collection will start with hand sketches. Models are then made, and from these master models we create castings of each component. These are then finished and assembled into final pieces.
The collection with Phillip Lim has allowed you to debut with your first collection. What are your memories of that experience?
The pieces for Phillip Lim were all done in hand stained glass. The experience was a huge learning curve, and I will always remember the patience and support of Phillip and his team.
Rock’n’roll is your inexhaustible source of inspiration. Which record could describe your latest collection?
Lou Reed, Transformer. I love the song, Perfect Day.
How do you mix elements from the street and everyday life with a design typical of fine jewellery?
I try to identify hardware that we are familiar with but would not necessarily consider to be jewellery. I like the idea of manipulating something raw and making it beautiful and feminine. We do this by covering pieces in pave crystal, inlaying them with semi-precious stones, or covering them in precious metals.
What was the last concert you attended?
The Rolling Stones.
Your next trip?
Atlanta, Georgia to see my family.
What is the first thing you do when you start your working day?
I leave yesterday behind.
What’s keeping you up at night?
I’m usually so exhausted by the time I get home, nothing keeps me up.
In which place in New York do you spend most of your time?
The New York City Picture Library.
In 2011 you received from CFDA the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design. What has changed since that moment?
The CFDA reflects the collective opinion of the fashion industry in NY, so it was definitely a vote of confidence. We were introduced to new stores, new members of the press; as a result the business really began to grow.
What will you do today?
It’s 8:00 pm, I’m finishing up this interview and heading home! I’m reading Last Night At The Viper Room about River Phoenix’s life and am completely enthralled by it.