Visual Collector. Swimwear Hoarder. Accessories Lover. Modern Jewellery Magpie. Pattern and Colour Obsessor. Vintage Fancier. Craft Advocate. Sunseeker. Jodi Muter Hamilton.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mothers Meeting at Exposure PR

Mothers Meeting 'More Than Just A Mum' private view at Exposure PR was packed full of lovely ladies enjoying cocktails, looking at photos of mums which wouldn't be out of place in iD magazine. Each photo was accompanied by a small but poignant bit of info about each mum, and your very own MM 'motivational' newspaper was printed up to take home. See more pics of the evening at the MM.

Small world... this lady's boyfriend and I sat on the same table at Kingston Uni in the final year of our fashion degree!

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Than Just A Mum

Jenny Scott founder of Mothers Meeting the network for creative mums has curated a photography exhibiton to be held at Exposure PR. More Than Just A Mum features 20 of the UK’s most influential and creative women such as Pippa Vosper, Stylist and Harper’s Bazaar fashion editor. Photos have been taken by Jenny Lewis and Tara Darby.

Suboo / Lust List

It maybe more or less winter in the UK but that doesn't stop me from having a serious crush on Australian brand Suboo. Oh I really do wonder why I live in England some times.....

Daido Moriyama

Saturday saw a walk along Kings Road to see Daido Moriyama's exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery. Don't expect lots of images at the gallery as it is relatively small, yet worth popping in if your in the area to experience the prestigious artist's sensual exploration of legs in tights and glossy lips. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

BLACK NEON TALKS - Lenique Louis

The second in the BLACK NEON TALKS series with jewellery designer maker set to shine, Lenique Louis.

Q. When and how did you start making jewellery?
A. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and being creative. I did a tailoring course at Chelsea & Kensington College and jewellery courses such as stone setting. I first started making jewellery from my grandma’s garage. I got a grant from the Princes Trust and did an apprenticeship placement with Stephen Webster. I’m now an ambassador for the Princes Trust.

Q. Where do you live and does that influence your style, taste and jewellery?
A. I live in Brixton and that definitely has an affect on my style, it’s such a vibrant place.

Q. Are there any people in your life that have been a significant influence to you or supported you to set up Lenique Louis?
A. My grandma and mum have been incredibly supportive, I’d gone a bit off track with my life, you know going out too much and partying and needed to get focused again. My grandma helped believed in me and what I’m doing, my mum even helps with the finishing process for the jewellery when I’ve got lot of orders.

Q. Your pieces are hand carved and hand finished (a technique you taught yourself?) have you considered how you would scale up to mass production?
A. Yes I am self taught in terms of hand carving, often its trial and error. My main focus is on bespoke pieces but I have looked into mould casting etc to upscale.

Q. Your designs have a beautiful organic natural quality about them (reef, lava, wave). Can you expand on this, is this important to you natural elements or is it merely the way the journey the wax process takes you on?
A. I don’t design in the normal way; I don’t draw or use mood boards. I pick up the wax and just start carving it, I know when its right and if I cant get it right at one time I’ll leave it, work on something else and go back to it a couple of weeks later. So I guess you could call it quite an organic process which in tern creates the organic chunky jewellery.

Q. Do you work with ethically sourced materials or ‘recycled metals’?
A. I have had requests for this however I’ve looked into it and prices are often higher plus I’ve heard stories about suppliers saying that they are recycled, charging more and then finding out that they are not. I would be certainly interested in finding a trust worthy and competitive supplier.

Q. For future development have you looked at new techniques, expanding the range, using different materials?
A. I currently only make rings so I’m looking expand the range to include earrings, pendants which I will showcase at Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studio's.

Q. As an emerging brand do you have to supplement your income by other work?
A. I now work fulltime on my jewellery but have previously worked part time such as helping with my friend’s web business. Also I present on a channel 4 TV show called 'Superscrimpers' which is a programme about how to be thrifty, making jewellery out of things like hairclips.

Q. What’s the hardest part of running a creative business?
A. Not being creative, i.e. doing the business stuff.

Q. How has Cockpit Arts benefitted your brand and personal development?
A. I would say one of the main things Cockpit has helped me with is market awareness and assistance with pricing. I’ve also be awarded a scholarship from 'Radcliffe Craft Awards' which supports my studio and defining my craft.

Q. There are over 40 other jewellery designer makers at Cockpit Arts; do you network closely with any other makers?
A. I have a mentor at Cockpit Arts, Helen Johannessen from Yoyo Ceramics who has been great. I have dyslexia and writing emails and business documents can be hard work Helens been really helpful.

Q. Jewellery is increasingly fashion forward; often designs are recreated in a cheaper version and sold by other companies. Companies such as Lara Bohinc have openly discussed the difficulties of plagiarism (or blatantly copying). Does this issue concern you and if so what measures do you take to prevent it happening.
A. I try not to think about it too much, it is something that really does scare me but I just stay true to myself and make items that are personal and even if you copied them they would never be quite the same anyway.

Q. How can you compete with directional jewellery at a fraction of the price?
A. As above I don’t think you can compete, I’m in niche market and different market to lower price jewellery.

Q. London Fashion Week SS13 is due to start next week, is this something that you work towards, do anything specific for?
A. I’ll go to a few shows with friends but in the future I’d like to work on a collaboration with a designer and produce something for LFW.

Q. What direction would you like to see your business take?
A. My main focus now is getting my new range 'Coral Reef' consisting of pendants, earrings and bangles.

Q. Where can we buy Lenique Louis, do you sell online?
A. You can visit my website or arrange a studio visit. I also sell from 

Q. What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
A. Keep persevering and never give up!!!

Many thanks to Lenique for sharing her inspirational story and beautiful jewellery.