Kalà Bijoux Designs... How it all began

I first signed up for jewellery making classes for beginners at Rathmines College at the beginning of 2020.

I had been working in property mangement and interior design for over five years at that point  I was in desperate need of a new hobby for the winter and jewellery making sounded fun.

I didn’t know what to expect but from the very first class, I was hooked. I had an amazing teacher, Fiona who is also the owner of theonline jewellery supplies shop dinkdesign.ie. Fiona was patient and she explained everything so well. The Monday jewellery classes quickly became the highlights of my weeks.

After about four classes, the possibility of schools shutting down due to Covid hit Dublin. At our last class before lockdown Fiona gave me a loan of some tools along with stringing materials and beads and she told me to practice at home. So I did. I had no work for the next four months and while unable to leave home, making jewellery became the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I started sending Fiona photos of my designs on a regular basis and she was always very encouraging.

I was lucky to have Fiona’s online supplies shop to get me through the very long weeks.

I spent all my time thinking of jewellery. I would think of new designs while trying to fall asleep at night and I’d keep it locked in a corner of my mind and try to remember them in the morning.... Which I usually did.

I’d wake up and start sketching my ideas from the night before and shortly after my morning coffee I would start recreating the designs. It did not take long before the kitchen table was no longer big enough to be my workspace. I  decided that was commited enough to jewellery to invest in my own little corner workspace in the bedroom.

 

Combining beads and chain and creating absolutely anything I wanted became my passion. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to design jewellery, not just any kind of jewellery. I wanted to design unique and bold pieces that stand out.

I would define my style as an ecclectic fusion of genres. It ranges from tribal and ethnic to elegant and boho chic. I work with different colors, materials, feathers, beads, crystals and chains to create statement pieces that will hopefully bring happiness, positive energy and empowerment to the women wearing them

I needed a brand name at this stage. I wanted something exotic, short, catchy and easy to say in different languages. I wanted something that reflected what I was trying to convey through my designs. After a lot of research, I came across the word Kalà...

 

Meaning and Origin of the word Kalà:

  

  • Greek : Most beautiful
  • Hebrew : Laurel; crown
  • Hindi : Royal
  • Hindi : Dark Princess ; Goddess
  • Hawaiian : Sunshine
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    And that was the beginning of Kalà Bijoux Designs...    

     

                               

     

    I spent about seven hours a day, seven days a week for the first two months of lockdown working in my home studio with a plastic bust as a model who I named Tina ( short for Quarentina).

     

    I started making all sorts of body chains which were supposed to be a hit for the summer festival season which sadly did not come in 2020.

    Fiona was very supportive and encouraged me to start my online shop on Etsy, which I did by the end March. 

    I didn’t make a lot of sales but I kept creating and learning so much. In May I had a whole collection and I made my first promotional video.

    It had been a tough few months for everyone in lockdown and while people were not buying a lot of jewellery at that time, creating and designing our own jewellery is completely different. Its relaxing, fun and rewarding so I decided that I wanted to organise socially distanced jewellery workshops for beginners as a fun an safe activity to transition out of confinement.

    I ordered the tools and materials in bulk, I got a webcam and a HDMI cable which would connect to a TV through my laptop so the students could see what I was doing on the TV. I contacted a few schools and found a classroom to rent in Seda College and by August I held my first and very successful workshop. It is now a monthly event. I love watching people design and learn and mainly seeing their joy when they realise what they were able to create.

             

     

    As I am writing this, I am in the process of building my own website.

    I have my first photoshoot coming up in a few days and things are about to take off. 

    I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to take so much time over lockdown to discover a hobby which I love and I look forward to perfecting my jewellery making skills.