How did Gwen Delicious come about?
I have been designing jewelry as long as I can remember, I would make jewelry for myself and friends. Then a friend told me about Etsy, that is where we first sold our jewelry officially in 2009 and it grew organically from there. We now have our own web store http://www.gwendelicious.com and have a number of retailers worldwide that are carrying Gwen D!
Walk us through the design and creating process of your jewelry.
It first comes from an idea and inspiration, depending on the piece, some simply hand assembled. Others take more time to move from the initial concept to creating the mold for the bronze and silver pieces to be eventually cast by using the lost wax casting method. The name Gwen Delicious came from two places, the first, Gwen is in honour of my grandmother whose name was Gwendoline. I never had the opportunity to meet her but always felt close to her and thought this could be a way to honour her memory. Delicious came from the idea that jewelry can be delectable, sweet and fun so I decided that the word “Delicious: would be a great way to capture those feelings.
What is it about nature and antiques that inspire you to design with these in mind?
Nature is an easy inspiration, I live on the west coast and am totally surrounded on a daily basis by the forest, the ocean and the wildlife. I love that about the west coast, that nature is at your door step and it’s hard not to be inspired by mother nature. My love for antiques started at a young age, scouring antique stores with my dad I loved how pieces could have a story and history to them, it made them that more interesting to me. I want to pass along that feeling with my work that there is a story and history to each piece and to share that with my customers.
Was incorporating modern lines to create juxtaposition with the antique feel?
Most definitely, I am also a lover of modern but want that sense of story that I feel that antiques and older pieces provide. It’s a great way to bring these pieces and designs into the modern world, and bring them back to life in a new manner.
Your cuff links were especially eye catching! How did this custom word idea come about?
It actually came from when I was photographing another piece on an old book. The text looked amazing under the piece and I wanted to bring that into my jewelry. My customers have loved the pieces and I am honoured that they have been worn for so many weddings, anniversaries and as gifts to commemorate special events. They have really resonated with people.
Who/what inspires you? Any favourite (jewelry) designers?
Nature inspires me, treasure hunting in antique and vintage stores. As for jewelry designers, I am a huge lover of Canadian jewelry designer Hilary Druxman, I adore her work and many of her pieces have been given to me as gifts, I love her modern feel for all of her work and the simplicity she brings to each piece.
What have you learned from your background in fashion modelling that you used upon starting your own business?
My time in the modelling industry provided me with the background in understand fashion is about providing a story, conveying a feeling. This is something that I take very seriously in my designs. I also learned that it is a journey a progression, that design is constantly evolving and changing and to not become stagnant in your design process. It’s an organic progression that comes with experience and growth. Its been amazing to move from being in front of the camera to be able to design the pieces that are being photographed.
Any advice for those starting their own company?
Make sure what you are doing is something that you truly love, it will be authentic not only in the work you create by in how you evolve as you design. It requires a lot of time, hard work and some days are great others are tough but it’s totally worth it. To be able to create and have people love my work is so rewarding. To hear from them and how they will be incorporating my work into their life story is amazing and I am so lucky to be able to share what I love to do with others.
Photos: www.gwendelicious.com Interview: Kathleen Cerrer