Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Sep 14, 2022 04:43 PM

When did you know you wanted to become a designer?

For me, becoming a designer came out of lifelong love of art, jewelry, and a desire to create.


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

The evolution of VUE by SEK was years in the making. I had decided on starting with our drop-earring collection and creating four metal shaped posts that would be interchangeable with different stones. I pulled out my drawing notebook and began to wander Washington D. C., looking for art inspiration everywhere. Weaving in and out of museums and admiring outdoor sculptures. It was on that walk that those first few shapes started to form. I went home, overwhelmed with inspiration and started sketching.


Where do you find inspiration?

As an art history lover, I find inspiration from public art around the city, contemporary sculptures, large modern paintings, and my collection of exhibition catalogs from my career in the museum world.


“Our art inspired jewelry starts with me being immersed in art, whether that is pouring through museum exhibition catalogues or visiting my favorite public artworks.”


How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is a juxtaposition of form and feelings. Often it is an elevated everyday look with something a little unexpected. It is all about my mood and what is inspiring me that day.


What is your favorite fashion film or show?

While there have been so many impactful and entertaining fashion films, I have to say a personal favorite is the Devil Wears Prada.


What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?

My background is in art history and non-profit development. My original career goal was to work at my favorite art museum. After college, I found myself in DC working for that very art museum and being surrounded by amazing artwork and creative people. It was here that I felt a desire to return to creating my own art. This led to a long process of self-teaching, to goldsmith training and experimenting with new designs until VUE by SEK officially launched.


What is your favorite part about designing?

The entire process is incredibly rewarding, but it would have to be that first spark of inspiration. Our art inspired jewelry starts with me being immersed in art, whether that is pouring through museum exhibition catalogues or visiting my favorite public artworks. It is in this immensely creative space that the spark of an idea is formed, and the design begins to take shape.


What sets your brand apart from the rest? 

Our curated jewelry collection is wide ranging so that every individual can pick the piece that is meaningful to them. It is about elevating each of their own unique perspectives and distinct styles through designs that are timeless, versatile, and unlike anything else.


What do you envision for the future of your brand?

As a young brand, it is important for us to continue to grow the depth and the reach of our collection. I look forward to the future of where VUE is already heading, as we keep coming up with innovative designs and continue to enhance our sustainability efforts to be better environmental stewards.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed? 

Honestly, I don’t have one favorite. I really do love them all, but I will say I go through phases where I gravitate towards certain pieces in the collection. Right now, I have been layering the chain reaction necklace with the layered dome necklace and pairing it with the gold star + mini mother-of-pearl earrings. There is something about this combination that brings me a lot of joy now, but that could totally switch tomorrow. One thing I love is that we have created a collection meant for mixing and matching. 


“That is the best feeling; to design something and find out that someone treasures it as much as you enjoyed designing it.”


What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?

Every small business has its share of challenges and we are certainly no different, especially in 2020. As a new brand we had been working on a large-scale growth model for our retail partners that was to kick off in the Spring of 2020 and then COVID happened. As shops and shows closed throughout the nation, we had to make a strategic pivot. We chose to shift all of our efforts to enhance our customer experience and grow our online community. Overall, the pivot to refocusing all our effort on what matters the most, our community, has led to so many new elements that I am proud of.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

Don’t worry if the path you take is not the same as everyone else. Learn from those around you and experiment. There is no one route to success, and it will take time and effort to get where you are going.


How important is social media to your brand?

Social media is incredibly important to our brand as it allows us to connect with our clients and fellow brands. It allows us to build customer relationships around the world and gain insights on what matters most to our clients.


What made you want to design jewelry?

Throughout my childhood, I can’t remember a period where I wasn’t creating or making jewelry.  This probably comes from being a part of a family of creative entrepreneurs and from my deep appreciation for the arts. Jewelry design is my art form.


What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?

Creating meaningful jewelry that you can feel good about. I am proud of the sustainable, equitable, and ethical foundation of this brand that continues to be the forefront of what we do. We hope our jewelry is recognized for those standards and for how meaningful and personal it can be for our clients. That is the best feeling; to design something and find out that someone treasures it as much as you enjoyed designing it.


How would you define fashion?

Fashion is personal self-expression: there is an art to it.