We hear from Kelly Jaquet, founder of Cura Jewellery.
What motivated you to start Cura?
When I moved from South Africa to Switzerland three years ago, I found it really hard to find where I fit in. I spent the past ten years in Fashion, mainly in Visual Merchandising & Display. The role I was used to is a lot different here, and I found myself wondering if this was really what I wanted to be doing. I have always been a maker, creator & up-cycler, and realised maybe this was an opportunity to use my skills and create something that was my own. Having worked in fashion & retail for so long, I had built up a staggering amount of clothing & accessories that I just didn't need, and this got me thinking about sustainable fashion. I had also amassed a large amount of jewellery. A lot of it was cheap and no longer wearable, so I started wondering if any of it was recyclable. I did some research and realised a lot of the costume & fashion jewellery made today is made with resins & acetates- petroleum based products that are not recyclable or renewable! That's when I had my 'aha' moment and set about creating jewellery from recycled materials that could also be easily recycled again at the end of its life.
Why is sustainability important to you?
As a creator, I feel it's important to be responsible for the product I am creating and putting out into the world. I had spent ten years working in one of the most polluting industries on the planet, and felt it was time to be a part of the change instead of the problem. That sounds cheesy I know, but it's true.
How do you choose your colours and designs?
A lot of the time I use colours that are available. I have learnt some tricks to blend certain color plastics to create a completely new shade, or particular pattern to suit the season. The designs are inspired by shapes and patterns I see in nature, architecture & art. Sometimes the ideas come thick and fast, and other times I will just have one shape pop into my head. I sketch them down on my iPad, tweaking the design until I feel it's balanced and aesthetically pleasing. I also have to think about construction when I sketch my designs- how the different parts will fit together, how the machine will cut the pieces, how it will be worn, etc.
From where do you draw your creative inspiration?
I'm still a visual merchandiser at heart, and love beautifully & thoughtfully designed spaces and interiors. I usually head to Pinterest to get my creative fix!
How are you keeping yourself happy and healthy during the winter months?
I try to keep a healthy work life balance, seeing as I work from home (as an entrepreneur I was working from home pre-Covid). I try to exercise regularly and stop working at a certain time everyday. I also try to remind myself that it's ok to have days that feel a little unproductive, or take time out when I am feeling overwhelmed.
What does being part of a community mean to you?
For me, community means family & support. It's a space where you can share ideas with like-minded individuals, without fear. You can share your weaknesses and strengths, and you will always have a team of people behind you, rooting for you!