1. What inspired you to get into the jewelry ?
I began designing jewelry in 2001. At that time, I was working in marketing for luxury brands and had a very successful career doing that, but I wasn’t particularly fulfilled on a creative level. When I began to work with jewelry, crafting pieces with my own hands I found that I could express myself in ways I hadn’t realized I could. It wasn’t until 2008 that I left corporate life and launched Jill Golden Jewels.
2. How do you come up with your ideas and designs?
My process starts with a feeling for a design concept. Then I travel to someplace in the world that to me embodies this inspiration. From the experience with the people & place, sights, sounds, local artisans – the total vibe of the place and the people – I come back to NYC and source materials that will bring the concept to life. I really have a hands on process of playing with materials, building models without any judgment or expectation, until the collection is developed.
3. What’s your favorite project to date?
It would have to be my Isaro Collection – my Fair Trade production partnership with Social Enterprise Indego Africa and women Artisans in Rwanda. I taught a group of women in Rwanda the art of Bead Weaving with a Loom. We supply the looms and materials, training and a Fair Labor wage for their work. The collection is in its 4th season, has been featured in many magazines and websites like Elle, InStyle and Style.com and is carried in many stores around the world.
4. Do you have a favorite material?
I use a wide variety of materials in my collections. I don’t think luxury fashion jewelry has to be limited to precious materials. I often use semi-precious stones, as well as vintage stones, rhinestones, leather, wood…..I am always sourcing new and exciting materials. I love to use raw cut stones in vibrant colors, combining unexpected colors. But sometimes working in only metals without stones allows more flexibility in design. I like to use a combination of reclaimed or vintage material and new materials.
5. Your most exciting moment since you started Jill Golden Jewels?
Last Spring (2013) I partnered with JCrew to design an exclusive Jill Golden for JCrew collection. Walking into the store on Fifth Avenue for the first time and seeing my designs in the case and catalog was a very exciting moment! And there was a customer at the case, who when she heard I was the designer asked to take a picture with me.
6. Have your travels inspired new pieces?
Yes, each collection is inspired by a trip, near or far. Sometimes the inspiration is very literal, the shapes, textures and materials I experience will drive the design aesthetic. And sometimes it is less literal, it is more about the culture or vibe of the spot. My Spring 2014 collection, Boardwalk Glamour, was inspired by the architectural lines of the Coney Island Boardwalk. Past collections have been inspired by Morocco, Paris, Barcelona, Venice and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
7. Must see place in NYC if you like fashion, off the beaten path?
I get a lot of my inspiration from great vintage finds around Manhattan and Brooklyn…The Flea in Fort Greene and The Garage on 25th Street are 2 of my favorites. I also love great NYC bookstores like Rizzoli and The Strand…and if you can get an invite into the Interview Magazine Library don’t pass it up!
8. NYC restaurant where an out of towner must go when visiting?
I love a good neighborhood wine bar, a few in my West Village Neighborhood are: Zampa, Aria, and Lelabar.
Your special message for Feel Desain readers?
Hello to my friends at Feel Desain.
Thank you for reading a little about me and my jewelry, please check out the collection at www.jillgolden.com!