FELT stands for 'Feeling Every Little Thing'. This acronym perfectly expresses the mission of Jason and Maaike, the founders of this atelier: they believe that every piece of jewellery has its own story and, at the same time, it can tell a new one, according to what the wearer wants to express. The two partners manually shape the jewellery capturing and carrying an emotion or a memory.
“We see jewelry as the perfect way of showing your personal style and literally wearing your heart on your sleeve thanks to the personal stories that stand behind the jewelry”
Hi Jason, first of all, we would like to know a little bit about the origins of your atelier. Where does your passion for jewelry come from? And how did the idea of making handmade jewelry come about?
I was raised by a very fashion-aware mom. She always showed me her jewelry, shoes and different fabrics. Thanks to her I fell in love with design. And after spending years as a clothing agent, I met Maaike, my current business partner. She started this business a few years ago and, like me, was taught by her family to love and cherish jewelry. She was always digging in her grandma’s jewelry box looking for the coolest and the oldest gems.
To us, jewelry is the perfect embodiment of celebration. Making designs by hand is, in our opinion, the best way to stay unique and be able to reduce as much waste as possible. Over 70% of our collection is ‘made to order’, so there is no excessive stock.
Do you have specific ways to find inspiration when you create jewelry?
We certainly do. We look at shapes in different fields. Sometimes I go to a furniture store or I check out the ideas offered by the streetwear brand Daily Paper to see what kind of shapes and visual language they use. At the moment, we can see that round soft shapes and colorful prints are a big trend, so we’ll include them in our next collection.
In your opinion, besides being made by hand, what makes your jewelry so unique, special and original? Do you use any particular technique to realize it?
Our jewelry collection embraces different styles, but the main ones are minimal and chunky. The latter is what is on-trend right now. We think these styles are real classics: you want them and you need them in your jewelry box.
Our minimal collection is pretty unique and this makes us stand out from the crowd. These styles are designed to be interesting for both the front and the back. There’s no need for a row of ugly backs behind your ear.
Your jewelry follows a minimalist style, doesn’t it? Why? Is there a kind of philosophy behind this choice?
Well, in part yes. We have more than just minimal jewelry, but the minimal part of our brand excites us. That is what brought us here, it’s what we started with. With these smaller designs we like to go all out and really be creative with our craftsmanship. The challenge to constantly come up with new small ideas is what pushes our creativity.
Like in any profession, some challenges are easier to overcome than others. What are the main difficulties in your job?
Oh goodness. So many. Just look at the times we’re living in. This is like Drake: nothing is the same ahahahah. Stores are closed and people can only shop online. This means it's harder for us to get in brick and mortar stores.
Or when the silver price went up…yeah we weren’t so happy.
As we can see from your website, there are many collections of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Which of your collections do you feel most connected to? What is the reason behind that?
For some reason, it is always in what is coming next that we find the connection. We adore what we have now and what we’ve had in the past, but whenever we come up with a new style, we get extra excited. We started out as an earring brand, so this part of our collection is the most developed, you can call it our “firstborn and forever favorite”.
Do you think a jewel can “reveal” something about a woman’s personality?
Great question. We’ve seen men, women and non-binary people wear our brand. And that’s exciting to see. We see jewelry as the perfect way of showing your personal style and literally wearing your heart on your sleeve thanks to the personal stories that stand behind the jewelry. Whenever we see someone wearing a statement piece we believe that this person has an outgoing personality. A few years ago we made really artsy doodle jewelry and we saw the creatives loving them.
Checking out your Instagram profile, we noticed that you don't use a standard approach when choosing your models, why is that? Is this choice related to anti-racial issues?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. To us, our approach is pretty normal. We believe that everybody is beautiful and can wear cool jewelry. That may sound corny but it’s true. It is just like an attraction: there is always someone attracted to somebody…. We choose conventional models, activists, singers, famous people, and so on. What you get is a collection of wonderful people. Just like when you’re at a festival.
Are you already designing some new pieces of jewelry at the moment? Can you reveal some spoilers about the upcoming creations?
Ohhh yeah. We’re hoping to bring more color and more statement pieces this coming season. We’ve been developing new techniques that enable us to go all out. We are making our own shapes and beadworks with bright colors and playful patterns. As we will be making these products entirely by hand, all items will be unique and will bring a very new and refreshing approach to jewelry design. It will be our biggest and craziest collection so far. Keep an eye on our Instagram account and you will be able to see behind the scenes of our experiments in our atelier.
Complete the following sentence: “a jewel for me is…” “…a compliment to your own beauty”.
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