Monday, 5 November 2012

Yo Mama! An Interview With Jennifer Loiselle

Life is funny how it dishes things up. Kooky even. Once upon a time, perhaps three or so years ago, I posted about some fabulous earrings I had discovered on Etsy. I loved them so much, and wanted to share them. 

A day after that post I received an email from Jennifer Loiselle. Creator of the earrings I was salivating over. She was emailing me to tell me we knew each other. And that she'd married, changed her surname (which was why I didn't initially twig) and was now in my inbox. And indeed, we did know each other. Jennifer had been working at The Sydney Morning Herald's (sadly) now defunct Good Living fashion pages. I worked in PR. We chatted quite often. And when she left our bonny shores, I distinctly remember feeling a pit of sadness that a kindred spirit was now a bit further away.

This, my friends, is serendipity.

So it's with pleasure that I serve up for you, an interview with the beautiful, intelligent and super creative talent behind the eponymous jewellery label - Jennifer Loiselle. 

PMM: When and why did you make the move to the UK?

JL: I moved to the UK 8 years ago (almost to this day!). Before that I had been working and backpacking through India and before that living in Tokyo . I had big time wanderlust in my 20s and that very Antipodean need to travel.

You started your professional life as a stylist, how did you make the transition to creating jewellery? 

I was a fashion journalist and assistant stylist at the Sydney Morning Herald, so I think I've always had a creative eye, even if it wasn't as hands on as what I'm doing now. Much later I went on to  study footwear design at Cordwainers college in London but after that took a sideways step and ended up as  creating content at a fashion website for a while. When I was pregnant with my daughter I went on maternity leave and felt like I needed a creative outlet of some kind  and had a real urge to  create something with my hands. I initially started crafting and making headbands for myself to jazz up my maternity wardrobe(!!), then started getting requests from friends and the occasional fashion blogger and then started selling them on etsy which was actually a great way to start a small business and test out products. The jewellery line came from there - it was all pretty pretty organic.

In my (humble and non-pro) experience, getting crafty can be therapeutic. But getting crafty when the smalls are around can be - er - difficult. How do you manage it? 

Oh super difficult, but I made a decision early on to make sure that my daughter was in some kind of of part time childcare from when she was quite tiny, even if it was just for a few hours a week (for my sanity, really) so I've always had some time to myself from early on - plus I spend a lot of my night hours making jewellery.  She's also  been taught from a very young age that she's not allowed to go near mummy's "work stuff" that's scattered all over the house - in fact when other kids come over to play, she gets very territorial about my things! 

As a mum, what are your tips to manage the juggle of work - and home-life?

It's hard work and I don't always feel like I get the balance right! I think trying to make sure that work doesn't bleed into home life too much, that you set aside proper time for family and that there are strict boundaries (I have a huge problem with this as I work from home). 

Where do you seek inspiration?  

London - so many museums and galleries, more exhibitions than it's possible to keep up with and it's full of incredibly creative people and genuinely original talents - I'm very lucky to live here!

What's been the highlight of your career to date?  

I still get a huge thrill seeing my designs on people I don't know in the street, it's a real buzz; way more exciting than any press endorsement.

What's next for Jennifer Loiselle?

I try not to plan too far ahead but more of the same but on a bigger scale and working towards reaching a bigger audience but still maintaining my strictly hand made to order ethos.

Jen has recently launched her new website - don't take my word for it - it's a visual haven for those who love beautiful and unique pieces that will be treasured for a lifetime. 

Shop here in time for Christmas!

This is the first of my Yo Mama! series - interviews with creative working mamas.  Look out for them weekly. 


Bianca said...

Just so you know, everything in Jennifer's shop falls into the 'rad sh*t I can't afford' category. And I mean everything! How does she weave like that? And the colours. Perfection. She is amazing. x

Bianca said...

Oh and I'm really looking forward to more in the creative mama series!

evie said...

a very serendipitous crossing of paths. lovely interview! i have always admired jen's work and been drawn to her use of colour and graphically styled work and photos. so nice to read a bit more about her. now im off to check out her new site. thanks for the heads up lexi!