As June comes to a close, we continue our loving local journey with a spunky gal named Kirsten and her adorable and down to earth hand made jewelry collection, more famously known as Kirsten Lara Jewelry.
We met Kirsten in May, on one of the few hot days we were blessed with, at a cute little café by fisherman’s wharf called Imagine Studio Café.
Kirsten is from Calgary Alberta, she moved to Victoria when she was 15 and has lived here ever since. Living in Victoria, BC, Canada, for most of her life, she started to appreciate her surroundings and wanting to utilize what was given to her by nature as inspiration and tools for creating her own jewelry. As many people in Victoria have found, finding unique pieces can be hard to come by, especially when you're after something specific and to your own taste, so she began her jewelry making journey.
At first she started collecting shells and creating necklaces. Originally she called her line “Pocket Full of Shells”. She still wanted more though, and after trying to find unpolished raw pieces of metal jewelry, she couldn’t find anything to her liking, so she found a woman named Judith Hirczy, from Austria, who taught her how to do silversmithing the traditional way. And after a 2 month course starting in September of 2016, “Kirsten Lara Jewelry” was born (her loving and supportive husbands idea for the name)!
After initially learning the silversmith craft, she continued learning- on her own. She felt that rather than reading books and learning step by step processes, or one set way on how to do things, she’d continue to teach herself, make a few mistakes here and there, but end up with something new and unique. And some of those mistakes ended up being, as she called them, “happy accidents”, like her “Two Faced” necklace. She calls it two faced because, as we all know, necklaces tend to have a mind of their own and flip around, and this way no matter which way it flips, it’s still beautiful!
Although she did wish she had started taking classes sooner, she began her journey with low expectations so she didn't get let down during the process. And although it's only been 10 months, she has made quite a name for herself in the local handmade scene of Victoria.
She recently created her logo, a very unique swan, which roots to her ancestry as her father is from Denmark, and the swan is Denmark’s national bird, so she thought it fitted her work perfectly.
She has her own etsy shop where she sells some select pieces, but she also does custom orders for most people who ask. You can usually find her set up at the Victoria Public Market (in the Hudson) once a month. She also participated in Car Free YYJ on June 18, and will be part of the Fort Commons Market on August 3, 2017. She also has a wedding jewelry line sold exclusively at the White Peony, where she works part time.
Kirsten is hoping to expand her line soon with affordable diamond engagement rings that are fun and unique, compared to the commercial ones we see in chain jewelry stores. We asked her what her favourite pieces she makes are and she said her Two Faced Necklaces, tear drop opal rings, and her circle earrings.
Kirsten also gifted us with adorable and simple silver circle necklaces. They are perfect for layering and add just the right touch of sparkle to the plainest outfit. We wish Kirsten the best of luck as she continues her journey and look forward to seeing what more she has in store!
Find Kirsten Lara Jewelry on Instagram @kirsten.lara.jewelry or her etsy shop kirstenlarajewelry.etsy.com, and keep an eye out for her market dates and new pieces added to her etsy shop!
And as always, keep loving local!