#13

Apr/May2018

Luxulite

One of my very favourite things are brooches, I adore them! Especially vintage inspired pieces that have a quirky touch. Which is why I love Luxulite so much. I was first introduced to the etsy store www.luxulite.etsy.com by a friend and I was hooked. When putting together an outfit the accessories are key to making the look work. Earrings, bangles and brooches can make a standard sweater and jeans become retro magic. Looking through my Luxulite collection I was interested to learn more about the brand and to discover how the creator came up with the ideas. I thought why not ask the women herself…

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Katy Crebbin and I’m the one-woman designer and maker behind jewellery brand, Luxulite. I live by the seaside in North East England with my boyfriend and our two kittens, Percy and Morris.

Where did the idea for Luxulite first come from? How did you come up with the name?

The idea for Luxulite came from my love for vintage jewellery, but my lack of funds to collect it! I desperately wanted to wear these big fabulous novelty Bakelite and confetti lucite pieces but without re-mortgaging my flat, so I decided to try and make my own. The name came from a mash-up of the plastics I love! Bakelite, Lucite, and then a random soap advert (Lux Soap Flakes) from one of my vintage Woman’s Weekly Magazines!

 
Was it always a plan to start up your own business?
How did you make your idea into a reality?

I always dreamt of having a creative job and working for myself. Making the dream a reality took time and involved a lot of hard work. I started Luxulite while I was still working a full-time job, but as my business grew, I started to reduce my hours until eventually, I decided to take a the plunge and ditch the day job completely! That was the scariest and most exciting day of my life – leaving a secure job to take a chance on the unknown. It’s been 3 years since I left my day job to focus on Luxulite and I haven’t regretted it for one moment. The hours can be very very long but it’s so rewarding and I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love for a career.

Tell us about your creative process?
Where do you get the inspiration for your ideas?
How do you take these ideas and create a product?

Sparks of inspiration have come from all over the place, but not necessarily from jewellery designs. I love looking at novelty fabric prints, ceramics, sculpture, architectural designs, films or illustrations from the 1940s and ‘50s. I usually sketch first or experiment and play with different materials and techniques in my workshop. There’s usually lots of trial and error until I have a finished design that I’m happy to reproduce and sell.

How did you go about growing the brand into the popular business that it is today?

I owe that to my amazing, loyal customers! I’m really proud to say that the customers who shopped with me when I first started out are still shopping with me now. I also think the success of Luxulite is down to the genuine enjoyment I get from designing and making. I really hope that shows through in the designs I produce, and I’m always excited to see where it will take me next.

 
If you could design a piece of jewellery for anyone who would it be and why?

It would have to be for Carmen Miranda – she makes me so happy! Although it definitely wouldn’t be just one piece of jewellery – it would be stacks upon stacks of baubles and fruits and beads for days!

You collaborated with Miss Fortune recently? Are there any more collaborations in the pipeline?

Yes! I love collaborating with fellow designers and I have some exciting (but sadly top secret) projects in the pipeline for later this year.

You created some pieces specifically for Valentine’s Day; can you tell us about them?

I’m an absolute sucker for a kitschy holiday, so I always love designing pieces for Valentines Day. This year I’d been really inspired by 1940s Valentine’s cards – they can be so goofy and weirdly un-romantic but I love that! My favourite pieces from this years collection are my ‘Snail Mail’ brooch, the classic sweetheart etched arrow pins and the heart brooch set, which is inspired by an amazing Edward Stevenson costume design.

What is in store for the future of Luxulite?

I’m hoping to get out and about to trade at more events this year, as it’s always so nice to meet customers in person. Currently I’m putting the finishing touches to my Summer designs, which I’m really excited about releasing.

 

Binty Mustard is a primary school teacher with one foot firmly in the past. She is an avid collector of vintage pieces, filling her home with mid-century treasures and her wardrobe with ‘40s and ‘50s delights.