I’ve said before… jewelry should be personal. I’m partial to supporting smaller designers with my accessories, and it’s also important to me that each piece has meaning – a memory, a goal, an idea. I’ve always loved Odette New York because the pieces are so dynamic – delicate and feminine while simultaneously geometric and bold. When you wear an Odette piece, it’s obvious that a lot of attention has gone into the design… the way the rings fit, the way the necklaces lay just so…
About a month ago, Jennifer Sarkilahti emailed me to say she’d be visiting Minneapolis for a trunk show at Mille. Being the absolute dork that I am, I had a total fan-girl moment, jumped up and down, and emailed Matt to say, oh my God can you believe this?! It was a pretty big moment for me. Even better, last week I was able to visit Jennifer in her studio in Brooklyn and see how her beautiful pieces come to life.
I was a huge fan of Odette before, but meeting Jennifer made me fall even more in love. She personifies the vision I had of Odette… she’s incredibly kind and thoughtful, gorgeous in this totally unassuming way, and just so talented. It’s incredibly inspiring to see someone turn art into a business without losing the art – and Jennifer has done just that.
HOW DO YOU DESIGN YOUR COLLECTION?
I want to explore everything… I want to do all that I can. I don’t impose trend limitations on myself. I keep a running sketchbook and sticky notes next to my bed. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and sketch. When it’s time to design a new collection, I pull everything together and see what works.
WHAT ARE YOUR STYLE ESSENTIALS?
Lots of black. So cliché New York! Lots of jewelry. I love stacking – I love that we are having a stacking moment! [note – I wish I had taken a picture of Jennifer’s amazing stacks… I keep thinking of them!]
I’m a minimal dresser with maximal jewelry. I also have a shoe weakness!
WHAT GETS YOU THROUGH THE DAY? THE WEEK?
I enjoy coming to my studio. I love it when all of the studiomates are here – it makes it a fun environment. Just the fact that we can make a living doing this every day makes it all worthwhile.
WHAT MAKES YOUR LINE UNIQUE?
Everything has been made by my hand initially, each mark is intentionally placed. The pieces are literally unique.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Everything! I love to travel – it helps me clear my head because when I’m traveling, I’m not thinking about other stuff all the time. Museums, movies, books.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL? WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO NEXT
My favorite place is Bali… I’d love to explore India and South America next.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER DESIGNERS?
Just start making things. Don’t spin your wheels and be afraid to put something out there. Be really thoughtful, but don’t be afraid.
[top image via Odette, bottom via Mille, all others are TAE]