Behind the Scenes at Tanzanian-based Jewellery Label Nyumbani Design
What is your name?
Where did you grow up?
What do you love about jewellery?
The beauty of statement jewellery is that it only takes one piece to transform the way you look.
When did you discover your love for jewellery?
My love of jewellery was born from my mother’s jewellery box. When I was younger and playing dress-up, I remember raiding it and trying on as many necklaces as I could wear.
How did you become a jewellery designer?
After graduating in Fashion and Textiles design, I moved to London and gained invaluable experience working for high-end fashion designers. I relocated to Tanzania in 2010 and started working within the retail industry collaborating with local artists and designers. I began to experiment with wood, a material I hadn’t explored before. From there my business grew organically.
Describe your style, what is most characteristic about your jewellery design?
It's architectural and structural form.
Which music genre describes Nyumbani Design's jewellery best?
If you could choose one song that describes best your jewellery, which one would you choose?
There are two songs that come to mind; firstly the soulful musical twins of Ibeyi and their song River and secondly the French artist Jain’s Makeba.
What is your favourite item of Nyumbani Design's jewellery line?
This changes all the time! Currently I am in love with my Meli bolt earrings from our nautical range as they compliment an every day basic or an outfit for the evening.
... IN THE DESIGN STUDIO
Describe a typical day in your studio ?
A typical day at work largely depends on what stage I am in the new collection process. Living in beautiful Tanzania, I often wake up with the sunrise and like to start my day working out on my balcony or hitting the water with my stand up paddleboard (SUP).
After working out, mornings are reserved for e-mails and following up with possible buyers and stockists. Following that, I regularly have meetings with various artisans or suppliers I work with to check on samples or orders in production.
During the first stages of a collection, the best part of my day will be taken up with design work and research. I tend to take advantage of quieter afternoons and close myself off to focus on drawing and inspirational references.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
As a keen traveller, my source of inspiration emerges from my surroundings whether it is in the form of built up spaces or natural landscapes. The art of travel allows me to look at commonplace things in a creative way.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST..
Ring, Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet, or Bangle?
A statement necklace.
Mountains or beach holiday?
A perpetual water baby, my childhood was spent in the Cayman Islands on the beach. When I need a time-out, I will often go out on the water to relax and clear my mind.
What's your favourite city?
Cape Town followed closely by Lima in Peru.
Do you have a favourite jewel that comes with you on all your travels?
When I travel, I will always ensure I have a pair of earrings, a ring and a statement necklace.
This interview is part of our Behind the Scenes at Independent Jewellers series. To learn more about Kerry and her label, Nyumbani Design, check out her website here.
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