A cosy chat with KJ_Creations
A local jewellery design brand – KJ_Creations – joins us on the streetville couch to talk about their work and share
the story of her adventure a beverage. We are glad they could squeeze us into their busy schedule.
I have to ask, and I hope you aren’t offended, but what is with the name (KJ_Creations)?
It is a name I gave to a jewellery business I founded also known as KJC. KJC is an acronym which stands for Khomotso Jewellery Creations. I do after all create what I envision, in this case jewellery That is a brief rationale of KJ Creations.
How did you get into your career? Where did it all begin?
I love being asked this question! I have always been an entrepreneur, as a little girl, I always found myself selling whatever I could. I have also and always been a creative. In my last year of high school I knew I wanted to study art but had photography in mind. So I went to Tshwane University of Technology on their open day to find out more about photography as a career. On my way to the photography department I came across a sign which read jewellery Design and Manufacture, with an arrow indicating to a direction I wasn’t planning taking, something told me to follow that sign and I obeyed. It lead me to what I think was heaven, I walked in to the jewellery department and found my bliss. I enrolled then later graduated and established my jewellery business. Demarcating
Tell us a little about your journey and how you evolved your skills to the level they are at now?
After graduating from university worked as an intern for a month then resigned. I hated working for someone else. I then established a jewellery business with a friend but the business never got off the ground. I started again but this time alone and I’m still standing. I barely had any work experience, I had no mentor, and I only had belief in myself and faith in God. I attended business seminars, workshop, trainings, the right people would come to me when I needed them (God’s work). All that played part in evolving my skills.
Describe a day in the Life of a jewellery designer.
My days are never the same but always very fulfilling. I get to do what I love (design jewellery, travel, sell my jewellery, run business errands) and keep in touch with friends and family. My friends have a wild sense of humour, this is very therapeutic.
What were the difficulties you encountered first starting jewellery design?
Manufacturing jewelry. I do not enjoy that side of things hence I hire people who enjoy it. I only enjoy working on concepts/designs and running the business.
How do you approach a new design? What’s your process?
I ask a client to tell me about him/herself. I start with sketches inspired by his/her personality then my employee translates my sketches into 3D computer from.
What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started jewellery design all over again?
The same advice I gave myself years ago when I started, to believe.
What do you think are the most important principles to have in mind when designing?
Live in an environment conducive to evoking creativity.
What do you think is a minimum someone needs to be a designer in terms of knowledge and equipment?
You must be up to date with trends, know your market and have equipment enough to help you execute designs. It is great to have basic equipment but even better to have state of the art equipment to help to efficiently execute designs and the manufacturing thereof.
What do you think makes a good design?
If it is appealing enough to the client that they make it their honour to exchange their money for it.
Is there any additional advice you can give us to help along the way to a successful career?
To aspire to achieve that which is greater than money
Khomotso Mailmela is a Pretoria based Jewellery designer, entrepreneur, visionary and a creative;