Last week, we introduced you to Sophie Honeybelle, the creative mind behind Honeybelle Jewelry. Today, we are privileged to get to know Sophie and her creative process a wee bit better.
1) What inspired you to begin your collection?
I love print and surface pattern design, so I wanted to create a range that reflected that. In terms of my procedures for making my work, in the past it has been very labor-intensive and time-consuming, meaning the work was quite expensive. I wanted to create a collection that was more affordable for my customers and easier for me to make, while still keeping my desired style in mind. I also wanted to create a range of pieces that would be versatile with a variety of different clothing styles, so some of the pieces can be worn with a black evening dress and some of them can be worn with jeans and a t shirt.
2) Can you name a favorite source of inspiration?
Tricky! My inspiration seems to come from many sources. I’d have to say geometric forms found in nature seem to be the strongest influence, so flowers, petals and leaves.
My ethnic background is Anglo-Yemeni and I spent the first two years of my life in Yemen, so I was introduced to those amazing ancient geometric patterns from the Middle East when I was very little. I think this has definitely had an impact on my love of lines and tessellating geometric shapes.
In terms of colors and other forms, I love that lime/olive green color found in 1950s surface pattern design and those soft, undulating shapes from 1960s fashion. Lucienne Day inspired my Retro Boat Pendant and Earrings set.
3) What materials do you love to use?
I love working with aluminium, it’s a very versatile material in terms of color application. There’s so much you can do with it, from dip-dye, sublimation print, silk screen print, texture with a rolling mill or hammer, color with marker pens, use resists to create patterns… the list goes on. I also love working with sterling silver, even though I use it very basically for my chains and for connecting the aluminium pieces together, I think that simple use still adds value to the pieces.
4) Do you have a dream collaborator?
I’d love to collaborate with a small fashion label and create a collection of limited edition pieces to match their designs. That’d be amazing. I’ve got no names in mind for that though!
5) When you need a musical muse, who do you turn the volume up for?
Music is absolutely vital for my work, without it I feel like the world is a little bit empty and the creative flow a little bit clumsy, so as soon as I settle down to design or work in the studio I usually stick on some ambient/atmospheric drum and bass or shoegaze. Ulrich Schnauss, Stumbleine and Owsey are all incredible favorites at the moment; the YouTube channel by MrSuicideSheep brings a constant stream of electronic music I’ve never heard before, which is often absolutely perfect. I also love Little Comets, Blu Mar Ten, Newton Faulkner, David Gray and Sia.
6) How do you use social media/blogging to promote your work?
I use Twitter and Facebook at the moment. I like to tweet about my life as well as my work as I think people probably do appreciate the balance and so that my Twitter feed isn’t just promotional links. At the moment I’m experimenting with what works in terms of promotion, so I’ll create a conversational tweet about my shop or a particular piece, then I add a photo of that particular piece with a link to the page it’s on in my Etsy shop. Adding a photo definitely generates more interest.
I find Twitter a much better platform for promotion than Facebook, as gathering page ‘likes’ seems harder for me than gathering Twitter followers, so I tend to use Twitter a lot more. On the Facebook page I try to do something similar in terms of setting up a link to my shop, but it doesn’t have nearly the same impact. I can track my stats on my Etsy shop and see where the hits are coming from, it’s mostly from Twitter, so I’ll stick with that for the time being.
7) Where do you see your shop/project going?
It’s still very early days for my Etsy shop and this collection, so at the moment I’m taking it one step at a time and slowly figuring out how I can put it out there as much as possible. I’m optimistic and excited but at the same time not automatically expecting too much from it. I had my first sale within a week of opening, so that was a nice ego-boost and also a relief to know people like what I do!
I do see this collection as my first proper opportunity to show the world what I’m about and what I can do in terms of design. I see it as a springboard to other collections (men’s jewelry) and potentially other products aside from jewelry (perhaps t shirts) and who knows where that may lead!