This past Fall my friend Tina started a jewlery line called Elle Fulton. And after checking out her pieces I fell in absolute love. Included along with her interview I have featured some of my favourite necklaces and rings from her Canadiana, Lux Bohemian and Sweet 60s Collections. I also shared pieces from her her fun and sweet Retro and Vintage inspired lines as well. Enjoy!
Do you have any formal training in jewelry design? How and when did you come to realize your talent for designing jewelry?
I have some fashion training but it was in clothing design and construction. Jewelry design happened upon me by accident. I was searching for interesting vintage jewelry for my own collection and began constructing jewelry ideas I would dream up and couldn’t find to buy.
What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made? How has your designs changed since that first piece?
I found an antique charm bracelet with a vintage sterling silver bicycle that I repurposed into a necklace. I liked the understated simplicity of the bike necklace. The essence of that concept has stayed with me throughout my later work. Although my newer pieces take longer to construct, the core pieces found on ellefulton.com are still about simplicity, elegance and novelty.
How do you go about creating a new piece? What is the creative process when choosing materials and design?
My process usually begins with a collection theme. Next I start to brainstorm the kind of pieces that would work well in that collection. I begin seeking out vintage charms and cabochons that fit into the overall theme. Depending on the complexity of the piece, sometimes I sketch the concept out first, other times I dive right into creating the sample.
What inspired your latest collection? How do you approach creating a new collection?
Since I work primarily with rare vintage components I look to vintage fashion for collection ideas. My newest collection, Lux Bohemian, was developed with the current boho trend in mind, except that I wanted to give it a 1990s spin. I remember 1970s boho style being on trend in the mid-nineties; however that version was a little darker. It had a sort of witchy- gypsy feeling to it, which is what I wanted to invoke when created the Lux Bohemian collection.
Why is it important to you to keep your jewelry on the more affordable end?
I want my brand to feel like a return to what costume jewelry used to be, affordable pieces that are made with high quality materials. I also wanted to create coordinating pieces that would lend well to layering and could be dress up or down.
If you could see anyone wearing one of your pieces, who would it be?
It’s a tie. The first would be Zooey Deschanel. I love the way she incorporates vintage into her style. The second would be Lauren Conrad. Her style is simple, sweet and sophisticated, which is the underlying vision behind Elle Fulton Jewelry.
The most valuable lesson you have learned so far in starting your own jewelry business?
It’s really hard to predict what specific pieces will be most popular. Some of my favourites sell infrequently and some pieces I spent minimal time designing are bestsellers. When I develop collection themes I account for this by trying to incorporate options in colour choices and design variations.